“The gesture Jesus makes during the Last Supper is ‘the extreme giving of thanks to the Father for His love and for His mercy.'”

– Pope Francis

What is the Eucharist?

The Eucharist is what becomes of the bread once it has become the Body of Christ.

It “must always be clear that the Eucharist is not something that we do; it is not our commemoration of what Jesus said and did. No. It is an act of Christ! It is a gift from Christ, Who is made present and gathers us around Him, to nourish us with His Word and His life. This means that the mission and the very identity of the Church spring from this, from the Eucharist … Through the Eucharist, Christ wishes to enter into our existence and the permeate it with His grace, so that in every Christian community there is coherence between liturgy and life.”

More information on the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the Mass

What Does the Eucharist Mean to Catholics?

Before the consecration (transforming of the bread into the Body of Christ), the Eucharist is simply bread.  Afterwards, it truly becomes the Body of our Savior, Jesus Christ, just as He did at the Last Supper.  This is one of Catholic’s core beliefs.  It is written in our creed and crucial to our Catechism.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that the Mass is a sacrifice in the sense that when it takes place, Jesus Christ, through the celebrating Bishop or priest, makes present sacramentally His saving sacrificial death on the Cross by which he redeemed us from our sins. The Eucharistic sacrifice is the memorial of Christ’s redeeming death.

How Can I Participate in First Holy Communion?

First Holy Communion is normally celebrated within individual parishes.  To learn more about courses and programs to prepare for First Holy Communion, please contact your home parish.

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What Happens During First Holy Communion?

After months of preparation, those receiving the Eucharist for the first time are brought to the altar and when the priest says “The Body of Christ,” the recipient will respond with “Amen,” and is then offered the Eucharist to ingest.

Information adapted from “The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Christian Life” by Bob Reddy, Florida Catholic