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’
    • ‘When Francis spent time alone it was usually to find a more intimate, mystical communion with God.’
    • ‘Think what is involved - personal communication and communion with the living God.’
    • ‘For a while, time stops, and there's nothing important enough to intrude upon an old man's communion with the sun.’
    • ‘His own Christian message, he once admitted, was that the self is best realised through communion with others.’
    • ‘Another aspect of serving the Lord is to have communion with Him.’
    • ‘For five years, he lived a life of meditation, of deep communion with nature during excursions into the mountains, of contemplation, and of prayer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We were created for communion; communion with God and with each other.’
    • ‘Only in close communion with him can you respond adequately.’
    • ‘It is an authentic spiritual exercise, the Jewish equivalent of mystical communion with 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.’
    • ‘I am open to so much more communion with the Lord and Lady this way.’
    • ‘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 would like to say it was a moment of serenity and communion with nature.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their imaginations are dominated by the ghosts of the past, in intimate communion with the shimmering world of the dead.’
    • ‘Worst of all expansion is eroding the precious and time-honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature.’
    • ‘I am in exclusive intimate spiritual communion with each of my devotees.’
    • ‘It was a very personal time of communion with God.’
    1. 1.1 Common participation in a mental or emotional experience.
      ‘popular festivals where all take part in joyous communion’
      • ‘Mutual participation or communion is an integral feature of Christian salvation.’
      • ‘God overcame our contextual differences and drew us together in deep communion.’
      • ‘Your deep yearning for communion originates from your soul and is a yearning for unity with God.’
      • ‘Human beings are called to participate in this loving communion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the believers devoted themselves to teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer, they were filled with awe and saw many miracles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have emphasized that person-to-person communion deepens our connection with God.’
      • ‘Participation in Christ is an instance of communion that opens believers to proportionate participation in all of the dimensions we have discussed.’
      • ‘I'm just joining communion with the rest of the people of the city.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This relation is not one of appropriation, possession, or passive representation of knowledge, but of communion and co-creative participation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Making, breaking, and distributing bread carried profound connotations of friendship, communion, giving, sharing, justice.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.

    • ‘Christian practice of Communion is becoming more diverse’
    • ‘Bishops are, both personally and collegially, at the service of communion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then we are ready for Jesus to reveal himself to us in the breaking of the bread during Communion.’
    • ‘It was worship, and was as essential to Communion as breaking the bread and drinking the cup.’
    • ‘We regarded it as a presumption not to share the cup of the Lord at Communion with the people.’
    • ‘It also organises an annual book fair, evening courses for parents, and refreshments after Communion and Confirmation.’
    • ‘Then, with burning hearts, we are ready for Jesus to reveal himself to us as we break bread with him at 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.’’
    • ‘My wife and I attended a noon Ash Wednesday service of communion and imposition of ashes.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘These children will receive their First Holy Communion in May.’
      • ‘At Communion time, I stayed with the priest until I thought all the parishioners had received Communion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During those quiet days, I had time to reflect on the act of receiving Communion.’
      • ‘The document said that priests should only give Communion to Catholics.’
      • ‘Albert recalls one of his father's rare visits to church during which he refused to receive Communion with the rest of the family.’
      • ‘In recent decades the practice has become widespread that everyone attending Mass receives Communion.’
      • ‘I was confirmed then, too, and received Communion.’
      • ‘Congratulations to all the children from the parish who received their first Holy Communion.’
      • ‘He accompanied me without a word to the front of the church when the time came to receive Communion.’
      • ‘About 300 children will receive their first Holy Communion from the Pope.’
      • ‘Registered parishioners were more likely to attend Mass weekly, receive Communion, and participate in a variety of devotional activities.’
      • ‘We have a very clear position on the question of Catholics receiving Communion in churches other than Catholic churches.’
      • ‘Before retiring for the night, she received Communion, in accordance with her childhood religion.’
      • ‘Congratulations to all the children of the parish who received their first Holy Communion on Saturday.’
      • ‘Six boys received their First Communion in the Sacred Heart Church last Sunday.’
      • ‘The children will receive their First Holy Communion on Sunday next May 15.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I know it instinctively, and often feel a sense of peace when people receive Communion.’
      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’
    • ‘It is rather that the one catholic Church exists in the communion among the local 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’.’
    • ‘I will leave it to the bishops to declare when somebody is no longer in communion with the Catholic Church.’
    • ‘Those churches in communion with Peter and the Orthodox are held to have a valid sacrament of orders.’
    • ‘We had not expected this to be done to us by brothers and sisters who are in communion with us.’
    • ‘The church of Christ is present in them, and they possess a certain imperfect communion with the Catholic Church.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the first time, representatives of all churches in communion with Canterbury were assembled, and around the theme of common mission.’
    • ‘Herein is the irreplaceable role of dialogue between the local community of Christians, and the communion of churches.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 3.1 A group of Christian communities or Churches which recognize one another's ministries or that of a central authority.
      • ‘It was once alleged that the provinces in the Communion were held together by the Book of Common Prayer.’
      • ‘This document still serves as a primary point of reference for Anglican dialogue with other Christian communions.’
      • ‘Compared with the Book of Common Prayer, modern prayer books in the Anglican Communion are grossly overweight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is, he insisted, Anglican and part of the ecclesial communion called Anglicanism.’
      • ‘In some communions the clergy are the sole enunciators of Scripture.’
      • ‘The king denied papal authority over England, and the Anglican Communion was born.’
      • ‘How far can membership of a Communion of churches help a local church to discern what are the crucial issues in its own situation?’
      • ‘Catholics, Orthodox and some older Protestant communions hold that membership in a church is an intrinsic feature of any relationship with God.’
      • ‘The First World War boosted pacifism among Baptists as well as among other Christian communions.’
      • ‘The advert says, ‘We are Christians, from different communions.’’
      • ‘This celebration of the relationship between two pilgrimage cathedrals was also a sign of mutual respect and affection between our two communions.’
      • ‘The Alpha course is eclectic in its choice of quotes from the various religious communions.’
      • ‘The Communion is made up of some thirty-eight provinces, most of which are in the Third World.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

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.

      • ‘Congratulations to the 12 pupils from the Kilglass and Culleens national schools who made their communion in Kilglass Church.’
      • ‘I grew up in Brosna, went to school there and made my communion and confirmation there.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mrs. McGrath looked after the boys and girls who were making their communion.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

communion

/kəˈmjunjən//kəˈmyo͞onyən/