4. Holy Communion

At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:

— thanksgiving and praise to the Father;

— the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;

— the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.

The Eucharist is not only a sign of the mutual love that Christians ought to have among themselves. Rather, it is a sacrament of our redemption through Christ’s death. To those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive it, the bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ, and similarly the Chalice of blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ. The wicked and those who lack a living faith, although they physically and visibly ‘press with their teeth’ (as St Augustine says) the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, nevertheless are in no way partakers of Christ. Rather, by eating and drinking the sign or sacrament of so great a thing, they bring condemnation upon themselves.
We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:

— thanksgiving and praise to the Father;

— the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;

— the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.

What is the outward, visible sign in the Eucharist?
At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood.

What benefits do you receive through partaking of this Sacrament?
I receive the strengthening and refreshing of my soul by the Body and Blood of Christ, my soul is nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ as my body is nourished by the bread and wine.  I also receive the strengthening and refreshing of the love and unity I share with fellow Christians, with whom I am united in the one body of Christ.

What is required of you when you come to receive Holy Communion?
I am to examine myself as to whether I truly repent of my sins and intend to lead the new life in Christ; whether I have a living faith in God’s mercy through Christ and remember His atoning death with a thankful heart; and whether I have shown love and forgiveness to all people.

What is expected of you when you have shared in the Eucharist?
Having been renewed in my union with Christ and his people through sharing in the Supper, I should continue to live in holiness, avoiding sin and showing love and forgiveness to all.

Everyone who is joins us in worship is welcome to come to come forward during Communion. All those who are baptized into the Trinity — that is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and confess Christ as their Saviour are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Communion elements. If that does not describe you or if for reasons of home church discipline or personal conscience you feel as it is not appropriate for you to receive Communion while at St Francis, you are still welcome to come forward for a prayer of pastoral blessing.  If you are coming forward for a prayer of pastoral blessing please cross your arms in front of your chest in the form of an X.

See also Receiving Holy Communion at St Francis Church