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.’”
THE EUCHARIST – SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF ECCLESIAL LIFE
1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
1325 “The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.”
1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.
1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.
SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION FOR EUCHARIST (FIRST HOLY COMMUNION)
“The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.” (CCC, #1407)
As Catholics, receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift we receive. We are encouraged to receive Holy Communion at least once a week at Sunday Mass and more often when possible. In order to be eligible to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist we need to learn what it is we are about to receive and to be in a state of grace (without Grave Sin which severs our relationship with the Church and God.) We are restored to a State of Grace after participating in the Sacrament of Penance.
Understanding this Sacrament of Initiation is fundamental to our role as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament was instituted at the Last Supper when Jesus Christ, in the presence of his apostles, broke bread and blessed it and blessed the wine transforming both into his Body and Blood. We see this transformation during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at every Mass. When we receive the Body of Christ, we become “Christ” to each other. The more we genuinely accept the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the easier it is to live the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is imperative that families support this Sacrament by weekly Mass attendance and by practicing their faith every day.
Catechesis for those persons receiving the Eucharist for the first time is not only necessary but also vital to the life of the parish. Children in Religious Education Program (CCD) receive First Communion in the second grade.
Special needs children are instructed and catechized according to their needs and ability.
Questions concerning preparation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist can be directed to the Religious Education office at 609-489-0249. Any questions concerning the Eucharist can be directed to any priest
Sacramental Preparation Meetings
Recognizing that parents are the primary educators of their children, an evening of instruction is planned prior to the reception of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation. Parents are required to attend this meeting during the time their child is preparing to receive these sacraments. The purpose of this meeting is to help the parents become more involved in their child’s preparation for these sacraments as well as their continued spiritual formation.