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Encyclopedia > Lord's Supper

The Lord's Supper is a variation of the name and the service of The Last Supper or Eucharist. This name tends to be used by the churches of minimalist traditions, such as those strongly influenced by Zwingli. Nevertheless, churches holding other views, such as Lutherans and Reformed churches, as well as non-denominational churches utilize the term. It is also used by the Holy See. [1] (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2003/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20030417_coena-domini_en.html) This article relates the event related in the New Testament of the Bible, see The Last Supper (disambiguation) for other uses, including a list of famous works of art with this name. ... The Eucharist is either the Christian sacrament of consecrated bread and wine or the ritual surrounding it. ... Zwinglis Successor Zwinglis successor, Heinrich Bullinger, was elected on December 9, 1531, to be the pastor of the Great Minster at Zürich, a position which he held to the end of his life (1575). ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. ... The coat of arms of the Holy See The term Holy See ( Latin: Sancta Sedes, lit. ...

Contents

Theology

The supporters of the minimalist viewpoint usually hold that the Lord's supper is a church ordinance, and shy away from the term sacrament1. Proponents view the ordinance as a remembrance of the suffering and death of Jesus, instituted by Jesus as a perpetual memorial until His return. Transubstantiation, consubstantiation, and "means of grace" views are rejected. The institution of Lord's supper from the four gospels is emphasized, as well as the Apostle Paul's account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-27: A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates, in the sense of being a visible symbol or manifestation of invisible divine grace. ... This article is about the figure known by both Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ. For other usages, see Jesus (disambiguation). ... This article refers to the religious usage of the term. ... According to Roman Catholic dogma, transubstantiation is the change of the substance of the Eucharistic elements — bread and wine — into the body and blood of Jesus (although they retain the physical accidents — i. ... Consubstantiation is a theory which (like the competing theory of transubstantiation, with which it is often contrasted) attempts to describe the nature of the Christian Eucharist in terms of philosophical metaphysics. ... A 19th century picture of Paul of Tarsus Paul of Tarsus (originally Saul of Tarsus) or Saint Paul the Apostle (fl. ...

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

History

This viewpoint is most often historically associated with the Anabaptists of the Radical Reformation (i.e., Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz), Huldrych (or Ulrich) Zwingli, and the English Baptists. Nevertheless, supporters of the doctrine of the Lord's supper as a memorial believe their position to be historically connected to the institution of Jesus and His apostles, and the practice of the apostolic church. Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... Conrad Grebel (ca. ... Felix Manz (ca. ... Baptist churches are part of a Christian movement often regarded as an Evangelical, Protestant denomination. ...


Practice

Elements

The elements of the Lord's supper are most commonly unleavened bread and wine2. In traditions in which temperance movements have had strong influence, grape juice is substituted for the wine. In a few Holiness bodies, water is substituted for the wine. The Temperance Movement (see definition of temperance) was a movement in support of total abstinence from alcohol during the 19th and early 20th centuries. ... Holiness means the state of being holy, that is, set apart for the worship or service of a god or gods. ...


Participants

There is wide variation of practice on who may partake of the bread and wine. The traditional Baptist position favors restricted communion, in which the participants are limited to believers who are immersed church members. A variation on this is closed communion, in which only members of the church observing the ordinance participate in the Lord's supper3. General Baptists and non-denominational groups favor open communion, in which all professed believers are invited to participate. Baptist churches are part of a Christian movement often regarded as an Evangelical, Protestant denomination. ... Closed Communion is the practice of restricting the serving of the elements of communion (also called Eucharist, The Lords Supper) to those who are members of a particular church, denomination, or sect. ... Baptists were first identified by the name General Baptists in 17th century England. ...


Frequency

The frequency with which the Lord's supper is observed is often a matter of tradition rather than doctrine for most groups. It may be observed annually, bi-annually, quarterly, monthly, or weekly. The Churches of Christ hold the position that the Lord's supper must be observed on the first day of each week. Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate it annually, because they consider it the "Lord's Memory" and consider the Lord to be their passover, beliefs they base on 1 Cor. 5:7; 11:23-25. The earliest tradition seems to be that communion was frequent. E.g., "[H]ear the Savior: '...I supply daily the Drink of immortality'" St. Clement of Alexandria [2] (http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintc4q.htm) (d. 217) (Jurgens §436a). The Churches of Christ are a body of autonomous Christian congregations that have roots in the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. ... Jehovahs Witnesses (JW) are members of a worldwide Christian denomination. ... See also: Second Epistle to the Corinthians and Third Epistle to the Corinthians The First Epistle to the Corinthians is a book of the Bible in the New Testament. ... General definition of saint In general, the term Saint refers to someone who is exceptionally virtuous and holy. ... Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), was the first member of the Church of Alexandria to be more than a name, and one of its most distinguished teachers. ... Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ...


References

  • Close Communion and Baptists, by J. H. Grime
  • The First Communion, by S. E. Anderson
  • The Lord's Supper: Believers Church Perspectives, by Dale R. Stoffer
  • The Meal Jesus Gave Us, by N. T. Wright

Footnotes

  • Note 1: as Anabaptist leader Pilgram Marpeck put it, "The true meaning of communion is mystified and obscured by the word sacrament." Nevertheless as far as his theology goes Marpeck was decidedly more incarnational than many of his Anabaptist peers, and thus closer to the Roman Catholic position than even Zwingli.
  • Note 2: e.g., see What is It to Eat and Drink Unworthily, by J. R. Graves
  • Note 3: ibid.

Pilgram Marpeck (unk-1556) was an important South German Anabaptist leader in the 16th century. ...

External links

  • a Baptist viewpoint (http://www.twinbrook.net/view/?pageID=8173)
  • a Church of Christ viewpoint (http://www.churches-of-christ.net/tracts/job003u.htm)
  • a Mennonite viewpoint (http://www.thirdway.com/menno/as/as7.asp)
  • a Reformed (Presbyterian) viewpoint (http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/full.asp?ID=367)
  • The Lord's Supper: Four Views (http://www.angelfire.com/fl2/truthleads2life/Guestteaching1.html) by Joe Slowiaczek
  • Four Views of the Lord's Supper (http://capo.org/cpc/mat2626s.htm) - discusses transubstantiation, consubstantiation, spiritual presence, and symbolism (from spiritual presence point of view)
  • Pilgram Marpeck's defense of continuing to practice Lord's Supper (http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/book/print/226)

 
 

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