From there, the celebration has spread through the years to become a multidenominational event.
At the heart lies whether the familiar bread and wine (or now-common grape juice stand-in) literally becomes the body and blood of Christ, only symbolically represents those elements, or represents something spiritually in-between.
“We also follow the ancient practice in serving Communion only to those who are in communion with the Church — that is, to Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves to receive Christ through prayer, fasting, and confession of sins,” he said. “We do not think of this as closed communion, but simply as communion — as a manifestation of sharing the same faith and living the same life of discipleship in the Church.”
Bishop Michael Pfeifer, who heads the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo, said “communion” means two things in Catholicism — the sacrament itself and the wider meaning of bringing people together through “dialogue, respect, and efforts to bring about more understanding of different beliefs.”
In his sermon for World Communion Sunday, Tillman said he plans to note communion is “one of the primary marks of Christianity,” adding that the event itself allows participants to “visualize people beyond us taking the bread and the fruit of the wine.”