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:iconfreuddwyn::iconfreuddwyn::iconmissarisu::iconarmandacyd::iconarmandacyd::iconhealingsun::iconyamassaro:Anonymous:iconchronofluxren::iconhisamazinggrace:
In case you weren't aware, the Eucharist / Communion has been one of the greatest "dividing factors" between Christian denominations - despite being, in part, all about unity as "one body" ("one bread, one body"). During the Reformation, different reforming groups had big fights over the understanding of Communion (the Lutherans and Calvinists/Zwinglians/Reformed only reconciled on it in the late 20th Century!!). Even today, non-Catholic Christians are not officially allowed to take part in the Catholic Eucharist (though there are churches where this is not strictly carried through), and Protestant and Catholic priests / pastors can't celebrate Eucharist together ("co-celebration", i.e. both leading the service together).

The differences in the understanding of the Eucharist, what it means and what exactly "happens" there is very complex... I've been studying theology for almost 6 years now, have led Communion services for 4 years, learnt all about it in church history and even had a full-semester course all about the Eucharist, and I still don't know what to say when people ask me what exactly Communion is "about", what "happens" there, and what the difference is between the reformed, lutheran and catholic understanding. And I don't think it's because I'm dumb (though possibly I am?) but rather because something so overwhelming happens that as soon as you try to squeeze it into a model, you don't do it justice anymore. The Eucharist is quite appropriately called a mystery.

But here's a "general" way one could summarise the different understandings of Communion / the Eucharist:
Bullet; Red Transsubstantiation: (official Catholic) The bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus Himself is both physically and spiritually present.
Bullet; Red Real presence: (Lutheran / Methodist) Bread and wine are still bread and wine, but Jesus is truly present in them.
Bullet; Red Spiritual presence: (Calvinist) Bread and wine are still bread and wine; Jesus is spiritually present in the communion of believers, and to the one who believes.
Bullet; Red Symbolic view: (early Zwinglian - he seems to have changed his mind later, though) Bread and wine are symbols and reminders only.

My (probably weird) opinion is that all are correct in some way. Wink/Razz I think in a way we need all of these descriptions together to get the full picture. And even then, we won't get the full picture because it's too wonderful to us!

My question to you is: HOW DO YOU VIEW COMMUNION / THE EUCHARIST?
What does it mean to you?
What do you think "happens"?

Personally I have always seen it as a time to remember what Jesus has done for us - that He died to forgive our sins, and gives us new life in relationship with Him - and to thank Him. My earliest memory of Communion (when I was 5 or 6) is of my mother teaching me this in church as they were distributing the bread and wine.

As I grew older (and particularly through experiencing the Eucharist in an Anglican church as a teenager), I discovered that another aspect is God strengthening us in Communion: it is spiritual food and drink nourishing us and preparing us for His work.

Then I learnt that Communion is also about unity, realising that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the most beautiful experiences of Communion that I have had was in St Paul's Cathedral on Easter Sunday: there were so many people there from all over the world, and I realised, these are all my brothers and sisters, and though I don't know any of them, we will be together in heaven and that is wonderful.

What the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist has helped me understand is the presence of Jesus when we celebrate. He is truly with us. Of course He is with us every moment - but His presence in the bread and wine is special.

Oh, and BONUS QUESTION: What "form" of celebrating the Eucharist do you prefer?
There are, after all, quite a few forms out there, which I wasn't aware of until I started celebrating Communion in other churches. Here's a list:
Bullet; Green Bread and wine are distributed to everyone in their seats. (Personally, my least favourite)
Bullet; Green Everyone goes to the front (sort of "queueing up") and receives bread and/or wine, or (if not partaking) can receive a blessing from the priest / pastor. (How we do it in my church, and in Catholic churches I've been to)
Bullet; Green Everyone gathers in a circle around the altar, and bread and wine are either passed from person to person, or distributed by the priest / pastor. (How we did it in my Lutheran church, and how it's done in Swiss Reformed churches - works best with small congregations, though, but I think it really brings out the unity of believers in a powerful way! So it's my fav. :) (Smile))

Another issue would be "how often" (since that's one thing being "fought over" in the Swiss Reformed church)
Traditionally, in Swiss Reformed churches Communion is celebrated only 4 times a year (to which, after going to an Anglican church for a while where we had Eucharist every week, I can only say oh horror). Some are now changing to once a month (which is what I've experienced in most churches). Catholics and Anglicans celebrate every week. I'm with the Catholics and Anglicans on this. ;) (Wink) Communion is important for the life of the church. I think if we celebrate it too rarely, we never get to think about it or discover all the things it means. I never thought much about Communion until I went to an Anglican church where I had to think about its meaning for me every week! So I'm all for celebrating it as much as possible. I am a dummy!

Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts. :) (Smile)
(Though I'd like to ask commenters to refrain from pestering each other about the "correct" view... the aim of this journal is not to start a fight - there's been too much over this topic already - but to share our experiences and "testimonies". So please remember that, k? Little Pixel Heart And I'll try to remember it too :meow:)


[Side note:
Whether one calls it "Communion" or "Eucharist" or something else kind of depends on one's church / tradition. The word "Communion" emphasises the community of believers, the word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek word for "thanksgiving", which emphasises giving thanks for what Jesus did for us.]
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deng-li-xin32
鄧禮欣
I'm a missionary kid (i.e. my parents are missionaries) and cross-cultural kid (i.e. my parents come from different cultures) and grew up in Asia. I am from 3 continents. :)

I'm currently studying theology in my "foreign home country", being trained as a pastor, but I hope to return to Asia as a missionary.

My big project is writing a poem for (almost) every woman in the Bible. deng-li-xin32.deviantart.com/g…

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Ten Seconds Prayer for Taiwan: www.taiwanteam.org/index.html
Globalprayer365: globalprayer365.com/

:icongreat-comission: :iconwomen-of-god:

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But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)

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Stamp - I love Green Tea by r0se-designsI left the 99 to find the 1 by impersonalinfoI support this verse +12 by RebiValeskaLOVE. NOT force. by OnWingsOfBlueI love Taiwan by tikalYesu:Jesus by MenchieeeIt's an insult by Blue-UnciaSwitzerland Stamp by l8God rules and Jesus is Lord? by ChristianKitsuneFragile by 2Timothy3-16Not What I Used to Be Stamp by Haru-MegumiMultilingual stamp by Kylia1992Stamp: Bubble Tea Love by TheSaltyMonsterStamp - Taiwan Flag by nicole92614Mooncake Stamp by mylastelI :heart: Sushi by Alys-StampsI Use Chopsticks by angryannoyanceI Love You Stamp by MissBezzHP Stamp by Sergeant-McFluffersLord of the Rings stamp 3 by Chrysalislovercupcake by DreeamyEyesFlag: Singapore by TheStampKingLOTR - Wander by Jenna-RoseStamp Eowyn by DulbellaDance with Jesus by Rainbow-BeanicornEvolution and Creation by impersonalinfoStamp: Flute by samen-op-de-motor...Pray For Japan... by azianwolfdollStamp: Fruits Basket by MoliskiTea Lovers Stamp by Kelsi-samaCatholic-Chrisitan Stamp by chessgirlChina by TivariThe South African Flag Stamp by MoRbiD-ViXeNSnape stamp by iruhdamWriter Stamp by AkatsukiMemberWoolfyTaipei 101 blank by IS--awhcomWriter stamp by WhiteKimahriJane Austen Stamp by KelianeDownton Abbey stamp by effleurConflict and Terror by StJoanCM - Stamp - Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama by MissBezzStudio Ghibli Fan by SharkfoldImperfect Stamp by Vexic929Rohan 1 by WolfcatStampsBetter to light a candle by Claire-stampsHotpot Love Stamp by wangqrSo Many Books by LaPurrLes Miserables 2012 Stamp by ThreshTheSkyFranciscus (without the I.) -Stamp by CygnicantusAnti-War Quote by InsanityisthefutureDumplings Stamp by Weapons-Expert-Cool:: bubble tea :: by GezusfreekKindness... (Bl Teresa of Calcutta quote) by ShedaraI believe that... by ShedaraTaiwan - Touch Your Heart by tobase

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JUMBOLA Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Cheers for the Llama...an important part of life
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FullmetalKobe824 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
Great to see a fellow East Asian believer. :)
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pretty-pretty-star Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fav :)
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Thanks for the fave!
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Thanks for the fave:)
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