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The sacrament of Holy Communion forms part of worship for most Christians - Explain the beliefs and practises associated with this sacrament.

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Introduction

The sacrament of Holy Communion forms part of worship for most Christians. Explain the beliefs and practises associated with this sacrament. A sacrament is a symbol through which Christians receive strength and guidance from god to help them in their everyday lives. Of all the sacraments, one of the most important ones is Holy Communion because Jesus gave the command to do so. Most Christians have always met to celebrate the Last Supper meal on Jesus' last night between Jesus and his disciples. Its relevance to a lot of Christians lives is that it is the main ceremony of their life as a worshipper. Most Christians remember Jesus giving himself up, dying on the cross and resurrecting to save us from our sins "Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying , 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" (Luke 22: 19-20) through sharing a meal of bread and wine, often in a service. Jesus asked his followers to do this in his memory. Holy Communion gives a sense of brotherhood and allows members worldwide to join together as a community. Christians believe that there is a link between Passover and Holy Communion. ...read more.

Middle

There is agreement nowadays that they become the body and blood of Christ in a mysterious fashion. A mystery can be believed, yet not explained. Different people have different views upon the function and way the Eucharist should be carried out. Some see it as a family meal while others do not. Some feel it is for a sense of community, others feel it is mostly for remembering Jesus. Some traditions use wine while others use fruit juice. These various minor changes in method are numerous but the basic idea is the same throughout. Christians agree upon four points on Holy Communion: 1. It is there to allow thanksgiving and praise to God for Jesus' sacrifice. 2. Jesus asked his followers to remember him by sharing bread and wine and so Holy Communion began. 3. Whenever Holy Communion takes place, Jesus is present. 4. Christians share this meal as a family e.g. with the Father ( risen Jesus) present. This is what Christians believe about Holy Communion in general, but each denomination differs slightly with its function and meaning. Holy Communion services can be generalised into two categories: High Churches and Low Churches, although they may be quite different within each category. High Churches are ones which follow a set routine and their churches are often highly decorated, containing many objects. ...read more.

Conclusion

Prayers are said for those in need throughout the world. The minister says the Prayer of Thanksgiving over the bread and wine. The prayer tells the story of the Last Supper and it is taken from one of the gospels. The 'altar' is called a communion table and the people are invited there with 'Receive the body of Christ which was given for you and the blood of Christ which was shed for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith and thanksgiving.' This means that you do not feed on Christ's body and blood for physical hunger, but a spiritual one where the heart and soul need to be strengthened and nourished. Fruit juice is normally used. After the communion, another thanksgiving prayer occurs, and the people are then dismissed. This pattern seems very liturgical, however these are the bare elements and the routine and structure varies from church to church and each service usually contains these steps. This is what happens usually in a Methodist Church, and what is symbolised and believed. Holy Communion varies in structure and routine from Church to Church. It also varies in function. Overall, most Christians celebrate the Holy Communion, because Jesus ordered them to at the last supper. They believe that it is an opportunity for thanksgiving and for family and community bonding. When consecrated, the bread and wine become some form of Christ's body and blood, whether it be physical or spiritual. Umair Khalid Christianity Coursework DRHE 1 ...read more.

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