Twisted Eucharist

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/theway.jpg
"I...am the way."

"Our thirst for blood satiates us, soothes our fears. Seek the old blood, but beware the frailty of men. Their wills are weak, minds young. The foul beasts will dangle nectar and lure the meek into the depths. Remain wary of the frailty of men. Their wills are weak, minds young. Were it not for fear, death would go unlamented. Seek the old blood. Let us pray, let us wish to partake in communion. Let us partake in communion and feast upon the old blood."
Vicar Amelia's Prayer, Bloodborne

The Rule of Symbolism dictates that rituals in fiction will often be related to real-world religion. One of the most widely known religious practices is the Eucharist, instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. In the last supper, Jesus Christ took part in bread and wine and shared with his disciples, claiming that they were eating his flesh and blood. This would later be dubbed "the Lord's Supper" or "Eucharist", and has become a very popular ritual in modern Christian traditions.

Sometimes, however, the image of eating Christ's Flesh and drinking His Blood gets rather twisted into something horrifying, rather than loving and self-sacrificial. This usually involves taking the words out of context or literally, perhaps involving real flesh and/or real blood. The origins of such practice usually shift depending on the intent of the creator, either taking the original practice as a blue-print in creating their own fictional religions, or as a direct mockery of Christianity and other, similar practices other religions may possess.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Casshern Sins, Casshern spends most of the series being chased by desperate robots seeking to kill him and eat his flesh to gain eternal life. Luna grants eternal life to those who seek her by letting them drink her blood, but gaining eternal life makes them miserable.
  • Bleach: Yhwach blasphemously adopts the name of YHWH for himself after he realises that people are associating him with the Tetragrammaton as a result of mistaking his abilities for miracles. Born unable to see, hear, speak or move, people discovered that touching him cured them of disease, injury, limb loss, or mental ailment, and also reversed his own disabilities. Yhwach was giving them a piece of his soul to develop their abilities only to have them die prematurely so that the soul shard could return to him, empowering him with their soul and abilities; the technique becomes even more powerful when people imbibe his blood. Soul consumption enables Yhwach to overcome his disabilities and achieve unnatural power. If he stops, he will revert back to a vegetative state.

    Comic Books 
  • In V for Vendetta, V confronts Bishop Anthony Lilliman, who at the Larkhill concentration camp had stood by and watched V being given the serum that drove him mad. V presents him with a communion wafer and asks him if it's true that it becomes the body of Christ when ingested. The bishop confirms this, whereupon V has him swallow the wafer, which he'd laced with cyanide. "And you know what?" says detective Eric Finch afterward. "When it reached his abdomen, it was still cyanide."
  • In Lucifer, the greatwolf Fenris escaped his imprisonment and hatched a long-term plan to conserve his energies for the end of the world. He staged a reconciliation dinner for his enemies the Aesir and tricked them into eating pieces of his own flesh and drinking his blood, thereby storing his memories and powers in godly vessels. In present times, he allies himself with a group of other entropy gods and hunts down all of those who partook in his flesh and devours them all. He even force-feeds a weakened Lucifer a bit of his own blood to drive him into a murderous frenzy, killing his own brother Michael, feeding yggdrasil his fallen blood and essentially securing the destruction of the universe.

    Film 
  • In the movie version of The Who's Rock Opera Tommy, produced by flamboyant over-the-top director Ken Russell, Eric Clapton plays a priest in the cult of Saint Marilyn Monroe. Backed by the Who, this church has a version of Holy Communion where handfuls of sleeping pills and other downers are solemnly handed out to the Faithful (followed by slugs of ritual Scotch) while Clapton and the band hammer out the old blues standard "Eyesight To The Blind".
  • In Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, when Pinhead chases Joey into a church, he takes a moment to defile the altar, push nails through his palms, and force a bloody chunk of flesh from his chest into the priest's mouth:
    "Burn? Oh, such a limited imagination! This is my body. This is my blood. Happy are they who come to my supper."

    Literature 
  • La-Bas (Down There), an 1891 novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans, contains descriptions of Satanic ceremonies, some of them involving desecration of the host or consumption of human blood instead of wine.
  • In Brave New World, the Solidarity Services are the Fordist equivalent of the Eucharist. The twelve participants pass around a cup of strawberry ice-cream soma and drink to the Greater Being that will subsume them all. The participants are each seated in a circle between two members of the opposite sex, and are expected to pair up in the culminating "orgy-porgy."
  • Xenocide:
    Ela and her assistants simply brought several hundred sugar cubes impregnated with the viricide bacterium, and as many vials of the solution containing the recolada. They were passed among the congregation, and each of the pequeninos took the sugar cube, dissolved and swallowed it, and then drank off the contents of the vial.
    "This is my body which is given for you," intoned Peter. "This do in remembrance of me."
    "Have you no respect for anything?" asked Ender.
    "This is my blood, which I shed for you. Drink in rememberance of me." Peter smiled. "This is a communion even I can take, unbaptized as I am."
    "I can promise you this," said Ender. "They haven't invented the baptism yet that can purify you."

    Live Action TV 
  • Angel has Jasmine eating her worshippers in a blasphemous parody of Communion.
  • In the Inspector Morse episode "The Day of the Devil", a group of Satanists are performing a Black Mass, only for one of them to be murdered by the Villain of the Week, in costume as the Devil himself. In comparison to the grimness of the rest of the episode, it comes across almost as a comic interlude.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • One theory for how vampire stories arose was that vampires practiced a Satanic mockery of the Eucharist, seeking eternal life by feeding on the blood of mortals, rather than the Blood of God.
  • The Eucharistic imagery doesn't get more blatant than in Interview with the Vampire, whose film had the tagline "Drink from me, and live forever." Vampire stories that follow Anne Rice's lead have people becoming vampires after drinking the blood of their vampiric sire, usually after the vampire in question has just drained them of all of their blood.

    Video Games 
  • The Healing Church from Bloodborne was created with the intent of using the Old Blood found in the Pthumerian ruins, be it to help the general populace, seek to evolve mankind or gain power. The religion revolves around consuming and exchanging blood, so communion is brought up a lot.

    Webcomics 

    Real Life 
  • The Other Wiki has an article on the Black Mass, an umbrella term for various real and alleged rites which have darkly parodied the Eucharist by either desecrating the host, or substituting a repulsive item such as human flesh. Today, historians generally view most pre-modern reports of such ceremonies as dubious or outright false, particularly ones which appear in anti-Gnostic, anti-Semitic and Witch Hunt contexts.
  • When the Spaniards observed the Aztecs committing human sacrifice and cannibalism, their reaction was to regard it as a gross perversion of the Eucharist.
  • During the height of persecution of Christians in The Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, they were often accused as cannibals, partly from Critical Research Failure.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TwistedEucharist