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[[Image:Covered Vessels 2.jpg|right|thumb|200px]]'''Eucharist'''
comes from the Greek meaning ''giving thanks''. 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.
== 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 liturgy was not that of the 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).
==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.
*[[Prosphora]]*[[Preparation for Holy Communion]]
*[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]]