At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'
At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord's command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: "He took bread…" "He took the cup filled with wine…" The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, fruit of the "work of human hands," but above all as "fruit of the earth" and "of the vine" - gifts of the Creator. (See CCC 1323, 1333)
The Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season. But the Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the Holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.
To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament:
The faithful should abstain from food and drink for one hour before receiving Communion
Anyone conscious of a grave sin must first receive the sacrament of Reconciliation
Youth and adults who have participated in RCIA complete their initiation with the Holy Eucharist. Children who have been baptized prepare for their first Eucharist (see below) after their first Reconciliation.
Congratulations! You and your child have recently celebrated our Lord's mercy and unconditional grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Next, we will begin preparing for the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
The book My Own Mass Book has been chosen to serve as your guide on this faith-filled journey. This material is supplemental to that which will be covered in both our parish and school based religious education components. It provides a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to reflect on your connection with our parish as well as deepen your relationship with God and one another.
Each week you will receive an email sharing a particular theme and listing corresponding pages to be completed in My Own Mass Book. By following the suggested timeline, your family will finish the book just in time to celebrate the sacrament of First Eucharist.
Our Eucharistic journey will begin with the first email installment in this series. The parish will help and support you in many ways but it is you, the parent, who has the greatest impact on your child's faith and faith development. We pray that this stage of preparation will be a special, sacred time for you and your family.