There is more unity than difference in the way Catholics and Lutherans understand and celebrate communion. In fact, since the Second Vatican Council there has been a “coming together” of these different Christian Churches with respect to communion.
In dialogues between Lutheran and Catholic theologians in 1968, Lutherans agreed that the celebration of the Eucharist involves a sacrifice of praise and self-offering that unites the believer with the sacrifice of Christ. At the same time, Catholics joined Lutherans in affirming that the sacrifice of the cross was a unique, one-time event that is not “repeated” in the celebration of the Eucharist. Both Lutherans and Catholics affirmed that in the Eucharist Christ is “present wholly and entirely, in his body and blood, under the signs of bread and wine.” This “presence” of Christ in the Eucharist is more than a commemoration; it is an “effective sign” that “communicates what it promises” (“Building Unity,” Ecumenical Series IV, editors Burges and Gros: Paulist Press, 1989).
Now that we”ve covered some of the similarities, click here to read more about some of the differences between Catholic and Lutheran communion.