Monday, June 11, 2007


Statue of The Last Supper, used during the Good Friday procession in Qormi, MaltaTranslated from Greek noun "Eucharistia") meaning thanksgiving. This noun or the corresponding verb (I give thanks) is found in 55 verses of the New Testament. Four of these verses recount that Jesus "gave thanks" before presenting to his followers the bread and the cup that he declared to be his body and his blood. The Gospel of John affirms this. It is a sacrament of the church which comes from the Last Supper when Jesus said to his disciples "Do this in remembrance of me…" (Luke 22: 14-23; Matthew 26: 26-29; Mark 14: 22-25). The Lord's Supper, Holy Communion, the Mass are other ways of referring to this sacrament. The gifts of wine and bread are brought forward, blessed and shared with the gathered faithful.

Christians generally do recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite, though they differ about exactly how, where, and when Christ is present. The word "Eucharist" is also applied to the bread and the cup consecrated in the course of the rite.

Most Christians classify the Eucharist as a sacrament. Some Protestants view it as an ordinance in which the ceremony is seen not as a specific channel of divine grace but as an expression of faith and of obedience to Christ.


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