Rev. Wendy Komori Stager –

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never go hungry and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.   John 6: 35

Holy Communion, the Eucharist, and the Lord’s Supper are various names for the sacrament where we break bread and share the cup as Christ commanded.  But when is the last time you stopped to ponder what is really happening in that moment? In what way is Jesus present in that moment?

The Catholic understanding of how Jesus is present is called Transubstantiation.  This theology posits that the consecrated bread and wine on the altar the true, real and substantial body and blood of Christ. Quakers and Salvation Army church traditions do not regularly celebrate communion.  It is not considered a sacred ritual.  A Quaker considers every meal to have the possibility to become sacred.

The Presbyterian understanding of Communion is different from the Catholic or Quaker understandings.  It is called Suprasubstantiation.  We consider it a sacrament that Jesus commanded his followers to do.  By the power of the Holy Spirit we are fed spiritually Christ’s body and blood.  The bread and wine are the signs that point to a deeper reality.


What communion traditions have you experienced?  What do you believe about how Jesus is present in the moment of communion?