Definition of communion in US English:

communion

noun

  • 1The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

    ‘in this churchyard communion with the dead was almost palpable’
    • ‘Worst of all expansion is eroding the precious and time-honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature.’
    • ‘It is an authentic spiritual exercise, the Jewish equivalent of mystical communion with God.’
    • ‘Their imaginations are dominated by the ghosts of the past, in intimate communion with the shimmering world of the dead.’
    • ‘It allows them to reach across the boundaries of geography and time to be in intimate communion with people they will never meet, but whom they hope to lead to God.’
    • ‘When Francis spent time alone it was usually to find a more intimate, mystical communion with God.’
    • ‘We were created for communion; communion with God and with each other.’
    • ‘I would like to say it was a moment of serenity and communion with nature.’
    • ‘Think what is involved - personal communication and communion with the living God.’
    • ‘Humanity knows itself not as isolated in this outer world of time and space, but as in communion with the spirits of the dead.’
    • ‘The sheer joy of that intimate communion with nature; the contented peace we discover on the banks of running waters - that's what it's really all about.’
    • ‘By prayer and meditation the pious Buddhist enters into living communion with the heavenly Lord.’
    • ‘For a while, time stops, and there's nothing important enough to intrude upon an old man's communion with the sun.’
    • ‘It was a very personal time of communion with God.’
    • ‘For five years, he lived a life of meditation, of deep communion with nature during excursions into the mountains, of contemplation, and of prayer.’
    • ‘Not a synagogue, not a building, but a place for all the dispersed who are in search of community with Israel and communion with God.’
    • ‘I am in exclusive intimate spiritual communion with each of my devotees.’
    • ‘His own Christian message, he once admitted, was that the self is best realised through communion with others.’
    • ‘Only in close communion with him can you respond adequately.’
    • ‘I am open to so much more communion with the Lord and Lady this way.’
    • ‘Another aspect of serving the Lord is to have communion with Him.’
    1. 1.1 Common participation in a mental or emotional experience.
      ‘popular festivals where all take part in joyous communion’
      • ‘Confronted by such bleakness, the only things left for Gilmore to affirm were the cycle of life itself and the simple joys of human communion and fellowship.’
      • ‘As the believers devoted themselves to teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer, they were filled with awe and saw many miracles.’
      • ‘Mutual participation or communion is an integral feature of Christian salvation.’
      • ‘But whereas with a single image of Rembrandt or Van Gogh we might feel a sense of communion or sympathy, with Warhol we simply find ourselves staring into the void.’
      • ‘Only through genuine communion can the suffering and oppression of some become real to all.’
      • ‘But for now I think I will simply worship at my private altar or around my table with my friends and loved ones and share in the communion we create amongst ourselves.’
      • ‘A new understanding of Anglican identity is needed if we are to remain in communion across the colors and cultures, nations and nationalities that Anglicanism now embodies.’
      • ‘This relation is not one of appropriation, possession, or passive representation of knowledge, but of communion and co-creative participation.’
      • ‘Participation in Christ is an instance of communion that opens believers to proportionate participation in all of the dimensions we have discussed.’
      • ‘Making, breaking, and distributing bread carried profound connotations of friendship, communion, giving, sharing, justice.’
      • ‘For Catholics, when we receive Holy Communion, it is a statement that we are in full communion with those people with whom we are taking Communion.’
      • ‘Human beings are called to participate in this loving communion.’
      • ‘I have emphasized that person-to-person communion deepens our connection with God.’
      • ‘Rather, it requested consideration of ways in which communion and understanding could be enhanced where serious differences threatened the life of a diverse worldwide Church.’
      • ‘As stated above, communion also includes the ability to connect deeply with people.’
      • ‘I'm just joining communion with the rest of the people of the city.’
      • ‘Your deep yearning for communion originates from your soul and is a yearning for unity with God.’
      • ‘God overcame our contextual differences and drew us together in deep communion.’
      • ‘Its goal is to help families faced with health problems by enhancing agency, a sense of personal control and choice, and communion, a sense of interpersonal connection.’
      affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, community, togetherness, closeness, sharing, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, association, empathy, sympathy, agreement, accord, concord, unity
      View synonyms
  • 2The service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

