The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.” The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit. Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1323-1327)
In First Holy Communion, the children will prepare to meet the Lord Jesus in this very special sacrament. The First Holy Communion ritual celebrates the child’s second step toward full initiation into the Church. The Eucharist is the greatest gift that Jesus gave to us – the gift of himself. The Eucharist is a gift that takes a whole lifetime to understand; it is a gift that requires a response from us. That is why it is so special and why we must take such care that our children are well-prepared.
At your child’s Baptism you, the parents, were told that you “would be the first and best teachers of your children in the way of faith”. Parental involvement in the preparation of your child for First Holy Communion is paramount. The parish ‘helps’, but does not replace your part in the process of leading your children in the development of their faith, through the development and example of your own life. The best preparation for the Eucharist is taking your child to Mass regularly and helping your child understand what it is all about.
First Holy Communion is most often celebrated by children around the age of seven or eight, when they have reached the age of reason and are capable of participating in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. First Holy Communion is to be preceded by the sacraments of baptism and reconciliation. “Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1457).
The Eucharist is the heart and soul of our Catholic faith. In celebrating this sacrament, we are fed on both God’s life-giving Word and the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. We participate in the Lord’s dying and rising which we call the Paschal Mystery, the complete gift of Himself to the Father and to us.
This participation in the Eucharist transforms us into Christ’s body present in the world as the Church, calling us to do in our own lives what Jesus did in His. We are expected to share in the Eucharist every Sunday. To neglect participation in the Eucharist threatens our identity as Christians as well as to live incomplete lives.
Contact the parish office for more information at 303.455.3613.