What is the Eucharist?
The Sacrament in which Jesus Christ gives Himself – His Body and Blood – for us, so that we might give ourselves to Him in love and be united with Him in Holy Communion.
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior 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.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1323)
Catholics believe that at the Mass when the Holy Spirit is called down and the words of Jesus are spoken, the bread and wine become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Therefore what we receive is not a symbol of Jesus, but truly Jesus Himself. Those who approach the altar to receive the Eucharist should be baptized Catholics.
Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.
Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1416)
Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1418)
If you are an adult and would like to prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, please contact Christine Wagberg at email@example.com
First Holy Eucharist for Children
We at St. Mary are pleased to partner with our parents in a great responsibility: educating their children in the catholic faith. We assist parents fulfill the solemn promises they made at their child’s baptism. Our program is rooted in family life, supported by classroom catechesis, and celebrated with the parish community.
Children are prepared in an all-parish program involving both families whose children attend St. Mary Catholic School, and those whose children attend our after-school Religious Formation program. Our sacrament preparation program is family centered in which parents play an essential and irreplaceable role in their child’s formation.
Preparation for Eucharist is a two-year program (typically grades 1-2), with our formal preparation beginning in the second year.
In the first year, the child will learn basic truths of the Catholic faith, learn their prayers, attend Sunday Mass with their family, and do the home activities in their work book with their family as directed by the catechist and Director of Religious Formation.
In the second year, the candidate and parents participate in First Reconciliation (confession), and First Eucharist formal preparation, which is the family component offered by the parish. First Reconciliation is celebrated before a child receives his or her First Holy Eucharist.
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