8.2.1 Designations for the sacrament

There are various designations for the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which emphasise different aspects of the sacrament:

  • "Holy Communion" refers to the sacrament's historical institution by Jesus Christ in fellowship with His Apostles on the evening before His crucifixion.

  • The term "Eucharist" derives from the Greek eucharistein, meaning "to give thanks". Jesus Christ gave thanks to God when He instituted Holy Communion (Luke 22: 19). The giving of thanks in Holy Communion calls believers to an all-encompassing gratitude, in particular for the sacrifice and merit of Jesus Christ, but also for redemption and sanctification.

  • "Lord's Supper" is a designation for Holy Communion which draws attention to the fact that Jesus is the Lord (see 3.4.6.2) and that, in this capacity, He has instituted it and invites us to celebrate it.

  • "Breaking of bread" refers to the Passover meal which Jesus Christ celebrated when He instituted Holy Communion (Matthew 26: 26). That the breaking of bread was an identifying feature of Jesus can be seen from the fact that the disciples travelling to Emmaus thereby recognised the Risen One (Luke 24: 13-31). The early Christians referred to their meal fellowships as "breaking of bread", through which their unity and fellowship was brought to expression (Acts 2: 42, 46).

See also