A good one this week that surprisingly I haven’t been asked before: Why should we want Holy Communion? Featured in all four canonical Gospels, the Lord’s Supper is the central focus of the Divine Liturgy in which we hear that Christ blessed bread, broke it, said it was His Body, and the Apostles partook of it. Christ told them what was about to happen to Him before it took place in order that they might believe. If we go all the way back to the Prophet Malachi (not to be confused with the kid from Children of the Corn), we find in 1:10-11 a reference to “a pure offering” that many consider an establishment of the practice of Holy Communion, written just after the Babylonian captivity. Christ Himself is the Passover Lamb (1st Corinthians 5:7), and St. John (6:58) informs us that Whosoever feeds upon His Body and drinks His Blood will receive eternal life.
So back to the original question - why should we want Holy Communion? There is a tremendous weight to taking part in the Mysteries of God’s Church - Christ died on the Cross for our sins and we ought to be reminded frequently of His sacrifice, as it is the basis for the entire Christian paradigm. When we approach the Chalice (with fear and trembling) we are setting ourselves apart, i.e., consecrated, to Christ. We are also connected through the Chalice to the wider body of Orthodox believers, both past and present, who have sought salvation in the Church. When the priest communes himself in the Altar, he says, “Behold this (the Chalice) hath touched my lips, and taketh away my iniquities, and purgeth my sins.” When you are communed by the priest he says to you, “the servant (or handmaiden) partake of the precious and Holy Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ unto the remission of sins and life everlasting.” This is heavy - this is a LOT - this is something we ought to want for ourselves. So I guess that’s why.