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Sacrament - Holy Eucharist

 

The Sacraments of Christian Initiation
Baptism
Confirmation
Eucharist

Eucharist

“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” (CCC1322).

“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’” (CCC 1323).

“‘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’” (CCC 1324).

“The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love. In order to leave them a pledge of his love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; ‘thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament.’” (CCC 1337).

“By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom” (CCC 1340).

“The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ‘The victim is one in the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of the offering is different.’ ‘And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner … this sacrifice is truly propitiatory’” (CCC 1367).

“To the offering of Christ are united not only the members still here on earth, but also those already in the glory of heaven. In communion with and commemorating the Blessed Mary Virgin and all the saints, the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ” (CCC 1370).

“The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as ‘the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend. ‘In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’ ‘This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is asubstantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present’” (CCC 1374).

“That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that ‘cannot be apprehended by the senses,’ says St. Thomas, ‘but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.’ For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 (‘this is my body which is given for you.’) St. Cyril says: ‘Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie’” … CCC 1381).

“To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: ‘whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.’ Anyone conscience of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion” (CCC 1385).

The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, ‘O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!’ The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord, that the time of  complete unity among all who believe in him may return” (CCC 1398).

“There is no surer pledge or clearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth ‘in which righteousness dwells,’ than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, ‘the work of our redemption is carried on’ and we ‘ break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ” (CCC 1405).

“Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord” (CCC 1411).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Eucharist: Celebrated at every mass (except during Holy Week). Please consult the Schedule on our Home Page. Children must attend Religious Education classes for a minimum of two years prior to receive this or any Sacrament. Please call the D.R.E. for additional information.