"Taking communion" - What denominations use this phrase?

I have periodically seen non-Catholic posters on this message board, as well as interviewees and reporters in the news, use the phrase “take communion.”

I don’t recall ever hearing this in Catholic circles, but it seems to be widespread enough that it must be standard in one or more other denominations. Which ones?

This phrase is widely used among Baptists.

Being from the “church belt”, I thought that the term “Eucharist” was used by a small minority of people when I was younger. Just about everyone you talk to of any denomination would use that phrase other than an Anglican or Catholic. I still say it myself sometimes without realizing it.

Are you talking about the ‘take’ part?

As a protestant I wouldn’t have thought anything wierd, but now I cringe as a Catholic.

What is the big deal with the word “take”? That is what HE said. “TAKE this, all of you…”. Why would it be improper or make you cringe to use Christ’s own words?

In looking into things I’m sure I’ve seen Catholic sites (like churches and dioceses) use the phrase “take/taking communion”. Looking quickly (under the subject I was searching at the time)the first thing I see is the USCCB talking about “giving communion”

“If the situation warrants it and the local bishop gives permission, a Nuptial Mass may be celebrated for a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized person who is not a Catholic, except that Communion is not given to the non-Catholic since the general law of the church does not allow it.”

If someone “gives” you something you “take” it, I don’t see why this phrase causes such a kerfuffle:confused: I’ve heard it often enough that it doesn’t strike me as something odd:o

because He’s given us His body & blood to eat and drink from the cross. It’s a gift, you receive a gift you don’t ‘take’ it.


And unless you take it, you can’t receive it :slight_smile:

BTW, He said the Words of Institution at the Last Supper - not while on the Cross.

Exactly, he said TAKE, no receive. I see them as interchangable though and there is no problem with saying either one. When people gasp because someone says take over receive, they are leaning heavily toward legalism.

I suspect this is largely a problem with American English.

When I learned Spanish, for example, I learned that there are two verbs that are commonly translated “take” in English: sacar and tomar.

Sacar means ‘take, as in carry’: “I take three bags on the plane.” comes out “Yo saco tres bolsas…”

But tomar means ‘take, as in tea’: “I take tea in the afternoon” comes out “Tomo té de las tardes.”

Take doesn’t always mean “grab” – sometimes it just means to “take into oneself,” i.e., “receive.”


what difference does it make?

Who says it needs to make a difference? For my purposes, if I found that that the phrase was used by say Methodists and no other denomination, it would help give me some insight into the background of reporters who use that phrase.

I have heard “take communion” in Catholic circles, so maybe it’s a regional thing?

I grew up in the Lutheran Church and frequently heard/used that phrase. My first wife grew up in the Church of Christ. I heard that phrase used there too.

I think the main frame of reference in the take/receive is that it is a gift… and as a gift, we receive it not take it like it is an entitlement. That is why Catholics say receive communion and not take communion. I think it is a very important distinction because we always have to remember that Christ suffered and died so that we could receive this gift.

As far as the words of Jesus… “take this and eat…” Take is used as him offering it to us… we still receive.

On a very concrete level, we can say that those who practice communion in the hand “take” communion, whereas those who practice communion on the tongue “receive” communion.

Typically, we say “celebrating the Lord’s Supper”, but “taking communion” is fine, too.

I can understand the difference, but all in all this seems like hairsplitting semantics to me. There are more urgent issues in my mind.

I did not mean to imply that it was urgent.

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