Jesus said: ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever.’
The Eucharist is described as the source and summit of the Christian life. It is the origin for all our prayer, worship and activity, and it is the goal of everything we do. This is because in celebrating the Eucharist, we enter into communion with Christ himself, whose body and blood, soul and divinity are given to us under the form of bread and wine.
The Eucharist completes our initiation as Christians and nourishes us for the rest of our days on earth. As Christians together we make up the mystical Body of Christ; in celebrating the Eucharist we unite ourselves with Jesus Christ our Head.
Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper. On the night of his betrayal and arrest, Jesus took bread and wine, elements familiar to the Jewish feast of Passover which he was keeping with his disciples, and spoke of them as being now his body and blood: signs of a new and everlasting Covenant between God and people which he was to establish by his death on the cross the following day
Faithful to Jesus’ command to “do this in memory of me”, the Church continues to take bread and wine and to speak Christ’s words of consecration over them. The Eucharist has been, since the very beginning of the Church, the central act of her worship.
The celebration of the Eucharist is more commonly called the Mass, and receiving the Eucharist more commonly referred to as Holy Communion.
There are a number of services that relate to, or flow from, the Mass: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction; communion taken to the sick or housebound; and, in the absence of a priest, a Service of the Word with Holy Communion.
Children are prepared to receive their First Holy Communion from the age of 7. This year’s course is now closed for applications.
Adults who are seeking to become Catholic and receive Holy Communion should attend the upcoming Journey in Faith course.
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