“Do this in remembrance of me.”
We are transformed into one Body of Christ (the Church) through the Eucharist (Holy Communion). In receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist during Mass, we participate with the parish community in the Lord’s sacrifice he made for us. As He instituted the Eucharist during the Last Supper with the apostles, Christ also mysteriously gives himself for us in his Body and Blood at Mass.
Catholics are reminded of Christ’s death and his promise of eternal life for each of us when we receive him in the Eucharist. We are nourished and refreshed with God’s grace by the Eucharist, and we are called to go into the world and spread his Word in love and mercy.
To receive the Eucharist, Catholics must be in God’s good graces; therefore, if someone has committed a serious sin, Catholics – children and adults – must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion.
Children: The Archdiocesan Guidelines require two years of formal catechesis prior to receiving First Reconciliation and Communion. This process begins when you enroll your child in the 1st grade School of Religion Program. The first year of study helps the children develop a deeper personal knowledge of Jesus. They learn that Jesus teaches us about God’s love for us and how we can respond to that love. The second year of the process continues these themes and provides specific Sacramental catechesis. For more information on First Communion or if your child is in 2nd grade or order, contact Emily.Dumler@shoj.org.
Adults: Non Catholic adults prepare to receive first sacraments through the process of RCIA.
The Eucharist is referred to in many ways: Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharistic Assembly, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Mysteries, the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.
First Eucharist and First Reconciliation preparation are designed as a two year program, usually starting in first grade. This preparation is provided in our parish school and School of Religion. For more information on sacrament preparation, contact Emily.Dumler@shoj.org.
Have Questions About First Communion?
Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist
Although the Eucharist appears to be simple bread and wine, it is actually the "source and summit" of the Christian life. Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist explores the truth and beauty of Christ's real presence in the Eucharist, from its origins in Sacred Scripture, to its profound role in the life of the Church and her members. It is the crescendo of the entire story of salvation.