Holy Communion

The Eucharist is a sacrament established by Christ to nourish the life of grace in us. Uniquely among the sacraments, however, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ himself. The Eucharist is a sacrifice, a presence and a food.

  • Sacrifice: it makes present Jesus Christ's sacrifice on Calvary for our salvation.
  • Presence: it is Jesus Christ himself under the appearances of bread and wine.
  • Food: it is the nourishment of our soul by which we share in God's own life.

 

The Eucharistic Sacrifice of Jesus renders perfect thanksgiving to God and gains mercy for the whole world. 'Eucharist' means 'thanksgiving'

When Jesus began his mission, John the Baptist declared him to be 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world'. By these words John indicated that Jesus is the perfect sacrifice prefigured by the Old Testament sacrifices.

Jesus confirmed that he would offer his flesh for the life of the world. At the feast of Passover, he took bread and wine and offered up his imminent death for our salvation.

"Take this, all of you and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you."

"Take this, all of you and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant. It will be shed for you and for many so that sins may be forgiven."

Jesus added, "Do this in memory of me". Therefore the Church, through her priests, continues to offer the same Eucharistic Sacrifice. Christ's offering on Calvary and its salvific effects are thereby made present to all ages until the end of time.

This Eucharistic Sacrifice is called the Mass. It is the centre of the Church's worship.

In order to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist or Holy Communion a person needs to be baptised and not in the state of mortal sin.