The Eucharist has been called “the source and summit of our Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11). The Eucharist, sometimes called ‘communion’ or the ‘Host’, is the sacrament whereby we encounter the real presence of Jesus in the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is the representation of the Sacrifice of Jesus on the altar of the cross. It is not, simply a symbolic sign of bread and wine meant to represent the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper. The Body and Blood of Christ is made truly and really present through the priest, and shared among the faithful as instructed by Jesus.
When was the Eucharist first instituted?
Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper. His very words are the words the priest uses at the consecration during Mass. When Jesus was sharing the Passover meal with His disciples He took the bread, blessed the bread and gave it to His disciples saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you, do this in memory of me.” And He took the cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.” (Lk22: 19-20)
Who can receive the Eucharist?
Any baptized Catholic who has reached the age of reason (7 years old), and has been properly instructed in the significance of this sacrament, and one who is in a state of grace. One who is knowingly not in a state of grace because of mortal sin may receive the sacrament of reconciliation prior to receiving and therefore be well disposed to receive the Eucharist. Catholics generally receive their first communion in second grade, but any Catholic can receive their first communion after the age of seven when they have been properly prepared.
How does one prepare to receive the Eucharist?
The preparation for receiving the Eucharist begins at Baptism. It becomes the responsibility of the Catholic parent to instruct their child from the earliest age by attending Mass on Sunday and explaining, to the best of their ability, the significance of the Eucharist. In addition each child will attend the first and second grade faith formation as preparation for receiving the Eucharist for the first time. First Communion is received in the spring of the third grade program. Please go to (religious Ed tab) for further information of religious instruction. For adults who have not received their first communion they must attend the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). For information on our RCIA program please click here.
What if I am disabled and cannot attend Mass?
For those who are homebound or living in a healthcare facility, a minister can bring the Eucharist to you on a monthly basis. Simply contact our office for further details.