Is it wrong to call the Lord’s Supper the “Holy Communion”? If so, why?
I personally prefer to call the ordinance the “Lord’s Supper” (1 Cor 11:20) or the “Lord’s Table” (1 Cor 10:21), and this is the way that our fathers in the faith would normally call it (see WCF 29;WLC 168–177; WSC 93, 96–97; the Continental Confessions have it as the “Holy Supper” [see Heidelberg Catechism, Questions 75–77; Belgic Confession, art. 35]). However, I do not have very strong objections to calling it the “Holy Communion.” I consciously avoid using the term “Holy Communion” because it is most commonly so called in Romanism and Anglicanism. Nevertheless, we should realise that the term “Holy Communion,” together with the term “Eucharist,” were very commonly used from very early times of the New Testament Church to describe the Lord’s Table (though the Puritans and Reformers tended to use it to describe the communion that believers enjoy with God on account of their union with Christ, see, for examples, ICR 4.1.15, and Matthew Henry’s commentaries on Ezekiel 36:16–24, Matthew 16:13–20, and Acts 2:42–47).
We shall have profited admirably in the sacrament, if the thought shall have been impressed and engraven on our minds, that none of our brethren is hurt, despised, rejected, injured, or in any way offended, without our, at the same time, hurting, despising, and injuring Christ; that we cannot have dissension with our brethren, without at the same time dissenting from Christ; that we cannot love Christ without loving our brethren; that the same care we take of our own body we ought to take of that of our brethren, who are members of our body; that as no part of our body suffers pain without extending to the other parts, so every evil which our brother suffers ought to excite our compassion. Wherefore Augustine not inappropriately often terms this sacrament the bond of charity. What stronger stimulus could be employed to excite mutual charity, than when Christ, presenting himself to us, not only invites us by his example to give and devote ourselves mutually to each other, but inasmuch as he makes himself common to all, also makes us all to be one in him (ICR 4.17.38).
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