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Friday, 9 January 2015

Eucharist

The Eucharist started when Jesus Christ told his followers to eat bread and drink wine in memory of him, at the Last Supper. It is also called Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper.

The early Christians gathered together to celebrate communion, where they shared bread and wine in remembrance of Christ. At communion time the rich and poor all shared a meal known as “agape” from the Greek word for love. Its aim was to recall the ideals Jesus taught of sharing and charity.

In medieval times, many people believed that the Host ,(the consecrated wafer), had magical power. Some took it away from the church and used it for diseases, putting out fires, fertilising fields, even love charms.



On March 7, 1964, at a Roman parish church, Pope Paul VI celebrated the Mass in Italian instead of Latin. In doing so he implemented one of the most significant changes of the Second Vatican Council—worship in the vernacular. The date happened to be that year's First Sunday of Lent.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, the Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. During a Mass, through the act of transubstantiation, the bread and wine offered change, and are no longer bread and wine. They become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

A contemporary Mass in modern practice. By jimmyweee - Jerusalem, CC BY 2.0,Wikipedia Commons

In most Protestant churches, not including Lutheranism, the sacrament of communion involves eating  bread or small wafers and drinking wine or grape juice, and not believing that it is the actual body and blood of Jesus, but as a very important symbolic observance, and fulfillment of what Christ commanded.

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