Lesson video

In progress...


Halo and welcome to this lesson of Eucharist and Christianity.

I'm Miss Kendrick and in assessing, we're going to be looking at what is Eucharist, what do Roman Catholics believe about Eucharist and how do they practise Eucharist because of that belief? We're going to look at Anglican belief and practise, and also Baptist Christians belief and practise.

And as a reminder, in case you weren't in the previous lesson I did on baptism, when I say Christian practise, I don't mean Christians practising to get better at something.

I'm talking about a right or a ritual that Christians regularly do to express their faith and belief.

I also talked about, in the last lesson about how we've got lots of different denominations of Christianity that have split throughout history based on disagreements on belief or practises.

And that is why we've got three different denominations that we're looking at today.

These are not the only denominations in Christianity.

There are thousands to this.

Lots to learn about.

What are you going to need? So you're going to need a pen or pencil.

You're going to need a different coloured pen or pencil to write down your answers.

And you're going to need some paper to write your answers on and just the will to learn and enjoy this process of learning about lots of different Christian beliefs.

So the word Eucharist comes from the term thanksgiving, and there's lots and lots of different names for the Eucharist or communion that you might hear.

So I've just said two, you might hear the Lord's Supper or Mass, or even the Divine Liturgy, which is the Orthodox term for Eucharist.

What all of these names are referring to is the practise of taking bread and wine, sharing bread and wine between church members, which represents Jesus' body and blood and remember his sacrifice.

But when I say the word represent, and when I talk about remembering Jesus' sacrifice, this is going to be one of the places where we get different views from different Christian denominations, which we are going to look at in a bit more detail.

But before we do that, we are going to have a reminder of the story of the Last Supper, because this is the biblical origins really of this practise.

So the Last Supper took place on Thursday, the night before Jesus was crucified.

And this event is recorded in the gospels.

And the Last Supper you could read about it in a couple of different gospels, including the gospel of Luke.

So, "Then Jesus took a cup, gave thanks to God and said, "take this and share it among yourselves.

"I tell you that from now on, "I will not drink this wine until the kingdom of God comes.

"Then he took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, "broke it and gave it to them saying, this is my body, "which is given for you, do this in memory of me.

"In the same way he gave them the cup "after the supper saying, this cup is God's new covenant "sealed with my blood, which is poured out for you." Now there's lots of things that we can pull out of these texts.

And like I've said, Christians interpret them in different ways.

So some Christians will focus on Jesus's words where he says do this in memory of me.

They will believe that the Eucharist is simply a remembrance meal to remember what they believe Jesus did and sacrificed himself for sin.

Other Christians will take this bit more literally, and when he says, "This is my body, "which is given for you," they will believe that the bread and wine actually is Jesus' body and blood.

And they believe that's really important, partly because of this last part here, where it says, "This cup is God's new covenant sealed with my blood, "which is poured out for you." Now, covenant is a promise or an agreement.

And if we remember that Jesus was Jewish and living in a Jewish community, and the Jews had an understanding of covenant with God.

These promises or agreements that defines their relationship with God and gave people guidelines on how to live such as the law.

Now, Christians believe, that the covenant that God had with the Jews wasn't working very well because people just kept on breaking the law.

They kept on sinning and so they kept on having to make animal sacrifices to make up for that sin.

Now, Christians believe that in his death and resurrection, that Jesus made a new covenant with God.

A new agreement in which people can have salvation and forgiveness of sins because of Jesus' death on the cross.

And so many Christians would believe that taking the bread and wine is taking part in this agreement or in this covenant? So that's a bit of important background for you, but what do different Christians believe about the Eucharist? Well, we're going to ask that question in a moment, but first you're going to answer some of my questions.

So you're going to pause your video and you're going to answer the questions on the screen.

Okay, hoping you gotten okay with those questions and that you added your additions or corrections to your answers.

Now, one thing to be aware of as we go further into this lesson, is the impact that belief has on practise.

So we're going to start by looking at Roman Catholic beliefs about the Eucharist, and then we're going to look at how that affects how they practise Eucharist.

And it's really important in the practises unit that you understand how they relate to beliefs, because the reason why Christians do these things is because of their beliefs.

They don't do them for no reason.

So Roman Catholics believe in something called transubstantiation.

So we've got a breakdown of the word here.

So trans means to change, but like transfer, if you transfer trains, you change which train you're on.

We've got substance in there.

So the substance of something is sort of what it is.

It's essence, you might say.

And then ciation I guess would be the process.

