The Bread and Wine of the Eucharist
Following the command of Jesus, the Church has always celebrated the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist/Holy Communion Service, with bread and wine. It comes from the Jewish form of evening meal in which thanks were given to God for bread, as the work of human hands, and wine as the fruit of the vine – words repeated in our service.
For the Jews – at least in the Middle East – bread is the most basic foodstuff, and wine betokens joy and celebration. Jewish tradition has never been puritanical and has a lot to teach us, who trace our origins to Israel. God have these wonderful gifts, fashioned by human ingenuity for the support of our existence and for joy in life.
We believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, as the priest prays the Eucharistic Prayer with the community, the bread and wine are taken up by God. They are given back to us in Holy Communion as our spiritual food and drink. the vehicles of Christ’s body and blood. Through our eating and drinking together, Christ dwells in us and we in him. God forms us into one body, before sending us out to witness to his love in the world.
We praise and thank you, O Christ, for this sacred feast:
for here we receive you,
here the memory of your passion is renewed,
here our minds are filled with grace,
and here a pledge of future glory is given,
when we shall feast at that table where you reign
with all your saints for ever. Amen