Religion Past and Present

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(333 words)

[German Version]

The original meaning of “communion” (from Lat. communio) is “community, solidarity, togetherness.” In the Catholic understanding of 1 Cor 10:16ff, communion refers to the community of the Christians with Christ and with each other, as established by the reception of the Eucharist (II): the partaking of the one bread causes us to become members of the one body of Jesus Christ. Thus, communion constitutes and manifests ecclesial community. In antiquity, the Eucharist was brought to the sick as a token of this community (Communion for the sick). Exclusion from the euc…

Cite this page
Nikolasch, Franz, “Communion”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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