So transubstantiation is the Roman Catholic belief that the bread and wine change substance into Jesus' flesh and blood so that Christians can take part in his sacrifice.

Now, Roman Catholics are not the only Christians who believe in transubstantiation, other Christians believe in it as well, but we're just focusing on Roman Catholics today for our example.

Now Roman Catholics believe that when they take the bread and wine, they are taking part in a really important sacrament.

So sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace.

They believe that it is something that you do physically like eat the bread and drink the wine, but that it changes something in your soul.

That there's a real spiritual change going on.

And Roman Catholics believe that taking communion, or taking the Eucharist is a really important way of receiving God's grace and his forgiveness.

So that outward sign is the bread and wine.

And the inward grace is receiving God's forgiveness.

So Roman Catholics believe that, that is effective, that you can receive forgiveness through the bread and wine because of this belief in transubstantiation.

So they believe this transformation is not one that you can see with the eyes.

It's not that the bread suddenly looks different or anything like that, but they believe that essence of what it is, the core of what it is, has changed.

And this is considered to be a mystery of faith and in a Roman Catholic Mass, which is the name of a communion service in Roman Catholicism, that this mystery is really highlighted.

So for example, one thing that happens in the service is at the moment when the bread and wine is blessed or consecrated, a bell rings, and this shows the mystery of transubstantiation, the sort of moment of change, and this links to those beliefs in the Old Testament practise of animal sacrifice in the Jewish temple.

Now, when the Jews sacrifice animals and the temple, then the animal being sacrificed would be split into three.

And the person making the sacrifice would take one third and they would eat it.

The priest would take another and the other third would be, burnt on the alter and the smoke would rise to God.

And this was understood in a couple of ways.

One is like a meal.

So if you've ever fallen out with somebody and then made up again, you might go, let's go have a nice meal together and enjoy spending time together.

So having a meal with someone is a way of communing with them or communicating with them.

So you Christians understood, partly in that sense, the sacrifice or taking part in this sacrifice is a way of communing with God.

And Roman Catholics, believe that in communing with God, they are receiving his grace.

They're receiving forgiveness through taking the bread and wine.

And this is one of the reasons why communion or taking the Mass is one of the central practises in Roman Catholicism.

It is one of the most important things that they do.

So let's look at how the Eucharist is celebrated, or the Mass is celebrated in Roman Catholicism.

Notice I'm using lots of different words here for Eucharist, Holy Communion, Mass, so that you're really familiar with all of them because you will be able to use them, then you'll know what they all mean.

Okay so, Mass services, I've already said they are of central importance and many Roman Catholics would say that the person should take Mass or take communion really regularly.

Once a week, or even more, some might even say once a day, 'cause they would say that's how important it is to receive God's grace.

The bread and wine will be prepared on the alter because that shows the idea that this is taking part in a sacrifice, in Jesus' sacrifice.

The service must be led by a priest.

So you can't just have anybody carrying out a Mass service in a Roman Catholic Church.

It has to be a priest.

'Cause they're seen as an intercessor between humans and God.

And services are liturgical.

So that means that they follow a set pattern.

So there'll be set prayers and responses and songs that we sang and things like that.

So for many Roman Catholics, who've spent their whole lives going to church, they probably know lots of these things completely off by heart, or anyone else might have a hymn book or a book of common prayer or something like that.

Not the book of common prayer.

That's a mistake because that is to do with Protestant Christianity.

So it's always good for me to correct myself.

They will have a printed liturgy with the words that they need to say to respond.

What's next? So the bread once consecrated, that means blessed is known as the host.

And there's something really, really important about this idea.

So the word host links to the idea of sacrificial victims that we talked about Old Testament animal sacrifice.

So that's where the word host comes from, but the hosts, the bread and wine is considered to be really, really holy.

Because of this belief in transubstantiation, they believe that it is transformed into Christ's flesh.

So that means God is present in the communion service.

And that means the host is to be treated with a huge amount of respect.

So for example, if there's any bread left over at the end of the service, it would never be thrown away or anything like that.

It's put in a special box called a tabernacle, and it's kept until the next time there's a Mass service.

In which case it will be used up then.

Just to get a sense of how important the host is in Roman Catholicism.

If there was to be a fire in a Roman Catholic Church, and there was some consecrated breads, some of the hosts in the tabernacle, that would be the first thing anyone would save in the Roman Catholic Church before things were burnt up.

It is considered the most important thing, certainly to be greatly respected.

Now, communion is seen as deepening unity with Christ receiving forgiveness of sense.

