Communion is one of two sacraments The United Methodist Church recognizes. Learn more about the United Methodist understanding of Holy Communion.
Adopted by the 2004 General Conference, This Holy Mystery is the official interpretive statement of theology and practice of Communion. Download a PDF of this document.
This Holy Mystery
WHEREAS, the 2000 General Conference directed the General Board of Discipleship in collaboration with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, and the Council of Bishops, to develop a comprehensive interpretive document on the theology and practice of Holy Communion in United Methodism and report their findings and recommendations to the 2004 General Conference; and
WHEREAS, in developing its report the Holy Communion Study Committee took intentional steps to heed our United Methodist heritage and history, remain sensitive to the ecumenical church, and hear the voices of United Methodists in the United States as well as in central conferences in the Philippines, Africa, and Europe; and
WHEREAS, the General Conference adopted This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion in 2004 as an authoritative contemporary statement of its understanding of Holy Communion; and
WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church has used this document to strengthen our interpretation and practice of the Lord's Supper in its congregations and ministries and as a basis for deepening our ecumenical conversations and relationships with other denominations;
Therefore, be it resolved, that This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion be continued in The Book of Resolutions as an official interpretive statement of theology and practice in The United Methodist Church for the next two quadrennia (2013-2016 and 2017-2020); and
Be it further resolved, that This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion be used by the Council of Bishops, Church School Publications of The United Methodist Publishing House, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and the General Board of Discipleship as a guide for teaching and formation of both clergy and laity in relation to Holy Communion; and
Be it further resolved, that This Holy Mystery be used by the Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships and the Council of Bishops in interpreting United Methodist understandings and practices in ecumenical dialogue; and
Be it further resolved, that the 2012 General Conference commend to the Church the principles, background, and practices in This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion for the interpretation and use of the services of Word and Table in our hymnals and The United Methodist Book of Worship; and
Be it further resolved, that This Holy Mystery be published in The Book of Resolutions, and that the General Board of Discipleship offer it online and in study editions with a leader's guide.
AMENDED AND READOPTED 2012
FOR 2013-2016 AND 2017-2020 QUADRENNIA
RESOLUTION #8032, 2012 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION #8014, 2008 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION #353, 2004 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS