What is the Holy Communion?

Jari Rankinen
Milla Rämö

Christians celebrate the Holy Communion (Eucharist) as Jesus commanded. Always when it is celebrated, the words of Jesus setting the Holy Communion are read. They are taken from the scriptures of the Bible where it is told what happened in Jerusalem on the last night before Jesus’ death. Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Holy Communion and Jesus told them to continue to do so after that very night.

In the words of the Holy Communion, it is said that the bread which is taken is the body of Jesus Christ and the wine is the new covenant in His blood. In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus said also that it is His blood. Consequently, the body and the blood are there where the Holy Communion is celebrated. It means that Jesus is in the bread and in the wine in a very special way. We meet Him and He meets us. When you think where you should go to get near to Jesus, go to the Holy Communion. This is the great miracle of the Holy Communion: Jesus is there and works in us.

In the Holy Communion it might not often feel like you are in fact meeting Jesus. But our feelings do not prevent Jesus to come near us. He is where He has promised to be regardless of how we feel. He has promised to be in the Holy Communion - the bread is His body and the wine is His blood.

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Matthew 26:26-28, ESV)

- Go deeper with The Small Catechism - Sacrament of the Altar