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History 101.7

The below article was written by Dr. Eugene Murphey and was published in The Tower newsletter of August 2005.  

Communion, Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper and the Eucharist are all names applied by various Christian faiths and denominations to represent the act of sharing blessed or consecrated bread and wine with each other as prescribed by our Lord Jesus Christ shortly before his death.  The disciples tell us in Holy Scripture that while they were eating a Passover meal, Jesus blessed portions of bread and wine, which he gave to them as representative of His body soon to be broken and His blood soon to be shed for them and for all the world.  This, he told the disciples, represented God’s new covenant sealed with his blood.

Through the centuries faithful Christians have continued to follow his command to ‘do this in remembrance of me until I come again.’  The format and frequency of this service may vary in different denominations, but the meaning and dedication remain the same regardless of how and when it is done.

The first Christian communion service is well depicted in the stained glass panel in the west wall of the sanctuary.  Jesus is shown surrounded by twelve Apostles.  He is holding the cup and bread for the ritual meal.  Judas, already identified as our Lord’s betrayer, is seen guiltily crouching at the foot of the table.  The symbols of grapes and wheat at the bottom of the panel represents the bread and wine of the communal meal.

This window was given in memory of William B. Fields, long time FPC member, and elder, by his son Thomas B. Fields and his daughter, the late Elizabeth (Betty Feilds) Reed.

-Eugene M. Murphey, M.D.