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Eucharist

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[[Image:Covered Vessels 2.jpg|right|thumb|200px]]'''Eucharist''' comes (from the Greek εὐχαριστία, or eucharistia, meaning ''thanksgiving'' or ''giving thanks'') is a [[holy mysteries|holy mystery]] (or [[sacrament]]) that is celebrated during the [[Divine Liturgy]] within the [[Orthodox Church]] where the consecrated bread and wine, through the power of the [[Holy Spirit]] becomes the Precious Blood and Body of [[Jesus Christ]], that is consumed by prepared Orthodox Christians. Other names for the Eucharist include: the '''''Holy Gifts''''', '''''Communion''''', and the '''''Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ'''''. [[Orthodox Church|Orthodox Christians]] believe that the Real Presence of God (not merely a sign) is present after the [[consecration]] of the Gifts. Roman Catholics and some protestants also hold this view.
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[[Image:Holy Communion icon.jpg|right|thumb|Icon - The Holy Eucharist.]]
== Background ==
The Eucharist is the center of life in the [[Orthodox Church ]] because the Church is primarily a eucharistic community. The Eucharist is the completion of all of the Church's other sacraments and the source and the goal of all of the Church's doctrines and institutions.
The majority of scholars of the Last Supper do not believe that it was a Passover meal, a position consistent with the account given by the [[Gospel of John|Gospel of Saint John]]. A minority believe that it was a seder or Passover meal, a position consistent with the [[Synoptic gospels]]. However, as Enrico Mazza has argued, the minority view "remains a theological interpretation. The historical fact is that the Last Supper was not a Passover celebration and, consequently, that its [[Divine Liturgy|liturgy ]] was not that of the [[Passover|Jewish Passover]]" (''The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation'' [Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1999] pp. 25-26).
The [[Orthodox Church]] uses leavened bread for, according to the [[Gospel of John|Gospel of Saint John]], Last Supper and Passion, took place during the evening, night and day time of [[Passover|Passover Day]], therefore leavened bread was eaten in Last Supper. According to the [[synoptic Gospels]], last Supper, Lord's trial and crucifixion took place during next day, the first Day of Unleavened Bread feast, but according to Lev 23:7, any work on that Day was forbidden. Clearly, the [[synoptic Gospels]] are in error on the day of Last Supper and [[Passion]].
==For the remission of sins and unto life everlasting==
Before the reception of Holy Communion the following prayer is generally recited by all. It is each person's act of personal commitment to Christ, their promise of faith in Him and the Sacred Mysteries of His Church.
The faithful at the liturgy are never given communion from the reserved gifts; they are kept exclusively for those unable to be attend liturgy for good reasons, usually sickness or infirmity. Holy Communion is always from the gifts, the bread and wine, actually offered at the eucharistic liturgy which is currently being celebrated. Only the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts uses gifts sanctified at the previous Divine Liturgy.
 
The reserved gifts are normally prepared at the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Thursday or when the need arises. A detailed description of this can be found in the addendum of the clergy service book. For an illustrated description online see [http://saintjonah.org/preparation/Preparation/Welcome.html].
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==See also==
*[[Prosphora]].*[[Preparation for Holy Communion]].*[[Blood in the Bible]].*[[Zapivka]]
==Published works==
*[http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=53 The Orthodox Faith] Fr. [[Thomas Hopko]], Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY.
*[http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/theologyandeucharist.html Theology and Eucharist] by Protopresbyter [[Alexander Schmemann]]
*[http://www.newmartyr.org.uk/branch.html Broken but Never Divided: Some Thoughts on "closed" Communion]
*[http://www.prosphora.org/page27.html Leavened versus Unleavened Bread]
*[http://saintjonah.org/preparation/Preparation/Welcome.html Preparation of the reserved mysteries for the sick]
[[Category:Featured Articles]]
[[el:Θεία Ευχαριστία]]
[[mk:Света Евхаристија]]
[[ro:Euharistie]]
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