About the Sacrament
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” ~John 6:53-55
Many of Jesus’ followers left him and returned to their former way of life because his teaching was too difficult for them to accept, but Jesus was undeterred. He didn’t change his teaching on the Eucharist in order to make them stay with him. (John 6) Commenting on Luke 22:19 (“this is my body which is given up 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.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1381)
The principle fruit of receiving the Eucharist is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. (CCC 1391) Indeed, the Lord said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him (John 6:56.) What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. (CCC 1392)
Before we receive the Eucharist, we must prepare ourselves for a great and holy 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 his body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) Therefore the Catechism says “Anyone conscious of grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.” (CCC 1385)
First Celebration – Children
First Communion for children is celebrated in May of their 2nd school year. Children need to be enrolled in the Parish Religious Education classes (CCD) or have attended a Catholic school for 2nd grade.
First Celebration – Adults (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults – RCIA)
RCIA is for adults who are either: a) beginning their journey toward becoming a member of the Church, or b) has not received all the sacraments of initiation. These sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. These are received at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday evening.
Those wishing to receive the Eucharist
Those wishing to receive the Eucharist are asked to review the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.