Holy Communion is the Sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the night before He died. When our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist the twelve Apostles were present. Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist by taking bread, blessing, breaking, and giving to His Apostles, saying: “Take and eat. This is My body;” and then by taking the cup of wine, blessing and giving it, saying to them: “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood which shall be shed for the remission of Sins. Do this in commemoration of Me.” When our Lord said, “This is My body,” the substance of the bread was changed into the substance of His body; when He said, “This is My blood,” the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of His blood.
Jesus Christ is whole and entire both under the form of bread and under the form of wine. After the substance of the bread and wine had been changed into the substance of the body and blood of our Lord there remained only the appearances of bread and wine, which means that visibly, and to all our senses, the bread and wine looked and tasted the same as before it was consecrated. The substance of the bread and wine was changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ by His almighty power. This change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ continues to be made in the Church by Jesus Christ through the ministry of His priests. Christ gave His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood when He said to the Apostles, “Do this in commemoration of Me.” The priests exercise this power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the words of consecration in the Mass, which are the words of Christ: This is My body; this is My blood.
Eucharist is so much more than the holy bread and the holy cup shared; it is a holy moment – a saving action. This includes the sharing of the Word (Liturgy of the Word), offering of prayers and keeping alive the memory of Jesus by remembering the Last Supper (Liturgy of the Eucharist), concluding with the sharing the bread and wine, consecrated into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This whole ritual and celebration is known as the Mass. For more information, see the Catechism 1322-1419.
Since this is a ritual to be shared amongst our brothers and sisters in Christ, First Eucharist Masses are celebrated with the congregation at regular weekend Mass times during the Easter Season (April-May). We want children experiencing First Eucharist to have a complete understanding of what it is they are receiving, thus preparation for First Eucharist starts the year before they are to receive the sacrament. Parents should have their children enrolled in Faith Formation classes by 1st grade. Those enrolled in the school will receive the class preparation as part of the school curriculum and attend the sacramental preparation activities along with the Faith Formation students. Preparation continues into the 2nd grade with children receiving First Eucharist in the spring of their 2nd grade.
Reconciliation is celebrated in the 2nd grade. Students must attend our Religious Education Program or Catholic School before the reception of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. For more information, or to register for classes, contact Kelly Murphy, 262-248-8524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparation to receive First Eucharist as an adult is part of our RCIA program. For more information on our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program, contact: Geri Braun at 262-249-9590 or email@example.com