The entire worship service revolves around the freeing sacrifice of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and culminates in the faithful communing with our Lord and all the saints in the body of Christ through the Eucharist. Just as believers in the early church, we continue to believe and teach that the bread and wine change into the actual body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ through the descent of the Holy Spirit in the prayers of the Divine Liturgy. As our Lord said in John 6:55 “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.”
One of the Church Fathers, Justin Martyr, in the 2nd century, wrote “…so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His Word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread and when He had given thanks, said, “This do he in remembrance of Me, this is my body,” and that after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is my blood and gave it to them…” (Luke 22:19)
Another Church Father, Saint John Chrysostom says, “How many now say, ‘I wish to see His form, His clothes, His feet’? Lo! You see Him, you touch Him, you eat Him… He gives Himself to you not only to see, but also to touch and eat and receive within you… He mixed Himself with us, not by faith only, but also indeed makes us His body… That which the angels tremble when they behold, and dare not so much as look up at without awe on account of the brightness that comes thence, with this we are fed, with this we are commingled, and we are made one body and one flesh with Christ” (Homilies on Saint Matthew).
The Coptic Church has never departed from the tradition of administering both the Body and Blood of our Lord to all the faithful (John 6:53). And Orthodox believers of all ages share in the Eucharist. The Church also uses ordinary (that is, leavened) bread, for the offering as it has always taught, what most scholars now acknowledge, that the Last Supper took place one day before the Passover, and thus Christ used leavened bread. The leavening symbolizes the sin that our Lord carried for the whole world.