Communion is the act of partaking of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is given many designations in the New Testament, such as, “a new covenant” (Heb. 8:8-12), “eternal life” (John 6:54), a “dwelling in Christ” (John 5:56; 15:5-7), and a “sharing in the Body of Christ” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). Since the early Church, communion was permitted only to the faithful. In administering the body and blood of Jesus Christ to the communicants, the Coptic Church follows as closely as possible the procedure set by Christ when he instituted this sacrament.
The two elements, first the bread and then the wine, are separately given. In the Coptic tradition, the bishop starts by partaking himself, followed by the rest of the clergy and the deacons, then the congregation—men first, then women. The Church has laid down certain requirements to be met before receiving communion.