Why Is the Eucharist so Important to Christians?

The Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is important to all Christians as a representative of the body and blood of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The message and importance of the Eucharist varies between different Christian groups. Differences in doctrine, with concern to the importance of the Eucharist, are debated.

Eucharistic doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church says the bread and wine taken during Holy Communion is converted into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ through transubstantiation. Eastern Orthodoxy is in agreement with the Catholic Church and views Holy Communion as a sacrament that infers great importance within the church. Only those members spiritually prepared are allowed to partake of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church.

Baptist denominations, Congregationalists and evangelical groups view Eucharist doctrine, or the Doctrine of Holy Communion, as important for symbolism as a reminder of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ on the cross. The doctrine is important for the unity of the local congregation because only certain people who have been born again through the process of salvation and baptised into the local church as a full member are allowed to participate in the communion ceremony. Unlike the Catholics and other denominations, Baptists do not view Holy Communion as necessary in obtaining grace or in reaching heaven.