LiturgyGram: Why the Bread?

Posted on September 22, 2016 by ELCA Worship

LiturgyGrams are brief snippets of worship information, drawing from the ELCA’s Worship FAQ’s and The Use of the Means of Grace.

Bread is one of the elements of Holy Communion, being the body of Christ

Bread and wine ready for a Eucharist celebration at Valparaiso University’s Chapel of the Resurrection.

Ever wondered, “Why the bread?”

Bread is one of the elements of Holy Communion, being the body of Christ.  Different assemblies use different varieties of bread for communion, including unleavened loafs, leavened loafs, and wafers, but in all cases bread is shared. Communion practice follows the example of the Last Supper, as recorded in Matthew 26:26-29, its parallels, and 1 Corinthians 11:23-24.

Congregations of the ELCA express unity but not uniformity in their communion practices. Congregations do use bread and wine, as set forth in the ELCA’s set of priorities for the practices of word and sacraments, The Use of the Means of Grace, which states:

In accordance with the words of institution, this church uses bread and wine in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (Principle 44).

Wondering what kinds of bread are used and in what form? Various options and their rationale are discussed in this Worship FAQ.


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