(Evangelist Paul) Sadly, this is yet another area where some folks have completely mis-understood what Jesus was saying.
In 1 Cor. 11 Jesus said, "this do in REMEMBERANCE of me".
Verse 16 even tells us what the Lord's Supper (communion, or whatever else some call it), really is..... "shew the Lord's death till he come"
The Lord's supper was an exercise that Jesus taught to help us remember His broken body, and shed blood for us. We were to do it as often as we thought we needed to until He comes back, in order to remember Him.
That is all it is. When a person is saved, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within them. It is this spirit that seals us until the day of redembtion (the Lords return). Any person who is saved, has the Lord in them. They do not have to take a piece of bread or drink any drink in order to do it.
Nowhere in the Bible is the Catholic Church's teaching on this found.
And might I add, anyone who has examined themself to be in the faith may partake of it. Nobody is perfect, we have all sinned. As such, we all stand before the Lord "unclean". But when we have trusted Christ as our Saviour, He washes clean all our sins, and we are now a "new person" in Christ, born again, and a Child of God. As such, we stand before Him "accepted" in Christ. Thus, after confessing and forsaking any known sin in our life, and recognizing what the bread and drink is a picture of, we can all freely partake of the Lord's Supper, just as we can all freely partake of God's Salvation.
(Cristoiglesia) I am afraid that you are one of those who has completely misunderstood what St. Paul was teaching about the Lord’s Supper. Primarily your error can be blamed on your assumption that the word “remembrance” has the same meaning of the word “anamnesis” that was the original source word in the English translation. The problem is that there is no word in English that has the same meaning as the Koine Greek word “anamnesis”. In English “remembrance” means to recall a past event into memory but this is not the meaning of “anamnesis”. “Anamnesis” tells the reader that a miraculous event will occur each time that one practices “anamnesis” that will transcend time and place and is a representation of the same actual event. In this case it is the continuing presentation of the death of our Lord where we are actually present at the foot of the cross with the rest of God’s Church, militant, suffering and triumphant. God gives us the food of everlasting life which is His Body and His Blood. We are not “remembering” anything but are instead present at the one sacrifice for all humanity.
Now you say that the receiving of the Body and the Blood are not necessary for eternal life but such an assumption makes no sense. In John chapter 6 Jesus tells the people gathered in the synagogue in Capernaum that they must eat His Body and drink His blood for eternal life and compares it to the Manna in the desert that sustained the Israelites in the desert. I ask you, would they have lived if they had just remembered that every day that the Lord provided the Manna or was it necessary for them to eat it for their nourishment. Of course, if they had not eaten of the Manna they would have died. Eating of His Body and His Blood is no different. It is not enough to remember what He did for us but to participate in His sacrifice by being present and receiving what Jesus said was His truly real and substantial Body, Blood Soul and Divinity. Jesus called us to action in our participation in His one sacrifice for all. So your claim in opposition to the teaching of our Lord that receiving His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is not necessary must be false and without Scriptural support. Yours is proven nothing more than a doctrine of men in opposition to God’s Word.
St. Paul taught that we should examine ourselves and be in a state of grace before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. He further stated that we are discern (recognize) that what we are receiving is the truly real and substantial Body, Blood Soul and Divinity. St. Paul said that if we did not then we would bring condemnation on ourselves. He emphasized that we may even die as a result of receiving unworthily. So, not having the right understanding could mean not only our physical death but the death of our soul from Christ. In John chapter 6 we learn that we cannot “believe” His hard teaching in our carnal sense but that our belief will only come through our spiritual sense and convicted by the Spirit. He was saying that the receiving of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is the most precious of gifts and that it is of great profit to our eternal destination. In fact, He says we cannot live eternally in His presence without receiving this gift while properly disposed.
Now certainly there is symbolism involved in the Eucharist celebration. We are drinking with Him the cup of consummation of the Passover which His Blood is representing the saving power of blood as it was when it was spread upon their doorposts by the hyssop branch. We eat His truly real and substantial Body just as the Israelites had to eat the Paschal Lamb to save their first born sons. Even His Words were full of symbolism on the cross. He gave His mother to the Church and under the care of St. John. He asked the Father to forgive us for we are innocent of knowledge. He said “I thirst” so that the fourth cup or the cup of consummation where the bitter wine would be received soaked in a sponge and lifted to His lips on a hyssop branch to introduce His Kingdom. He then said, “it is finished” which meant the Old Covenant and introduced the New Covenant of Grace. However, even though there is much symbolism it does not detract from the commandment of our Lord to share in His sacrifice with spiritual recognition of the reality of His Body and Blood.