Holy Communion

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Jesus said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. Mark 14:24

The Lord's Supper / Holy Communion / Eucharist

The Eucharist (or Holy Communion or The Lord's Supper) refers to the memorial service that Christians perform in fulfillment of Jesus' instructions at his Last Supper recorded in the New Testament. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus gave his disciples bread, saying "This is my body" and wine, saying "This is my blood". Holy Communion is the re-enactment of that event. Different Christian denominations view Holy Communion somewhat differently, with most Protestants believing that is symbolic only, whereas Roman Catholicism teaches that the bread and wine actually transforms and becomes the body and blood of Christ.

Names for Holy Communion

Some of the commonly used names for Holy Communion include:

  1. Eucharist
  2. Communion
  3. Holy Communion
  4. The Lord's Supper

The Last Supper in the Bible

Theology - Differences in opinion

Roman Catholicism

In Roman Catholic teaching the scripture passages regarding the last supper are understood literally. Catholics typically call Holy Communion "the Eucharist". The official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is that when the priest consecrates the Eucharist, bread and wine metaphysically (i.e. not in a physical, material sense) become Jesus' body and blood, a teaching known as transubstantiation.


Most Protestants believe Holy Communion to be symbolic. In other words, they do not hold to the Catholic belief of transubstantiation or the Lutheran belief of consubstantiation but instead believe that the cracker and the juice or wine is merely symbolic of Jesus' body and blood.


Lutherans typically believe in the theology called consubstantiation. Consubstantiation is the belief that when the host and wine are consecrated that the bread and wine remain but Jesus' body and blood are also literally present.

Eastern Orthodox


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John 6:55

For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.


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