The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament and a sacrifice. In the Holy Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered, and received. The whole Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. We use the words “really, truly, and substantially” to describe Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist in order to distinguish Our Lord’s teaching from that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that He is present only by His power. The word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.”
“Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism, and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation, participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.” (CCC 1322)
Because the appearances of bread and wine remain in the Holy Eucharist, we cannot see Christ with our bodily eyes in this sacrament. We do see Him, however, with the eyes of faith. Our bodily eyes, moreover, do not deceive us when they see the appearances of bread and wine for these appearances really remain after the Consecration of the Mass. For the Catholic Christian, the Eucharist is our communion with the Divine Life.
The three Sacraments of Christian Initiation — Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist — together form the process of sacramental initiation into the Church. If this will be your First Holy Communion, it will mark your wonderful beginning of sharing at the table of the Lord with the whole Church at your local parish.
For information on First Communion classes and catechism group, please call the office at 780-585-3920.