The Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed. Also, the consecrated elements, especially the bread.
From the earliest times Christians have blessed and shared bread and wine in commemoration of the Last Supper (recorded in the first three Gospels and 1 Corinthians 10–11) and of the self-sacrifice of Christ. The bread and wine are referred to as the body and blood of Christ, though much theological controversy has focused on how substantially or symbolically this is to be interpreted.
The word is recorded from late Middle English, and comes via Old French, based on ecclesiastical Greek eukharistia ‘thanksgiving’.
Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) — Christianity.