Sacrament of the Eucharist
Sacraments are appropriate recognitions of God’s mysterious gift of Christ for us inThe Eucharist is the sacrament in which Christian initiation reaches its culmination. Genuflections, respectful silence and other signs of reverence for the Blessed for in and through this sacrament, Christians are fully joined to Christ. Therefore,individuals preparing to receive Holy Communion should be mindful to hold the Blessed Eucharist in highest honor and to reverence the Sacrament with the greatest adoration. in this Sacrament.
The determination of readiness to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist for the first time is a primary responsibility of the pastor as well as of the child’s parents and/or guardian(s). They are to see to it that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared for and are nourished by Communion. Traditionally, children are prepared for reception of the Eucharist during second grade in their parish schools and CCD classes. Before receiving First Communion children first receive the Sacrament of Penance.
The Eucharistic Fast
The regulation for fasting is considered a means of spiritual preparation for receiving the Eucharist and a symbol of reverence for the sacrament. The Eucharistic Fast is limited to one hour before actually receiving the Eucharist. It pertains to all solid food and all drinks, except water. Taking medicine does not break the fast. The fast applies to priests who celebrate the Mass and by the faithful, regardless of what time of day the Mass is celebrated and Communion is received. Those who are sick, in hospitals – even if not confined to bed – and those caring for the sick, may receive communion even if they have taken food during the previous hour.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover. It is thanksgiving and praise to God the Father. It is the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body. It is the presence Sacrament of the Eucharist
This is our Catholic faith. We believe that the bread and wine, offered at Mass, truly become for us the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Sacrament has various titles:
EUCHARIST: because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek word eucharistein recalls the Jewish blessings that proclaim God's works: Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification.
THE LORD'S SUPPER: because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.
THE BREAKING OF BREAD: because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meal, when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread (Mt 14), above all at the Last Supper. It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection (Lk 24:13-35).
THE EUCHARISTIC ASSEMBLY: because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the church. As St. Augustine would say, "Become what you receive. Receive what you are."
THE HOLY SACRIFICE: because it makes present the one true sacrifice of Christ the Savior, on the cross, and includes the Church's offering. Also referred to as the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Altar.
HOLY COMMUNION: because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in His Body and Blood to form a single body. (I Cor 10:16-17).