8.2.1 Designations for the sacrament

There are various designations for the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which emphasise different aspects of the sacrament:

  • "Holy Communion" refers to the sacrament's historical institution by Jesus Christ in fellowship with His Apostles on the evening before His crucifixion.
  • The term "Eucharist" derives from the Greek eucharistein, meaning "to give thanks". Jesus Christ gave thanks to God when He instituted Holy Communion (Luke 22: 19). The giving of thanks in Holy Communion calls believers to an all-encompassing gratitude, in particular for the sacrifice and merit of Jesus Christ, but also for redemption and sanctification.
  • "Lord's Supper" is a designation for Holy Communion which draws attention to the fact that Jesus is the Lord (see→) and that, in this capacity, He has instituted it and invites us to celebrate it.
  • "Breaking of bread" refers to the Passover meal which Jesus Christ celebrated when He instituted Holy Communion (Matthew 26: 26). That the breaking of bread was an identifying feature of Jesus can be seen from the fact that the disciples travelling to Emmaus thereby recognised the Risen One (Luke 24: 13-31). The early Christians referred to their meal fellowships as "breaking of bread", through which their unity and fellowship was brought to expression (Acts 2: 42, 46).