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Eucharist: Broken - For Sharing

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10.16

The breaking of the bread (or Fraction) in the Eucharist is one of the great ritual acts of Sacrament of Holy Communion - which are ‘Take, Break, Bless, Share’ - the purpose of breaking bread is not to keep it to oneself, but in order that it might be distributed, that none miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this great sharing. “Breaking bread” is a common term for sharing hospitality, eating together; the Eucharist is an ultimate act of hospitality where God invites us to share in being a part of God’s family, being welcomed to the table, being accepted and fed as one of the beloved.  The symbolism of breaking bread at the Eucharist contains and points to the offer of life for all that Jesus gives - that as we share in communion, we are sharing in the very life of Christ.

 

The Holy Communion
 

Who is the blessed guest
Here present at the feast?
Is it not Christ the Lord,
Who comes, with silent tread,
To join the table spread
According to His word?
 
He blest the bread and brake,
Saying: “Take, eat for my sake.”
He poured the ruddy wine:
“For love of me this do.
My Father gives to you
Share of the life divine!”
 
And other guests are here,
All that we held most dear;
The loved and early lost
Gather with us today,
To kneel and feast and pray,–
A shadowy, silent host.
 
With them and Thee at one
Make us, as we commune,
Father of Life and Love!
Fashion us to Thy will;
Cast from our hearts all ill;
Turn every thought above.
 
O Thou, who knowest our need,
Our hungry spirits feed
With Thine own bread of life;
Into our souls like wine
Pour Thou the strength divine
To aid us in the strife!

 

Alice Williams Brotherton (1848-1930)

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