Wondering about the app, how it works, and what theology went behind it? Well, you're in the right place.
What is the Eucharist?
Jesus broke bread and blessed it along with wine at a meal with his disciples and told them to do this in remembrance of him. The biblical scriptures that convey this moment are Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20, and 1 Corinthians 11:24-26.
Maybe your denomination celebrates this meal with different terms: Communion, the Lord’s Supper, Holy Eucharist. Perhaps your tradition holds a specific view of what happens in the liturgy of the table in relationship to the elements’ taking on of Christ’s body and blood: consubstantiation, transubstantiation, memorialism. Your church may claim this ritual as a sacrament, an ordinance, or not celebrate it at all. While some traditions (Quakers, Salvation Army) don’t practice this ritual, the vast majority of Christians participate in some way in this act.
Who is this app for?
Put simply, this app is for Christians who celebrate the Eucharist. We hope that as a person of faith and as a human being made in the image of God seeking union with Christ and his body and blood, you will feel invited to celebrate the Eucharist through this app. Consider E-ucharist an open table where all, and we do mean ALL, Christians are welcome regardless of sex, race, gender, ethnicity, abilities, allergies, your past, your present, or who you are in any way.
Is this app a joke?
Nope. This app was created by thoughtful, seminary-trained Christians passionate about connecting God’s people to the life of worship and the sacraments. We have not rushed into this process, nor taken the challenge to facilitate a digital Eucharist lightly. We have done our best to create this app diligently and ethically on every level, and we hope that you will respectfully engage this app as you would the celebration of the sacrament in (for lack of a better term) “the meatspace”.
How do I use this app?
This app is designed for individual or group use. Tap on the wafer to begin. While on the preparation screen, prepare your heart and mind to receive communion. When you and your group are ready, tap the screen to start the prayer. Read the prayer aloud or internally and tap the screen to move through the prayer. After "Amen", your tap will take you to the home screen. Repeat as often as you feel moved to.
Why was this app created?
The Eucharist is perhaps the most central expression of Christian worship and unity. At the same time, it is also one of the most visible demonstrations of the division and rupture in the Body of Christ. Churches have split and wars have been waged over differing understandings of this ritual. We hope this app can help to bridge some of this divide rather than feed into disunity. We believe that God is everywhere, in physical and digital space, and that Jesus is present wherever the Eucharist is celebrated, virtually or corporeally. We have grounded our work in scripture and sound theology. We also hope that by digitizing this sacrament, by offering Spiritual Communion, we can move it closer to the heart of the people, removing a layer of abstraction that prevents the church from receiving Christ’s Body and Blood in faith.
What is Spiritual Communion?
Spiritual Communion is the seed from which this app is grown. Spiritual Communion is a longstanding tradition in the church whereby Christians are able to virtually receive Christ’s Body and Blood. One such prayer is the following, used in the app and employed by Christians for hundreds of years: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” The Anglican tradition historically holds a view that the body of Christ is “received by the faithful only in a heavenly and spiritual manner.” This may be seen as a relative of Spiritual communion.
Why Bless Code?
People have gotten objects blessed for centuries. Whether the items of pilgrims, monks and nuns, or ordinary Christians, whether it be chrism oil or holy water or anything else, there is a long tradition of this act – asking God’s presence and protection to dwell within and upon an item of significance, accompanying the believer on life’s journey. We believe by blessing the very code that the app was built on, we are providing a formal sacredness to the ritual of the E-ucharist app. To view the app's blessings, check out the Github page.
How often should I receive communion?
We have not placed a limit on the amount of times you can receive Communion. Throughout the history of Spiritual Communion, various church leaders and sages have encouraged regular participation in the sacrament. If you are wrestling with how often to receive, consult with your church’s tradition or a trusted friend or clergy person. We hope that you will return to this app as many times as possible, and that it will strengthen your faith and walk in faith.
What about Brick-and-Mortar Church? Are you trying to replace that?
We hope that you will find community wherever is possible, and we want to encourage each of you on your walks of faith. That includes gatherings of Christians in virtual and physical spaces. We hope that the Digital Eucharist app will be a faithful companion to your ongoing spiritual life. We recognize that digitizing the Eucharist is a new move that may come with many questions, and we would be happy to hear from you.
What are some resources to deepen my understanding of the Eucharist?
The World Council of Churches, an ecumenical organization working for more unity in the Body of Christ, has produced a document which outlines their vision of the three central values of Eucharist, Baptism, and Ministry.