The Sacrament of the Eucharist is the fruit of the celebration of Holy Mass. It is the miraculous transformation of ordinary bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The appearance and taste of bread and wine remain, but the substance and reality is changed.
At Epiphany, Holy Mass is offered four times each weekend – at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. On Holy Days of Obligation, the Eucharist is celebrated at 6:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 6:30 p.m..
Persons who are ill at home, or in the hospital, may call the church office at 722-2110 to arrange for a communion minister to bring them communion at home or in the hospital.
The Eucharist is also known as Holy Communion, or the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. It may refer to the ceremony of the Mass, or to the consecrated Body and Blood of the Lord. At the Last Supper, Christ broke bread, blessed it, and gave it to the Apostles and said,
Take this, all of you, and eat of it,
for this is my Body,
which will be given up for you.
After they had eaten, he took the Cup and blessed it, saying:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it,
for this is the chalice of my Blood,
the Blood of the new and eternal covenant,
which will be poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in memory of me.
We believe that during the Mass, in a mystical way we become present with Christ and the Apostles at that first Holy Communion.
Our English word “Eucharist” derives from a Greek word, that is used in the original Greek of the New Testament in the book of First Corinthians, chapter 11, where Paul writes –
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me”
The English words “given thanks” translate the Greek verb form of the noun “eucharista” meaning “thanksgiving.”
The description of the Last Supper is given in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, while much of the theology of the sacrament of the Eucharist comes from the book of John, especially the “Bread of Life discourse” found in John 6:22-65.
Catholics who are aware of mortal sin in their lives are called to abstain from Holy Communion until such time as they have confessed their sin and received absolution.
The Catechism says that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Christian life. Through the sacrament of the Eucharist, we unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy, and receive graces that we need to navigate the complexities of life. It is a sign of the unity we experience in the Church. It is the culmination of our worship of God.
The Eucharist is consecrated only in the context of the Eucharistic feast, that is, the Holy Mass. It becomes for us a sacrament not only of initiation, but also healing, as we say before the Communion rite of the Mass: “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul will be healed.”