Eucharist

Eucharist is considered the heart of the Church’s life and worship. It is also called the Mass or the Lord’s Supper. Participation in the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is expected of all Catholics of the age and ability to do so.

First Eucharist – also called First Holy Communion

Preparation for First Eucharist is offered to eligible children in grade 2 and above. An invitation to participate is sent to those eligible as registered students in the Religious Education program with an open invitation for those enrolled in Catholic schools. For more information regarding children or youth please contact Bridgit Goedeke in the Office of Faith Formation at 443-981-3187 ext. 111.  The Archdiocesan eligibility requirement is that the child has participated in a Religious Education program for the year before and the year of preparing to receive the sacrament. The children celebrate the sacrament for the first time either in choosing a special group family liturgy or at regularly scheduled weekend Mass, after Easter.

Children preparing for the sacrament of Eucharist register as part of our First Sacraments Ministry in the Fall. Invitations to eligible children in 2nd grade and above was mailed in August of 2017.  Our First Sacraments program began with the Reconciliation Session on Sunday September 13th. Please find the schedule for First Eucharist 2018 at part of the First Sacraments Schedule Here: lesson schedule and overview 2017 2018

Any adult interested in receiving the sacrament for the first time should call the Office of the Pastoral Associate, Charlotte Henderson 443-981-3162

What is Eucharist?

So rich is the mystery of the Eucharist that we have a number of terms to illuminate its saving grace: the Breaking of the Bread; the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharistic Assembly; the Memorial of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy and Divine Liturgy; the Eucharistic Liturgy; Holy Communion and Holy Mass. (cf.CCC, nos. 1328-1332).

The use of bread and wine in worship is already found in the early history of God’s people. In the Old Testament, bread and wine are seen as gifts from God, to whom praise and thanks are given in return for these blessings and for other manifestation of his care and grace. The story of the priest Melchizedek’s offering a sacrifice of bread and wine for Abraham’s victory is an example of this (cf. Gn 14:18). The harvest of the new lambs was also a time for the sacrifice of a lamb to show gratitude to God for the new flock and its contribution to the wellbeing of the family and tribe.

These ancient rituals were given historical meaning at the Exodus of God’s people. They were united into the Passover Meal as a sign of God’s delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, a pledge of his fidelity to his promises and eventually a sign of the coming of the Messiah and messianic times. Each family shared the lamb that had been sacrificed and the bread over which a blessing had been proclaimed. They also drank from a cup of wine over which a similar blessing had been proclaimed.

When Jesus instituted the Eucharist he gave a final meaning to the blessing of the bread and the wine and the sacrifice of the lamb. The Gospels narrate events that anticipated the Eucharist. The miracle of the loaves and fish, reported in all four Gospels, prefigured the unique abundance of the Eucharist. The miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana manifested the divine glory of Jesus and the heavenly wedding feast in which we share at every Eucharist. In his dialogue with the people at Capernaum Christ used his miiracle of multiplying the loaves of bread as the occasion to describe himself as the Bread of Life: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. . . . Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:51, 53).

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults