The Eucharist has to do with the Communion or the Lord’s Supper. It is not something that is occasionally tacked on the end of a worship service. It should be central to our worship and integrated with the preaching of the Word. Both the Word and Sacrament point to who Jesus is and what His ministry means.
Much of the disagreement between the liturgical and non-liturgical church has to do with the interpretation of real presence of Christ in the Communion. Why so? We want Christ to be real in our preaching do we not? Why should He not be real and present to us in our sharing of His body and blood? Jesus said:
“Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53)
Putting aside any “scientific” explanation, let us simply agree that Christ wants to communicate Himself to us in a way that is spiritually refreshing to us. How this technically occurs is really beyond our understanding. Suffice it to say that the Eucharist is a mystery. We get into trouble when we try to explain the how and why. It is Christ desire to impart Himself to us so that He may cleanse us and strengthen us. As communicants we have a responsibility to open ourselves up to Him in order to receive His gift.
How do we receive Him? We do so through anamnesis. The word in Ancient Greek is ἀνάμνησιν meaning memory. It has its origin in Jesus’ words at the Last Supper in which He was betrayed: “Do this in memory of me.” ( “τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν.”) The word conveys that we may experience what Jesus did for His disciples as if we were there with them on the night of the Last Supper. We are transported back in time so to speak. We are not just remembering. We are experiencing. We are participating in the Eucharist with Jesus.
Not only does anamnesis bring the past into the present, it also brings the future into the present. The person that God the Father wants us to become in His Son is made more alive in the present through the spiritual empowerment of the Eucharist. Jesus is imparted to us. His life and His Spirit are poured into our being.
Do we want to receive Communion with Jesus? If so then we must examine ourselves and come to Him with penitent hearts.
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)
The liturgy is designed to help prepare us for Communion. (See Eucharistic Preaching.)