Gregory Neal | – Holy Communion: The Great Thanksgiving

The Sacrament of Holy Communion celebrated by Dr. Gregory S. Neal, United Methodist Pastor and Theologian. For more, visit us on the web at [support us]

About The Author

RevNeal's Video Sermons Grace Incarnate Ministries presents the preaching, teaching, and Eucharistic ministry of Dr. Gregory S. Neal, United Methodist Pastor and Theologian. Dr. Neal's sermons are Biblically based with roots in the Methodist theological tradition. Watch his YouNow broadcasts:

Comment (48)

  1. Maybe it's just that the UMC down here in NC is slack, but I've never known a Methodist minister to wear vestments or make the sign of the cross…Or is it just when administering Communion?
    Thanks again for adding me as a Friend.

  2. to bobbyke31:
    as Catholics must remember the importance of presence. we believe in the trans-substantiation, that is the 'accidents' or physical properties of bread and wine remain, but the bread and wine are no longer after the consecration, and are truly the Body and Blood of Christ. this truth is not believed by Anglicans, or Methodists or whoever, only Catholics and Orthodox. other protestants who believe in 'presence' say that nothing is changed, but Christ is 'alongside' the bread.

  3. Bobbyke31, One point the video didn't discuss: Methodists open Holy Communion to all, regardless of church membership. Saying so is part of the ritual – I'm sure Pastor Neal said so, but that this statement missed the video "window". I take pains to tell non-Methodist guests they are welcome to receive Holy Communion. I appreciate your praise of our Church and People – Come take Holy Communion with use sometime. God be with you always.

  4. Lutherans believe in the "real presence," but believe Aquinas erred in using Greek philosophy to explain HOW or at what moment it takes place. We believe "is" means "is" and leave it at that. The sacrament is made valid by the word and promise of Christ–not by priestly orders conferred by a pope. (P.S. Lutherans DO NOT teach "consubstantiation" as this is merely another foolish theological exercise which concerns itself with the "manner" rather than the "fact" of the real presence.)

  5. I seldom visit Methodist Churches, but in recent years I have seen evidence that some are enthusiastically embracing the liturgical heritage of the church. I've seen it in their hymnals and the design of their sanctuaries. I'm not sure what they teach about the sacrament in their confirmation classes, but the liturgy they use in this video proclaims the truth of the real presence as believed in the universal church from the beginning.

  6. As Catholics tend to lump all Protestants together, I, as a Lutheran, have tended to lump Methodists with Reformed, since I have seen Methodist churches in union with Reformed churches. Your Sacramental theology, however, appears to be relatively less tainted by Calvinist thinking, which basically mocks Lutheranism. I scanned the Methodist "This Holy Mystery" and found little to disagree with.

  7. Lutherans, however, adhere more to the Catholic teaching regarding the elements, as we believe that the Real Presence is made effective by the word of God–not by the faith of the recipient. We do not place that burden on the recipient's sometimes weak or doubting faith. Therefore, in Lutheran understanding, the elements ARE the body and blood of Christ and offer forgiveness of sins, life and salvation regardless of whether they are received with strong faith, weak faith or no faith.

  8. To clarify: all who receive the bread and wine in the Lutheran sacrament receive the body and blood of Christ. The benefits of the sacrament (forgiveness, etc.) are received only by the faith (strong or weak) of the recipient. Unbelievers do not receive the benefits of the sacrament, but they do receive the body and blood of Christ.

  9. Revneal, it just happened that that particular year we had three young ladies but no young men up for Confirmation – we're a relatively small Church of @100. I forgot to mention originally that the Class also participated in the administration of the Sacrement. Everyone there was very proud and impressed with the performance of the Class. If I can find a video, I will send it to you.

  10. Lutherans (and many other Christians) would agree completely with your first sentence, but we obviously cannot accept the second. The validity of the sacrament does not depend upon the celebrant being ordained under the papacy. If that were so, there would have been no valid Eucharist for at least the first several hundred years of the Church, and there would never have been any in the Eastern Church.

  11. You are wrong in lumping all Protestants together and assuming all are alike. Lutherans, at least some Anglicans, and apparently Methodists would not say that the bread and wind "represent" or "symbolize" the body and blood of Christ, but "are" the body and blood of Christ. Roman Catholics have been led by their church to believe that there can be no Real Presence without their transsubstantiation. Transsubstantiation is a fairly recent innovation in the church and is unique to Rome.

