Origins of the Eucharist Blessing – Day 21


Today we have a special blessing in my father-in-law Geoff Ainsworth writing for us, about where the term Eucharist originates from.  Geoff has been a pastor in various denominations for many years and now ministers in nursing homes, whilst studying Ancient Hebrew, so we are in for a treat, digging into some original language treasures today.  So let’s begin

From where did the term Eucharist originate?

The word Eucharist is the Latin transliteration of the Greek word, εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), meaning “thanksgiving.” It seems that this is based on the Hebrew way of giving thanks for the Bread and the Wine, especially in relation to the Passover Meal. But in reality, these prayers of thanksgiving are given to God with greater frequency than Passover or during the other Feasts of the Lord. These blessings are said many times and on many occasions.  No wonder Jesus said to his Jewish disciples, ‘as often as you do this, do this in remembrance of me’. Each week on Friday night at the Shabbat meal and again at the closing of Shabbat the following evening there is the blessing of the bread and wine. Add to this the many other Feasts of the Lord and the many family meals where these blessing are said… The miracle is that this is still the practice for the Jewish families living in Israel today.

In Acts 2:42-46 we see the early Jewish believers in Yeshua (early Church) breaking bread from house to house. This blessing of thanksgiving is always said on such occasions so it is easy to see that these blessings are said many times in a week as the Messianic believers share these times “in remembrance of what Jesus did in and through His body (bread) and His blood (wine).”

Following is a quote from the book called “The Eucharist.” Chapter 1: How the Eucharist Evolved – this chapter looks at how the Eucharist has its roots in Judaism … Here is a short quote…


Because Christianity has its roots in Judaism, it was natural for the early prayers to be adaptations of Jewish blessings and prayers of thanksgiving. The prayers we use now at the presentation of the bread and wine clearly show their Jewish origin with the opening line, ‘Blessed are you Lord, God of all creation’. Likewise, it would have been natural for the early Christians to continue the practice of reading the scriptures at their gatherings. To this practice was added the reading of the letters of the founders of their Messianic  communities.  (


Tomorrow Geoff will be sharing some practical wisdom  about incorporating communion into your family meal, a tradition that has been ongoing in their family home since before I met them 9 years ago.

About Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth Ainsworth, a wife and mother in QLD Australia who shares her ponderings of faith at Where Deep Calls to Deep

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