Friday, October 2, 2015

The Importance of the Eucharist

The Eucharist plays a central part in the Orthodox Church. It is the thing which unites the faithful between themselves and the faithful with God. We do this in remembrance of Jesus Christ, following the example He gave us during the Last Supper. Taking communion, i.e. the spiritual food of mankind, holds an ontological importance for us, since it promotes life. Additionally the centrality of the Eucharist signifies the fact that we are a Eucharistic community; we are, thus, Eucharistic beings. In Holy Scripture we find the significance of taking communion, of being part of this praxis of the Church, which brings us closer to God, allowing us to be saved.

In John’s Gospel (6:53-56) we read: ‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.’

In Hebrews (9:14), St Paul writes: ‘How much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.’

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