Why Do Christians Take Communion?

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:14
Learn the origin and significance of this blessed sacrament Communion is one of the great mysteries of Christianity. Some take it as a symbolic sacrament of unity, while others interpret it as consuming the literal body and blood of...
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Communion is one of the great mysteries of Christianity. Some take it as a symbolic sacrament of unity, while others interpret it as consuming the literal body and blood of Christ. No matter your belief, it’s a profound gift from God, and one that we too often take for granted. That’s why we’re here to share 7 vital reasons why we take communion, as well as discuss where communion originated, who can take it, and when.

Things You Should Know

  • Communion is a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice, and an acknowledgement that he gives us salvation through his death.
  • The Eucharist is also an opportunity to praise and thank God for all he’s done for us, and to show our own devotion in return.
  • Communion helps us to profess our faith to ourselves and others, and to enter into a community of believers unite with a spiritual family.
Section 1 of 3:

7 Reasons Why Christians Take Communion

  1. Step 1 To remember Christ’s sacrifice
    When Jesus broke bread with his apostles at the Last Supper, he said, “Do this in memory of me.”[1] Every time we receive communion, we enter a contemplative state as we pray and ponder the passion and crucifixion of Christ, and uphold the traditions that he set for us as a community of faith. Without a congregation to receive and remember Christ’s death, the church wouldn’t be what it is.
  2. Step 2 To testify to Christ’s death
    The Eucharist is primarily a memorial of Christ’s death.[2] Without his ultimate sacrifice, eternal life would not be possible. We show up to mass and take communion as a way to tell others that their ransom has been paid. It’s both a solemn occasion to bear witness to Christ’s suffering, and a joyous opportunity to tell others that our own suffering will one day come to an end.
  3. Step 3 To acknowledge that Christ’s blood brings salvation
    Jesus said, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”[3] By taking the Eucharist, we’re saying that yes, we believe that this will grant us eternal life and salvation in heaven. It’s a testament of faith that shows others, and ourselves, that we believe what he said is true—that by dying, Jesus set us free.
    • In John 13, the apostles first protested, then accepted Jesus’ request to wash their feet.[4] Though it may seem odd, we take communion to fulfill Jesus’ request to serve us and be our salvation.
  4. Step 4 To praise and thank God for salvation
    Communion is a sign of gratitude. Just like accepting a meal from a close friend, accepting the bread of life from God is a demonstration of our thanks and appreciation for what He’s done for us. We’re praising him by saying, “Yes, I see your works, I believe, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part.”
    • It’s also an opportunity to remind ourselves to extend those works beyond mass, and to go and be examples to our communities.
  5. Step 5 To show our devotion
    When Jesus proclaimed that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood, the crowds around him were aghast. It’s not a typical command by any means. Many disciples turned away, and Jesus asked the 12 apostles, “You do not want to leave, too, do you?”[5] By taking communion we say, no, we will not leave. We will have faith and devotion, despite what others may think.
    • This is also demonstrated by the “supper of the lamb” mentioned in Revelations. God calls us to unite with him (the lamb) through a joyous “marriage” that will take place at the second coming. Until then, we take the Eucharist to unite with him.[6]
  6. Step 6 To connect with other believers
    When we take the Eucharist, we’re not just entering into communion with God, but with a community of believers.[7] It’s all in the word: communion = community. We feel the presence of faith all around us, and connect to others that share that faith in order to strengthen our own. We remind ourselves that we’re not in this alone—we have God, our family, and our friends to support us and enrich us.
    • At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”[8] When we take communion, we’re reminded to treat others as we want to be treated.
  7. Step 7 To await the second coming
    When we take communion, we get a little preview of life after death, as we’re filled with the body and grace of god. It’s an opportunity to get excited about our eternal reward, and ponder what it means to live a life before eternal life.[9] Think of the Eucharist as a sort of meet-and-greet with God before we all pack up and move in with him.
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Section 2 of 3:

Where did the concept of communion come from?

  1. Step 1 Communion was instituted at the Last Supper.
    On the night before his crucifixion, during Passover, in Jerusalem, Christ gathered the apostles and ate unleavened bread and wine with them. Then, he washed their feet, which was a symbol of his service and sacrifice. This was the first, prototype communion, and we continue to celebrate it to this day.[10]
    • Passover is the celebration that memorializes the Jews’ departure from Egypt. Jesus chose Passover for the first communion to signify his coming to deliver his people through his death.
  2. Step 2 The Sermon on the Mount and the Wedding at Cana inform communion.
    During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus multiplied just a few fish and loaves of bread to feed a crowd of thousands. This foreshadows and echoes the abundance and distribution of communion bread throughout his following for years to come.[11]
    • During the Wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine, which also prefigured the turning of wine into Christ’s blood.
    • Communion is the fulfillment and acknowledgement of both these miracles.
  3. Step 3 The bread originates in the Passover tradition.
    At Passover, the Jewish people ate unleavened, or unrisen, bread, which signified their haste to exit Egypt; they had no time to wait for the bread to rise. As fulfillment of this Old Testament tradition, we also eat unleavened bread at communion, to remember God’s pledge to deliver his people.[12]
    • The bread also evokes the manna the Israelites ate in the desert, which God provided for them when there was no other food.
  4. Step 4 Wine is rooted in ancient Old Testament tradition.
    In ancient times, people would offer bread, wine, and the first fruits of the harvest as a sacrifice to the creator. The wine of communion echoes this sacrifice.[13] Wine, or blood, also signifies life and nourishment.
    • Communion wine is also rooted in the miracle of the Wedding at Cana. At the heavenly wedding feast in God’s kingdom, we’ll be called to drink the new wine of Christ’s blood.[14]
    • In John 15:1, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”[15] This metaphor extends to wine made from grapes, which grow on vines. Jesus’ wine, or fruit, helps us bear fruit, too.
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Section 3 of 3:

Who can take communion, and when?

  1. Step 1 Only those baptized as Christian can take communion.
    In most cases, anyone who’s baptized Christian can receive communion at Church. Communion is a sacred tradition reserved only for baptized believers. Usually, any Christian can receive communion at any Church, though Catholic churches ask that only Catholics receive Catholic communion.[16]
  2. Step 2 We take communion every Sunday, but also at any mass besides that.
    One of the 10 commandments is to “keep holy the Sabbath.”[17] Christians honor that commandment by attending mass and receiving the Eucharist every Sunday. Many churches also allow the congregation to participate in a Sabbath mass on Saturday evenings.
    • Of course, mass occurs every day, and you can receive communion at any mass, any day of the week.
    • Many churches also send authorized parishioners to give communion to the sick who cannot physically be present at mass.
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