  12. If it is only the apostolic succession you require, then many churches have that, including all Anglican, many or most Lutheran, and probably others. I assumed that you were asserting that the celebrant must be authorized by the Roman pontiff. Either way, Lutherans regard the apostolic succession as useful for order, but not required for a valid calling to the ministry. In Germany, the bishops would not tolerate sound teaching, so the reformers ordained without them.

  13. Christ confirmed Peter's statement of faith as the "rock," not Peter personally. Note that Paul chastised Peter, and Paul wasn't even among the original apostles. Christ gave the keys to all of the apostles equally. It is only tradition that suggests Peter was the first bishop of Rome. There is no historical evidence that he ever even went there. Most likely the whole story was fabricated as part of the effort by the bishop of Rome to claim dominion over the whole church.

  14. You are correct in assuming that many Protestants would insist that the bread and wine only represent or symbolize the absent body and blood of Christ. That is generally the view of Calvinists and Anabaptist sects. Some Protestant churches go so far as to actually change or add to the words of institution (i.e., "This is my body..") to make it clear that they don't believe those words at all.

  15. The Eastern Church does not teach transubstantiation as taught in the Roman Church. The Eastern Church has always taught the Real Presence as a mystery. Transubstantiation is an opinion of some, but not a doctrine required to be believed.

  16. Finding some bones under the altar does not prove they were St. Peter. Even less does it prove that St. Peter (or his imagined successors) had a position of lordly dominance over the church either by Christ's command or by apostolic tradition. The Eastern Church has always maintained that bishops shepherded the church together. The notion of "Vicar of Christ" on earth was a Roman invention.

  17. The apostolic succession has been restored to much of Lutheranism through the Anglican and Swedish churches, and the whole point of the Anglican church is that they have maintained the apostolic succession. They are not Anglican if they do not have the apostolic succession. As i said before, however, there is nothing magical about having the apostolic succession, since it certainly has not prevented apostasy, and not having it has not deprived the church of true and faithful teaching.

  18. I just went to a Roman Catholic Shrine of Saint Bernadette here in Albuquerque,NM. These roman catholics really believe in what they do and are serious about it. I seen big column of white light came down and blessed the bread and wine(juice). They also insured their working hands were blessed and would bring success.

  19. It's not that simple – there are all kinds of Protestants. Some, including the Methodist Faith, do indeed believe in the Real Presence. Please examine comments below from Rev. Neal. Another excellent source of information is the Eucharist Article on Wikipedia.

  20. The problem with the Lutheran churches of USA is that do not have true bishops, priests and deacons and only believe in the priesthood of all believers. No priest no eucharist, so it is of course. It is also a false teaching that the blessed sacrament do not remain blessed after the mass. In this video you see when the blessed sacrament are carried out in processional after the mass for veneration and later comsumption: Festhögmässan vid Oasrörelsens sommarmöte i Borås 2009 del 15.

  21. Well but I am not sure I agree with you..the Pope is least of all militant (how it was earlier is of no concern), and I think the sexes are equal according to the Catholic church..but like in the WELS, women are not allowed to have leading positions.

  22. Christ is not present in the eucharist. He died once and for all 2000 years ago. Christ said "it is finished." Hebrews….."So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. . . ."

  23. @wardenphil
    Keep it up brother–its worth the effort as much as anything … I am working with my second UM parish right now…may God grant us the eyes of faith that we stop missing what's right in front of our eyes. 🙂

  24. @revneal allot of people claim we UMC don't believe in the "True Presence" but I always tell them we do, we just do not try to explain the mystery. We are really similar to Lutherans in that respect wouldn't you say so?

  25. So I can take 3 different ways of Real Presence of Holy Communion/Eucharist. I dunno how can the Novus Ordo Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist have same prefation and thanksgiving like Novus Ordo after Vatican Council 2.

    1. Catholic – Transubtance, so the essence of bread and wine is fully Body, blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, so we adore Him in the sacrament.

    2. Lutheran – Consubstance, the essence of Bread and wine only half-change, and other half is Body and Blood of Jesus, I think there is no adoration.

    3. Methodist – only real presence, no adoration

  26. Just watching out of curiosity, very Lutheran in type of service, we do believe in the true presence, we just say it is a miracle, Martin Luther taught that the real presence was very evident in Jesus words, and therefore it more than a memorial, such as Baptist or Evangelical non denomination beleive