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Eucharist

From the Greek for 'Thanksgiving'. Also known as Communion, the Sacrament, the Lord's Supper.The central rite of Christian worship based upon the Last Supper when Jesus 'took bread, gave thanks and brake it, and gave it unto them, saying, This do in remembrance of me'. 'Likewise after supper he took the cup' and, saying that the wine was his blood shed for many, bade the disciples to drink from the cup. The precise meaning of this ritual gave rise to enormous controversy during the Tudor period: some argue that in it lay the fundamental difference between Catholic and Protestant. Before the Reformation the Catholic laity received the bread only; the Protestant reformers introduced communion in both kinds (bread and wine) for the laity, thus removing a symbol of the separation between the clergy and the laity.