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Encyclopedia > Communion (Christian)

The term Communion is derived from Latin communio (sharing in common). The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship". Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...


In Christianity, the basic meaning of the term communion is an especially close relationship of Christians, as individuals or as a Church, with God and with other Christians.


This basic meaning of the word, found in many passages of the New Testament (see on Biblical Usage below), predates its other, more specific, Christian uses.


Derived meanings in Christianity

By metonymy, the term is used of a group of Christian Churches that have this close relationship of communion with each other. An example is the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ...


If the relationship between the Churches is complete, involving fulness of "those bonds of communion - faith, sacraments and pastoral governance - that permit the Faithful to receive the life of grace within the Church",[1]it is called full communion.The Body Of Christ, unfortunately, constitutes 117% of your RDA of monosodium gleutamine. Moreover, one serving containes 6 mg of aspertine, a carcinogen know to cause many different types of cancer, including pelvic cancer. Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. ...


However, the term "full communion" is frequently used in a broader sense, to refer instead to a relationship between Christian Churches that are not united, but have only entered into an arrangement whereby members of each Church have certain rights within the other.


If a Church recognizes that another Church, with which it lacks bonds of pastoral governance, shares with it some of the beliefs and essential practices of Christianity, it may speak of "partial communion" between it and the other Church.


The communion of saints is the relationship that, according to the belief of Christians, exists between them as people made holy by their link with Christ. This relationship is generally understood to extend not only to those still in earthly life, but also to those who have gone past death to be "at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). Since the word rendered in English as "saints" can mean not only "holy people" but also "holy things", the term communion of saints also applies to the sharing by members of the Church in the holy things of faith, sacraments (especially the Eucharist), and the other spiritual graces and gifts that they have in common. The Communion of Saints is a Christian doctrine held by the majority of major Christian churches. ... For the death metal band from Sweden, see Eucharist (band) The Eucharist or Communion or The Lords Supper, is the rite that Christians perform in fulfilment of Jesus instruction, recorded in the New Testament,[1] to do in memory of him what he did at his Last Supper. ...


In a special way the term communion is applied to sharing in the Eucharist by partaking of the consecrated bread and wine, an action seen as entering into a particularly close relationship with Christ. Sometimes the term is applied not only to this partaking but to the whole of the rite or to the consecrated elements. For further information, see the article Eucharist. For the death metal band from Sweden, see Eucharist (band) The Eucharist or Communion or The Lords Supper, is the rite that Christians perform in fulfilment of Jesus instruction, recorded in the New Testament,[1] to do in memory of him what he did at his Last Supper. ...


Biblical usage

In the Bible, the Greek term κοινωνία is an exclusively New Testament term, appearing nowhere in the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. As a noun, or in its adjectival or verbal forms, it is found in 43 verses of the New Testament. In addition, the noun is found in some manuscripts (used for producing the English translation known as the King James Version, but not for more recent translations) in Ephesians 3:9. The word Bible refers to the canonical collections of sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity. ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... NOTE: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the New Testament as a continuation or completion of the Jewish bible. ... The Septuagint: A page from Codex vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Brentons English translation. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ...


The word is applied, according to the context, to communion, sharing or fellowship with:

  • the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4), God (1 Jn 1:6), the Trinity (1 Jn 1:3), Jesus, Son of God (1 Co 1:9), his sufferings (Ph 3:10; 1 Pt 4:13), his future glory (1 Pt 5:1), the Holy Spirit (2 Co 13:14; Ph 2:1)
  • the blood and the body of Christ (1 Co 10:16), pagan sacrifices and gods (1 Co 10:18, 20)
  • fellow Christians, their sufferings and the faith (Ac 2:42; Ga 2:9; 1 Jn 1:3, 7; Heb 10:33; Rv 1:9; Phm 6, 17)
  • a source of spiritual favours (Rm 11:17), the gospel (1 Co 9:23), light and darkness (2 Co 6:14)
  • others' sufferings and consolation (2 Co 1:7; Ph 4:14), their evangelizing work (Ph 1:5), their graces or privileges (Rm 15:27; Ph 1:7), their material needs, to remedy which assistance is given (Rm 12:13, 15:26-27; 2 Co 8:4, 9:13; Ga 6:6; Ph 4:15; 1 Tm 6:18; Heb 13:16)
  • the evil deeds of others (Mt 23:30; Ep 5:11; 1 Tm 5:22; 2 Jn 11; Rv 18:4)
  • the bodily human nature all have in common (Heb 2:14)
  • a work partnership, secular or religious (Lk 5:10; 2 Co 8:23)

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Communion And Christian Character (5454 words)
Christian ethics is thus something very different from a new and stringent code on top of the Old Testament Law.…The essence of the new life is not law but grace.
Christian ethics is thus something very different from a new and stringent code on top of the Old Testament Law.… The essence of the new life is not law but grace.
Christian truth is that perception of reality which comes to us in a personal relationship with a personal God in the person of Jesus Christ through the personal presence of the Holy Spirit in the fellowship of the Church.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Communion of Saints (2618 words)
The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices.
In that communion there is no loss of individuality, yet such an interdependence that the saints are "members one of another" (Romans 12:5), not only sharing the same blessings (1 Corinthians 12:13) and exchanging good offices (ibid., xii, 25) and prayers (Ephesians 6:18), but also partaking of the same corporate life, for "the whole body.
The cause of the perversion by Protestants of the traditional concept of communion of saints is not to be found in the alleged lack of Scriptural and early Christian evidence in favour of that concept; well-informed Protestant writers have long since ceased to press that argument.
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