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Twisted Eucharist

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"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, perhaps skipping over the bread and wine to get flesh and/or blood from their normal source (and in settings where Religion is Magic, this trope can overlap with Cannibalism Superpower). 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.

Related to Religion of Evil and Corrupt Church.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan:
    • The second ending of the anime shows a storybook depiction of a kingly figure overseeing nine individuals feasting on a dead person. This is revealed to be the origin of the Subjects of Ymir. Shortly after the death of the first Titan Ymir, the first Fritz king forced his daughters with her, Maria, Rose, and Sina, to eat her body raw in order to pass on her powers down his bloodline.
    • The method for passing on Titan shifter powers appears religious in its own way and generally takes place in what looks vaguely like a cathedral. In each modern instance, the one to be devoured is bound by long wires in the same kneeling posture. This posture may be an echo of how Ymir would always kneel before Fritz.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Religion of Evil practiced by the cannibal cult in Kichikujima can best be described as "Catholicism viewed Through the Eyes of Madness". The only similarities remaining are either extremely vague, or twisted into something horrifying: They worship something that they see as basically the Virgin Mary with the head of a goat and believe that the Eucharist is a literal human sacrifice (sometimes via crucifixion, sometimes by cannibalism) meant to appease her. The history of the island reveals that it was once a somewhat ordinary sect of Japanese Christians exiled from the mainland, but was warped into the monstrous cult it is now by an Eldritch artifact hidden on the island by the Vatican, with a little help from toxic waste dumped in the waters because of corruption from the sect's leadership.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Daybreakers, a vampire can regain their humanity by drinking the blood of another ex-vampire.
  • 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:
    Pinhead: Burn? Oh, such a limited imagination! This is my body. This is my blood. Happy are they who come to my supper.
  • mother! (2017) has an extremely disturbing example of this. The infant child of mother and Him is torn to shreds and eaten by the crowd that's gathered in their home. Given the film's allegorical nature, it makes a lot of sense that the Eucharist itself is involved in such a manner.
  • 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 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."
  • The ritual Lord Voldemort uses for his "resurrection" in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire requires literal flesh, blood and a bone — from a servant, an enemy and his deceased father, respectively.
  • Là-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.
  • 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 remembrance 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."
  • 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.

    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.
  • Midnight Mass, being about vampires and Catholicism, naturally features this. The inciting incident that leads to the whole series is a vampire (mistaken for an angel) making an elderly priest drink his blood to gain his abilities, said priest spiking communion wine with his own blood to do the same for the worshippers at his church, and the penultimate episode has a Jonestown-style ritual where the now vampire blood effected parishioners are given wine laced with poison to fully bring out their vampiric abilities.

  • "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath is a vivid description of the Black Mass that invokes Satan. Word of God is that the song was inspired by a Hammer Horror movie of the same name making this a three-way Title Drop.
  • Ghost's "Body and Blood" presents a grisly take on the Eucharist where Jesus' body is exhumed and eaten by his followers.
  • Powerwolf's "We Drink Your Blood" is about vampires performing communion by drinking actual blood.
  • Near the end of the music video for The Toxhards' "Ængus, the Prize-Winning Hog", Ængus is killed in a confrontation with the Butcherman. The cult that had been praising him throughout the song held a viking's funeral for Ængus, but when the fire was put out, they began ravenously pulling apart and eating his roasted corpse as their praises are joyously reprised.
    Ængus is the leader
    Ængus is the brother
    Ængus is the father
    Ængus is the Savior

    Ængus is the answer
    Always and forever
    Ængus will protect you
    Worship him forever

    Myths & 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.

  • In the The Magnus Archives two-parter "Confession"/"Desecrated Host", a convicted Catholic priest recounts the paranormal events that unfolded after he came under the influence of an unspecified Entity, culminating in him unknowingly eating the facial skin of two mutilated students while believing he was taking Communion at Mass.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The central tenets of the Sabbat in Vampire: The Masquerade are a perverted mirror of Catholicism. Their form of "baptism" is burying you alive and forcing you to dig your way out. When you confess your sins to the pack priest, "penance" often involves self-inflicted power tool injuries. And of course, "communion" involves people grabbed off the street and hung by their ankles from the ceiling.

    Video Games 
  • The Healing Church from Bloodborne uses a lot of Catholic Church aesthetics 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, and almost always in a way that would make the real-world Church bust out the torches and pitchforks.
  • In Siren, the zombie-like Shibito were originally human beings before they were commanded to exposed to the red water by the hypnotic force of the siren. The red water is the symbolic blood of Datatsushi, an inter-dimensional being that crash landed near the village and, confused as a gift to the starving villagers of divine origins, was devoured. In his dying breath, the being cursed the villagers, killing all but Hisako who was cursed with immortality.
  • The Joining ritual from Dragon Age: Origins is a mostly-heroic but decidedly creepy version of this; potential candidates to become a Grey Warden drink a mixture of darkspawn blood, dragon blood, Archdemon (corrupted dragon Old God) blood, lyrium, and possibly other things from a golden chalice. It might give you low-grade superpowers... or it might just kill you. Even if it doesn't kill you, it will permanently taint you with the darkspawn essence, eventually corrupting you into a ghoul and connecting you with the greater darkspawn hivemind and the Song of the Old Gods.

    Web Comics 
  • A Cult in But I'm a Cat Person drinks the blood of a being instead of the blood of Christ.
  • In this xkcd, a character describes her church's Christmas mass:
    We celebrated the birth of a child; then we ate of his flesh and blood. Seriously hope we got the right child this time.

     Web Original 
  • The Creepypasta Avoid a Church Called "The Last Supper" has the congregants celebrate Communion by eating the pastor alive!
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-604 is a set of cutlery, dishes, and cups that turn any food they touch into human flesh. They were originally used by a monastery to literally eat of body and blood during Communion.

    Real Life 
  • Wikipedia 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.