Meaning of Holy Communion
What is Holy Communion:
In Catholicism, the expression holy communion Or simply communion refers to the action and effect of commune, that is, to the actual reception of the Eucharist by the believer. By extension, communion is also called the moment of Mass in which said action takes place.
Juan Martín Cabezalero: The communion of Saint Teresa. c. 1670. Oil on canvas. 248 x 222 cm.
Through Holy Communion, the believer expresses his desire to commit himself to following Christ and, furthermore, his desire to internalize his teachings and imitate him. That is, it expresses that it is in communion with Jesus and his message.
Holy Communion takes place in the context of Mass, which symbolizes the memorial of the Lord's Supper, that is, it is the remembrance and revival of the experience of the call Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles.
According to the Gospels, the Last Supper was the moment when Jesus instituted the ritual of the Eucharist, that is, of the consecration of bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It was also the time when he instituted the commandment of love and the priesthood.
See also Catholic Church.
The rite of communion
Holy Communion takes place, then, in the last part of the Mass, called the Eucharistic Liturgy, which follows the initial rites and the liturgy of the word. The Eucharistic liturgy is structured as follows:
- Preparation of the gifts.
- Eucharistic prayer.
- Rite of communion.
Within this structure, the rite of communion has its own, and all the elements revolve around the symbolic value of bread. Let's see how the communion rite is specifically structured:
- Sunday prayer, in which our daily physical and spiritual bread is asked;
- The rite of peace, in which the faithful recognize themselves as part of the ecclesiastical family and of humanity as a preparation to consume the Bread;
- The breaking of the Bread, which is broken by the priest in representation of Christ. The gesture symbolizes the idea that we are all part of the same body;
- The mixing or immixion, that is, the process by which the priest drops pieces of the consecrated bread into the chalice with the wine that symbolizes the blood of Christ;
- The interior preparation of the priest;
- The formal presentation of the Eucharistic bread to the assembly and its distribution, to be consumed by the attendees.