Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zwingli and Holy Communion

When it comes to the ordinance or sacrament of Holy Communion, a number of Protestant churches (through one of which I am ordained) often state that they hold to the "Zwinglian view of Communion." Usually this means that they believe Communion is simply a memorial only, focusing on Jesus' words, "Do this in remembrance of Me." What many fail to realize is what Zwingli* actually said and believed about Communion. Here are his words:

 "We believe that Christ is truly present in the Lord’s Supper; yea, that there is no communion without such presence ... We believe that the true body of Christ is eaten in the communion, not in a gross and carnal manner, but in a sacramental and spiritual manner by the religious, believing and pious heart." (In his 1531 "Confessions to King Francis 1.")

Zwingli, at least in his later years, did not believe Holy Communion was merely a memorial, but that Christ was truly present. 

* Huldrych Zwingli was a Swiss reformer (1484-1531)

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