Holy Eucharist

What is Holy Eucharist?

The Holy Eucharist, also called Holy Communion, is the core of our Catholic celebration and worship. It is a continual grace that keeps us spiritually healthy and strengthened. Catholics renew our Baptismal covenant through our participation in the Eucharist at Mass. Jesus uses this ‘supper’ to feed us with physically, emotionally and spiritually with His own Body and Blood.

In the Old Testament, as God’s people prepared for their journey in the wilderness, God commanded His people to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts, so the Angel of Death would pass by their homes. Then they ate the lamb to seal their covenant with God. This lamb prefigured Jesus. He is the real “Lamb of God,” who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Through Jesus, we enter into a New Covenant with God (Luke 22:20), Who protects us from eternal death. God’s Old Testament people ate the Passover lamb. Now, we must eat the lamb that is the Eucharist. Jesus said, “unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you have no life within you” (John 6:53-54). This is truly a mystery.

At the Last Supper, He took bread and wine and said,

Take and eat. This is My body…This is My blood which will be shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

– 1 Cor. 11:23-25

In this way Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrificial meal Catholics consume at each Mass.

The Catholic Church teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross occurred “once for all.” It cannot be repeated (Hebrews 9:28). Jesus does not “die again” during Mass; but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar. That’s why the Mass is not “another” sacrifice, but a participation in the first, same, once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Paul reminds us that the bread and the wine really become, by a miracle of God’s grace, the actual Body and Blood of Jesus.

Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

– 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

When do we celebrate Holy Eucharist?

We celebrate the sacrament of Holy Eucharist each day at Mass.

If you are unable to attend Mass and would like to receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, please call the parish office for further information.

Holy Eucharist in the Catechism

1322  “The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation, participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.

1323  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, Paragraph 1322 – 1323

Resources

For more about the Holy Eucharist, please refer to the Online Catechism of the Catholic Church.