What is the Sacrament of The Eucharist?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. 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.

1323 "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"

1324 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."

1325 "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."

1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.

1327 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."

First Communion for Children

Children who have been baptized normally receive First Communion in the second grade. This can be done by attending St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School or our Parish School of Religion (PSR). First Communion classes begin in September and continue through March or April.

Children older than second grade who would like to receive First Communion attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC). These classes take place the same time as PSR. Children receive First Communion (and Baptism if not already baptized) on Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil in conjunction with adults.

Homeschool families and children seeking to receive First Communion collaborate with a parish priest. Permission to receive First Communion should obtained at the beginning of a student’s sacramental preparation. A final review of the meaning and purpose of Eucharist with a parish priest will be necessary prior to receiving First Communion. The priest will provide you with the context and content of this final review.

First Communion for Adults

Adults desiring to receive First Communion do so by attending the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). St. Francis of Assisi hosts two cycles of RCIA per year. The Winter RCIA, which is the traditional schedule, runs from September until the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. The Summer RCIA runs from March until October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Don’t wait for RCIA to learn more about the faith. Go to FORMED and begin watching the Symbolon or Lectio: Eucharist programs. This will begin your formation for First Communion.