I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51
What do we believe about the Eucharist?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that 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.”137
“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.”138
Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.139
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.”140 (CCC #1324-1327)
Around the time a child reaches the age of reason (age 7), they begin preparing for two sacraments – Reconciliation (aka Confession or Penance) and Eucharist (aka First Holy Communion). Typically this preparation takes place during a child’s 2nd grade year, provided that have completed at least one full year of faith formation (at St. Matthias or another parish). All families who desire these sacraments for their children must be enrolled and regularly attend our faith formation program, GIFT. The preparation for the two sacraments is done at home, following two family retreats: one in November for Reconciliation and one in February/March for Eucharist. The sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated in January and First Communion is celebrated at the end of April/beginning of May.
For families who have older children (4th grade and older) who are seeking the sacraments of Reconciliation and/or first Eucharist, one full year of faith formation (here or at another parish) is also required prior to sacramental preparation. Each family’s situation is different, so please consult with Sabrina to receive more information about the process for preparation. Letters of invitation with important dates about sacramental preparation are sent in October to all families with children interested in these sacraments of initiation.
Adults who have not previously received their First Communion are invited to enter into preparation for these sacraments through the RCIA process. Email Deacon Rich for assistance.
If you have any questions about these sacraments or you or your child’s readiness to receive them, please contact Sabrina for assistance.