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Community vs. Communion: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
Community refers to a group of people living together or connected by shared interests, while communion is a shared participation or intimate fellowship, often with religious connotations.

Key Differences

A community is a social unit with commonality, such as norms, religion, values, customs, or identity. Communion, in many religious contexts, represents a sacred relationship or spiritual union with a deity or with fellow believers.
Communities are formed for mutual support, shared objectives, or common interests, providing a sense of belonging to its members. Communion goes beyond mere association to imply a deeper level of sharing, often involving a profound spiritual or emotional connection.
While community often pertains to social groups or geographic areas, communion can occur individually or within a group but is always characterized by a sense of unity and shared experience.
In a community, engagement is typically outward and interactive, involving various social activities. Communion is an inward engagement, reflective and personal, even in a group setting, such as the Christian rite of Eucharist.
The concept of community is versatile, applying to local neighborhoods or global networks. Communion, however, usually refers to a specific act of sharing or a state of harmony, often within a defined context, like a religious ritual.

Comparison Chart


A group of people living in the same place or having particular characteristics in common.
Sharing or exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level.


Social, Cultural, Geographical
Religious, Spiritual, Personal


Collective, Organizational Activities
Intimate, Often Ritualistic


Can be large or small, from local to global
Typically involves individuals or small groups

Primary Focus

Mutual support, shared goals, community building
Spiritual unity, intimate fellowship, shared belief

Community and Communion Definitions


A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
The local community came together to support the family.


The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
They found communion in their shared love for poetry.


A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
The online gaming community is growing rapidly.


A Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and the communicant.
She took communion for the first time this Easter.


A group of people considered together because of similar work, interests, or residence.
The scientific community has validated the new discovery.


An act of sharing, or holding in common; participation.
The commune's sense of communion was palpable at the dinner.


A body of nations or states unified by common interests.
The international community has imposed sanctions.


A mutual participation or sharing in something.
Their communion with nature is a vital part of their spirituality.


In ecology, a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other.
The forest community is diverse, with many species of plants and animals.


A relationship of recognition and acceptance between Christian denominations or between individual Christians.
The churches were in full communion with each other.


A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.


The act or an instance of sharing, as of thoughts or feelings.


The district or locality in which such a group lives.


Religious or spiritual fellowship.


A body of Christians with a common religious faith who practice the same rites; a denomination.


How does a community interact?

Through social activities, shared goals, and mutual support.

What defines a community?

Shared location, interests, or characteristics define a community.

In what setting does communion typically occur?

Often in religious or spiritual gatherings, but also in any intimate, shared experience.

Can an online group be a community?

Yes, online groups with shared interests are considered virtual communities.

What is the purpose of communion?

To share intimate thoughts and unite spiritually in fellowship or belief.

Is communion always religious?

While commonly religious, it can also refer to any deep sharing or understanding.

Can a person belong to multiple communities?

Yes, individuals can be part of various communities simultaneously.

Does communion require physical presence?

Not necessarily, it can be a spiritual union or shared feeling even in absence.

How often do Christians partake in communion?

This varies by denomination; some weekly, others monthly or during specific holy days.

What elements are used in Christian communion?

Bread and wine, or substitutes like juice and crackers in some denominations.

What is the significance of communion in Christianity?

It commemorates Christ's death and signifies unity with Him and the church.

What makes a strong community?

A strong community is marked by active engagement, support, and shared values.

How does a community benefit its members?

Through support, shared resources, and a sense of belonging.

Who can administer communion?

Typically, an ordained minister or priest, though practices vary.

What role do leaders play in a community?

They guide, support, and help organize community activities.

Is communion symbolic or literal?

Views vary; some see it as symbolic, others believe in a literal spiritual presence.

Can communion be taken outside of church?

Yes, communion can be taken in various settings as determined by church practice.

Is community membership voluntary?

Typically, yes, especially in the case of communities formed around interests.

Are there different types of communities?

Yes, including geographical, professional, interest-based, and cultural.

What challenges can communities face?

Conflicts, lack of resources, and disengagement are common challenges.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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