And it's seen as the very channel of eternal life.

This is why historically you might have heard of the term excommunication.

If someone had fallen out of favour with the church because of the life they were living or something like that, then they would be excommunicated.

That means ex communion.

They're not allowed to go to communion.

Now, some people, if I was to say that to them, they'll go, "That's not a very big deal, "not being able to go and have communion." But for Roman Catholic, that means you're separated from the channel of life.

You're separated from the thing that you can receive to forgive you from sins.

So it's seen as a really, really important thing.

In a service once the bread and wine have been consecrated, and once the appropriate liturgies have been said, then those in the congregation who are in what's called a state of grace will go up to the priest and receive the host.

So what does that mean to be in a state of grace? Well, there's quite a few details about that, but there's just a couple of things to keep in mind that someone's been to confession since their last mortal sin.

So confessions a really important thing to do before communion to make sure you are right with God and not living in a sinful way.

It's also really important that somebody is a Roman Catholic and that they are part of that church because Roman Catholics would say that it's such an important sacrament that people need to really understand what they're going forward to and receiving.

So they would say that Roman Catholics only should take communion in a Roman Catholic church.

It's considered so incredibly sacred.

So we're going to do some quickfire questions now, based on what I've talked about to hopefully familiarise yourself with some of these key details.

So which Christians believe in transubstantiation? Roman Catholic.

What does transubstantiation mean? The bread and wine change substance.

What is a sacrament? An outward sign of inward grace? What is the host? The consecrated bread.

So not just the bread, but the consecrated bread, the bread that has been blessed.

Anyone can lead the Mass, true or false? That is false, it has to be the priest.

Anyone can take the Mass, true or false? That is also false.

It must be someone in a state of grace.

So someone who's been to confession, someone who's a Roman Catholic.

Often baptised Roman Catholic as well.

Baptism's important for taking communion in several denominations.

Okay, now you're going to pause and you're going to answer some more questions.

Next, we're going to look at Anglican belief and practise.

And sometimes people will say Church of England as well.

And sometimes the way Anglican Christians carry out communion can look fairly similar to Roman Catholic beliefs, depending on what kind of Anglican Church we're in.

So what we call high Anglican Church might look very similar to a Roman Catholic Mass.

Whereas other types of Anglican Churches might look quite different or is good to know there's lots of variety.

But one key difference is in the belief about what is actually happening to the bread and wine in communion.

So Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation, but the Church of England doesn't.

And in the reformation, there was lots of disagreement about whether or not the bread and wine were really transformed into God's body and blood.

Because lots of the reformers, those people who were protesting during the reformation argued that you can't have a piece of God on earth, a piece of Jesus on earth in some bread, because they would say that Jesus is in heaven.

And they would also argue that Jesus was sacrificed, but was resurrected afterwards.

So they would go against the idea that Jesus is eternally sacrificed, that he's still sacrificed now.

They'll focus more on the resurrection, which is one reason why Protestant Christians often have an empty cross whereas Roman Catholics often have a crucifix with Jesus on it.

Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent.

Real presence, this is the Church of England belief or many in the church of England believe it, that Jesus is spiritually present in the bread of wine, bread and wine, through the power of the Holy spirit.

So what makes you think of this? Is through a telephone line, or I guess with lots of us haven't been on a telephone that actually has a line attached for very long time, but the idea still works.

If you are on the phone to somebody, they are sort of present, aren't they? They're not physically in the same room as you, but you are able to commune with them, communicate with them and spend time with them, talking to them and relating to them.

So, one way of understanding real presence is that Jesus is spiritually present through the power of the Holy spirit.

Just like someone might be present with you, I guess spiritually, if you're on the phone to them, it is not a perfect illustration, but it can give you a little bit of an idea of what is meant by real presence.

So Church of England Christians who agree with real presence would say that Jesus really is spiritually present in the bread and wine.

He is there, but they are not transformed in that essence into the body and blood of Jesus.

How will the service look like? Well, like I said, it will look fairly similar to Roman Catholic services in some cases.

So the bread and wine must be prepared by an ordained priest or picker.

It is going to be liturgical, so there are set prayers and responses when having Holy Communion.

Bread and wine is prepared on an altar again, to show the idea of Jesus' sacrifice.

And like I said, some churches will be very formal and use bells or incense and things like that.

Whereas others might be more informal.

So now I'd like you to pause your video and answer some questions on Holy Communion in the Anglican Church.

The last few we're going to look at is the Lord's Supper in Baptist Churches.

