The Holy Communion is the most important sacrament for the salvation of Christians and for the nourishment of our souls. Holy Communion is administered immediately following the sacraments of baptism and chrismation. Holy Communion is a sacrament by which the believer receives Christ’s Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine for remission of sins and the reception of eternal life. It is offered to the faithful during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
This sacrament draws on Christ’s Last Supper with his twelve disciples, when he took a loaf of bread, blessed it, broke it, and shared it with his disciples, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Then he took a cup, offered thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19).
Any baptized member of the Armenian Church can receive Holy Communion. Baptized members of our sister churches—which include the Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian, and Malankara Churches—are also welcome to receive Holy Communion in the Armenian Church.
A member of the Church wishing to receive Holy Communion has to prepare for the sacrament. This involves cleansing the body through prayers and fasting (those unable to abstain from food due to health reasons may obtain permission not to fast). It is also important for the faithful to take part in the entire Divine Liturgy when receiving Holy Communion.
Prior to Holy Communion, the priest leads the faithful in public confession. It is important to know that the Armenian Church also practices private confession, which the faithful can arrange with the priest.