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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Holy Communion

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One of the two great Sacraments ordained by Christ and generally (i.e., always) necessary to salvation; this being the Sacrament of the Lord's Body and Blood. The following explanation has been given by the Rev. Morgan Dix, D.D.: "Three names are given to this Sacrament according to the way in which it is regarded. It is called the Holy Communion, because it is the means of keeping that union with Almighty God through the Incarnation which was commenced in our Baptism, and because thereby all the faithful are spiritually one with each other. It is called the Lord's Supper with historical reference to the time and circumstance of its institution. It is called the Holy Eucharist, as being the great act of praise and thanksgiving rendered by the Church in acknowledgment of the blessings of Redemption. It is also called preeminently the Divine Liturgy, as including and comprehending all acts of worship and religion, and as being the first and chief of all rites and functions; and it is both a Sacrifice and a Sacrament. It is the great Commemorative Sacrifice of the Church, unbloody, mystical and spiritual; accompanying the Perpetual Oblation of Himself which our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, makes in Heaven, where He ever liveth and intercedes for us. In it the Passion of Christ is perpetually shown forth to the Almighty Father, and His Priests on earth unite in the Oblation which He makes at the Mercy Seat. It is the Sacrament in which the faithful feed upon His most Blessed Body and Blood, in a divine mystery and after a spiritual manner, which is to be believed though it cannot be explained. Our Lord is really present throughout the whole of this solemn and august action, though in no carnal, corporal or material manner." (See REAL PRESENCE.)

The Prayer Book provides that this Blessed Sacrament shall be celebrated at least every Sunday and Holy Day for which Collect, Epistle and Gospel are provided; the only exception to this rule being Good Friday. (See EARLY COMMUNION; FREQUENT COMMUNION, also WORSHIP.)

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Holy Communion'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/h/holy-communion.html. 1901.

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