Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, is Christ’s gift to the church. The Lord’s Supper is a means by which Christ continually nourishes, strengthens, and comforts us.
When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we follow what Jesus did when he broke bread and drank wine with his disciples on the night before he died. We receive gifts of bread and wine or grape juice. We give thanks to God. We break the bread and pour the wine. We share the food and drink with each other. In these simple actions believers experience a profound mystery: Christ himself is present and his life passes into us and is made ours.
What happens during communion?
Through our prayers and the sharing of bread and wine, we are joined to Christ and through Christ to each other. At the table, we remember what God has done for us. The past event of our Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension comes into the present so that its power once again touches us, changes us, and heals us. We gather at the table with joy. Our eating and drinking is a celebration of our risen Lord. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ is present with us at the table and so we give joyful thanks for what God has done and is doing in our lives and in the world. We come to the table in hope. We look forward with joyful anticipation to the coming reign of God when “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10).
Reformed Christians do not believe that the bread and cup are physically transformed into Christ’s body and blood.
What the Standards say about communion