The Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’. It is the culmination of GOD’S saving actions in Jesus Christ and of our worship and union with Him who leads us to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. All the other sacraments are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. (CCC 1322-1327)
The word ‘Eucharist’ comes from the Greek word eucharistein meaning ‘thanksgiving’. Jesus gave thanks at the Last Supper, at which he instituted the Eucharist, and then offered his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving once for all on the Cross. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) lists several terms to describe the Eucharist: Lord’s Supper, Breaking of Bread, Eucharistic assembly, memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, the Holy Sacrifice, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, and Holy Mass. (CCC 1328- 1332)
The Mass or the ‘liturgy of the Eucharist’ has two parts that together form ‘one single act of worship’: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (CCC 1346-1355). In the Liturgy of the Word Christ is present to us in the word proclaimed. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body he gave up for us on the cross, the blood he ‘poured out for many for the forgiveness of our sins’.
At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the Eucharistic so that He might continue to abide with us and so that we might partake of the saving mystery of his passion, death and resurrection. Jesus’ command to ‘do this in memory of me’ is faithfully carried out by the Church from the very beginning to the end of time. The Eucharist is the center of the Church’s life. (CCC 1337-1345)
For children entering 2nd grade or older who would like to begin preparing to receive First Communion, please contact Stacey.