The Sacrament of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion)
The Eucharist is a gift we can receive every day throughout our lives. It is our most familiar Sacrament yet the most complex and mysterious.
It is the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood in the bread and wine transformed by God during the Holy Mass. It sustains us and is at the heart of our spiritual and every day life, yet the miracle that happens before us is new and startling each and every time. It was instituted at Christ’s last supper before he was crucified and rose again. It is our gateway to that supper and to Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. It is a real and direct link to those events and through it we are blessed with the real presence of Christ in this Holy Sacrament. It is also why we can, with complete certainty, know that Christ stays with us in the Eucharist retained within the Tabernacle (why else would we kneel before that small compartment on the altar?) and it is why we can all take part in Eucharistic Adoration.
Many people throughout the ages have contemplated, discussed and explored the meaning of the Eucharist. We can all spend time in this, too, but there are two things we can do that will help us in our daily lives and in our endeavours to understand this Gift more fully.
All we need to do is accept the truth of it and believe.
Receiving the Eucharist for the first time is a very special occasion for all Catholics, regardless of their age. It is a real milestone in our lives and a gateway through to greater involvement in the Church as well as to a more intimate and deepened relationship with God.
At St Mary’s, First Holy Communion preparations start for those attending St Mary’s Junior School in September of every year. To those children attending non-Catholic schools St Mary’s offers a Saturday school. Again the course starts from September. Please keep an eye on the newsletter and on this website for new course start dates. For adults the RCIA programme will guide you through the process.