    • ‘Then we are ready for Jesus to reveal himself to us in the breaking of the bread during Communion.’
    • ‘Then, with burning hearts, we are ready for Jesus to reveal himself to us as we break bread with him at Communion.’
    • ‘We regarded it as a presumption not to share the cup of the Lord at Communion with the people.’
    • ‘Like most children, Trevor was used to coming to communion and was curious about the bread and wine being given to others but not to him.’
    • ‘Christian practice of Communion is becoming more diverse’
    • ‘It also organises an annual book fair, evening courses for parents, and refreshments after Communion and Confirmation.’
    • ‘It was worship, and was as essential to Communion as breaking the bread and drinking the cup.’
    • ‘With these few words, we can take on an attitude that says we want to receive all that our Father wants to give us at Communion.’
    • ‘My wife and I attended a noon Ash Wednesday service of communion and imposition of ashes.’
    • ‘Bishops are, both personally and collegially, at the service of communion.’
    • ‘Lisa said: ‘It was beautiful, the church was surrounded by classical ruins and we took part in a communion and service as well as having our marriage blessed.’’
    eucharist, holy communion, lord's supper, mass
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The consecrated bread and wine so administered and received.
      ‘the priests gave him Holy Communion’
      • ‘Before retiring for the night, she received Communion, in accordance with her childhood religion.’
      • ‘At Communion time, I stayed with the priest until I thought all the parishioners had received Communion.’
      • ‘Registered parishioners were more likely to attend Mass weekly, receive Communion, and participate in a variety of devotional activities.’
      • ‘About 300 children will receive their first Holy Communion from the Pope.’
      • ‘Six boys received their First Communion in the Sacred Heart Church last Sunday.’
      • ‘We have a very clear position on the question of Catholics receiving Communion in churches other than Catholic churches.’
      • ‘In recent decades the practice has become widespread that everyone attending Mass receives Communion.’
      • ‘The document said that priests should only give Communion to Catholics.’
      • ‘I was confirmed then, too, and received Communion.’
      • ‘Communicants returning to their pews will be asked to stand and sing until everyone has received Communion and the priest has sat down to pray.’
      • ‘During those quiet days, I had time to reflect on the act of receiving Communion.’
      • ‘Congratulations to all the children from the parish who received their first Holy Communion.’
      • ‘The children will receive their First Holy Communion on Sunday next May 15.’
      • ‘Congratulations to all the children of the parish who received their first Holy Communion on Saturday.’
      • ‘I know it instinctively, and often feel a sense of peace when people receive Communion.’
      • ‘He accompanied me without a word to the front of the church when the time came to receive Communion.’
      • ‘Albert recalls one of his father's rare visits to church during which he refused to receive Communion with the rest of the family.’
      • ‘As another example, we all know that when we receive Communion, we are receiving Jesus-body and blood, soul and divinity-and that he comes to live in us in a very special way.’
      • ‘The young man went to Mass and received Communion every day and, after thanking God for saving his life, asked only that God give him peace of mind and the grace to be the best person he could be in His eyes.’
      • ‘These children will receive their First Holy Communion in May.’
      eucharist, holy communion, lord's supper, mass
      View synonyms
  • 3A relationship of recognition and acceptance between Christian churches or denominations, or between individual Christians or Christian communities and a church (signified by a willingness to give or receive the Eucharist)

    ‘the Eastern Churches are not in communion with Rome’
    • ‘Herein is the irreplaceable role of dialogue between the local community of Christians, and the communion of churches.’
    • ‘Augustine thought that the Donatists could not plausibly claim to be the one true Catholic Church when they were in communion with ‘neither Rome nor Jerusalem’.’
    • ‘For the first time, representatives of all churches in communion with Canterbury were assembled, and around the theme of common mission.’
    • ‘We had not expected this to be done to us by brothers and sisters who are in communion with us.’
    • ‘It is not clear what is meant here by the idea of ‘full communion,’ an idea that suggests Catholics may be in different degrees of communion with the church.’
    • ‘Those churches in communion with Peter and the Orthodox are held to have a valid sacrament of orders.’
    • ‘This and the responsibility of each local church for the communion of the churches also need to be borne in mind when local churches are making decisions.’
    • ‘It is rather that the one catholic Church exists in the communion among the local churches.’
    • ‘The church of Christ is present in them, and they possess a certain imperfect communion with the Catholic Church.’
    • ‘I will leave it to the bishops to declare when somebody is no longer in communion with the Catholic Church.’
    1. 3.1 A group of Christian communities or Churches which recognize one another's ministries or that of a central authority.
      • ‘Compared with the Book of Common Prayer, modern prayer books in the Anglican Communion are grossly overweight.’
      • ‘This document still serves as a primary point of reference for Anglican dialogue with other Christian communions.’
      • ‘The Alpha course is eclectic in its choice of quotes from the various religious communions.’
      • ‘Catholics, Orthodox and some older Protestant communions hold that membership in a church is an intrinsic feature of any relationship with God.’
      • ‘He courageously describes the discrimination and harm often visited upon one of Christianity's oldest communions - the Coptic Church.’
      • ‘In a Communion made up of many different churches, discernment is required to identify what in any particular context are the crucial issues for the life of the Church.’
      • ‘How far can membership of a Communion of churches help a local church to discern what are the crucial issues in its own situation?’
      • ‘The king denied papal authority over England, and the Anglican Communion was born.’
      • ‘It is possible, and it certainly is to be hoped, that the church as the worldwide communion of Anglican churches is presently undergoing renewal and reinvention.’
      • ‘The First World War boosted pacifism among Baptists as well as among other Christian communions.’
      • ‘Today, the major Christian communions largely support democracy, even while necessarily retaining the right to criticize democratic decisions in the name of religious truth claims.’
      • ‘It was once alleged that the provinces in the Communion were held together by the Book of Common Prayer.’
      • ‘The advert says, ‘We are Christians, from different communions.’’
      • ‘In some communions the clergy are the sole enunciators of Scripture.’
      • ‘The Communion is made up of some thirty-eight provinces, most of which are in the Third World.’
      • ‘He is, he insisted, Anglican and part of the ecclesial communion called Anglicanism.’
      • ‘This celebration of the relationship between two pilgrimage cathedrals was also a sign of mutual respect and affection between our two communions.’

Phrases

  • make one's communion

    • Receive bread and wine that has been consecrated at a Eucharist, as a sacramental, spiritual, or symbolic act of receiving the presence of Christ.

      • ‘Mrs. McGrath looked after the boys and girls who were making their communion.’
      • ‘When her son Conor was making his communion, another seven-year-old boy in the class warned the other children that none of them would go to an arranged party if Conor showed up because he was black.’
      • ‘I grew up in Brosna, went to school there and made my communion and confirmation there.’
      • ‘Congratulations to the 12 pupils from the Kilglass and Culleens national schools who made their communion in Kilglass Church.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin communio(n-), from communis (see common).

Pronunciation

communion

/kəˈmjunjən//kəˈmyo͞onyən/