Notice I've used a different name again, and the Lord's Supper is one that's more associated with Baptist Churches as well.

Now some Christians do not believe in sacraments.

Now, some Christians do not believe in sacraments.

So they would say that things like Eucharist and baptism, are important ways of worshipping , important ways of remembering important Christian beliefs or what they believe Jesus has done for them.

But they would say that they are not necessary to receive grace and forgiveness.

So lots of Baptist Christians would say, would they receive grace in just believing in Jesus and following his teachings and living a godlike life.

So in Baptist Churches, communion is known as the Lord's Supper and the focus of the Lord's Supper is remembrance.

So they do practise it and they do think it's important.

However, they just don't believe that it is necessary for salvation in the same way that a Roman Catholic would.

They use it as an opportunity to remember the story of the Last Supper and Jesus' crucifixion, to give thanks to God and to show a sense of community, to show that everyone in their church is one because they all share in one body and one blood.

It also looks forward as well.

It's not just something that looks back at the Last Supper, but also looks forward to the future hope of God's kingdom of heaven.

But all of this means that the Last Supper may look less formal in a Baptist Church.

So Baptist Churches are usually led by ministers who are employed by the congregation to lead them, but in a Baptist Church, any member of the church community is often able to lead the communion service or the Last Supper service.

What will happen is non-alcoholic wine is usually used and a church member can lead the service, I've already said that.

The bread and wine is distributed along rows.

So the wine is often in small cups about that big, which will have a little sip of non-alcoholic wine or fruit juice in.

And everyone in the congregation would drink it at the same time.

And this symbolises the unity in the church and the unity amongst Christian believers.

So even though the bread and wine is seen as symbolic, it's still deeply meaningful and should be treated with respect.

So although there's lots of variety in Baptist Churches, many of them will invite anyone who's a follower of Christ to take communion.

So that if somebody was visiting the church who wasn't a Christian, they would discourage them from taking part in communion or the Lord's Supper, because they would say it's for people who have professed faith in Jesus.

And many Baptist Churches will share the Lord's supper about once a month.

So what we're going to do now is answer some questions and once you've gotten done your answers and your feedback, we'll do a few more quick fire questions.

Okay, back to some of the questions we had before, and we'll add in some new ones as well.

Which Christians believe in transubstantiation? Roman Catholic.

But remember they're not the only ones who believe in transubstantiation.

What does transubstantiation mean? That the bread and wine changes substance.

They introduce his body and blood.

What is a sacrament? An outward sign of inward grace.

Something special is on there.

It is seen as something special, but the purple one is the best definition there.

What Christians believe communion is a remembrance meal? Baptists and actually Roman Catholics, Church of England, Church in England, church of England and Anglican, remember they are the same people.

And I've intentionally put both on that just to try and throw you.

Roman Catholic, Church of England, they will remember Jesus' sacrifice.

Remembrance is a part of communion for them, but it's not the focus in the same way that it is for Baptists.

Which Christians often believe in real presence? Here we go by Anglican slash Church of England.

And let's talk about, why practise Eucharist? So we've talked about quite a few of these ideas.

So this is a bit of a recap.

So number one, it is a way of receiving God's grace.

Two, it's a way of remembering Jesus' sacrifice.

Three, it is a way of looking forward to the promise of the kingdom of heaven and four it unites the church.

And actually some of these key points applies to more than one denomination.

So I guess one of the differences would be number one, that Roman Catholics in particular believe that it's a way of receiving God's grace, but Baptists, aren't going to believe that in the same way.

Number four, I think all Christians would say that it is a way of uniting the church.

I mean, think that this way, especially if I am a Catholicism using liturgy, if you were to go to a Roman Catholic service in England and go to a Roman Catholic service in Spain or South America, or I don't know, Singapore, all these different countries, then the service is going to look really similar.

And that is something that unites Roman Catholics all over the world.

That they could be in a different country and they could walk into a church service and they would know what's going on and they could take part.

And there's something really lovely about the idea of being united around the whole world by these practises.

So I've got a few more questions for you to answer.

So pause the video, get down your best answers, make sure you're writing in full sentences and keeping, and putting in as much detail as you can.

Thank you very much for all of your hard work in this lesson.

We've looked at loads of details.

So it's really important that you are making sure you understand which denominations believe which things and practise in which ways about the Eucharist, because when you're writing about them in examination, we need to make sure we're saying the right things about the right denominations.

So make sure you're practising those key points and you can complete the quiz now.

Thank you very much for all of your hard work.