The meaning of the Eucharist

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Catholics believe the (the Mass) is a sacred re-enactment of the Last where Jesus and his disciples shared a meal in the Upper Room.

During this meal, Jesus took bread, blest it and gave it to his saying “This is my body which will be given up for you.” He then took the wine and gave it to them saying “This is my blood - the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.”

He then told them to “Do this in memory of me!”

Catholics believe that the bread and at Mass actually become the Body and Blood of Christ. This belief is known as . The belief that Jesus is present in the bread and wine is known as Real Presence.

The Mass is both a celebration of and a shared meal. The sacrifice is of how Jesus gave his life and had his body broken to bring about . The shared meal element is a reminder of the Last Supper and the . Through sharing his body and blood of Christ, we are in a special way.

Some Christian (e.g. Anglican) believe the bread and wine are of the presence of Christ.

Some traditions (e.g. the Quakers) do not celebrate the Eucharist at all.

They might say :
a) Jesus is most powerfully in the Word of God;
b) God is present in all things - particularly in others;
c) it is too mystical and magical - almost superstitious - to think of the bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Christ;
d) you should witness to Christ by serving others - not by receiving;
e) claiming is present in the Eucharist is limiting, because it suggests Jesus can only be encountered in communion.