Consecrated bread and wine, that is to say, bread and wine used not simply for food, but made sacred by the purpose of symbolizing a bond of brotherhood, and the eating and drinking of which are sometimes called the Communion of the Brethren, is found in some of the advanced Degrees, such as the Order of High Priesthood in the American Rite, and the Rose Croix of the French and Scottish Rites.
It was in ancient times a custom religiously observed, that those who sacrificed to the gods should unite in partaking of a part of the food that had been offered. And in the Jewish Church it was strictly commanded that the sacrificers should ''eat before the Lord," and unite in a feast of joy on the occasion of their offerings. By this common partaking of that which had been consecrated to a sacred purpose, those who partook of the feast seemed to give an evidence and attestation of the sincerity with which they made the offering ; while the feast itself was, as it were, the renewal of the covenant of friendship between the parties.
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