“Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24
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We are transformed into one Body of Christ (the Church) through the Eucharist (Holy Communion). In receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist during Mass, we participate with the parish community in the Lord’s sacrifice he made for us. As He instituted the Eucharist during the Last Supper with the apostles, Christ also mysteriously gives himself for us in his Body and Blood at Mass.
Catholics are reminded of Christ’s death and his promise of eternal life for each of us when we receive him in the Eucharist. We are nourished and refreshed with God’s grace by the Eucharist, and we are called to go into the world and spread his Word in love and mercy.
To receive the Eucharist, Catholics must be in God’s good graces; therefore, if someone has committed a serious sin, Catholics – children and adults – must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion. Children begin preparing to receive the Eucharist in second grade. They receive their First Eucharist in the spring of their second grade year. Non Catholics can prepare to receive first sacraments through the process of RCIA.
The Eucharist is referred to in many ways: Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharistic Assembly, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Mysteries, the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.