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Eucharist

As baptized members of Christ's family, he continues to nourish our spiritual life with his own body and blood through the Eucharist. Christ said to those who followed him across the lake to Capernaum: Yes, I am the bread of life... the bread from heaven which gives eternal life to everyone who eats it... this bread is my flesh offered so the world may live... and unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you... I am the living bread... and those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life... and they will live forever (Jn 6: 48-58).

The Eucharist is a sacrifice that "re-presents (makes present)" Christ's sacrifice on the cross. The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross occurred "once for all", it cannot be repeated (Heb 9: 28). Thus Christ does not die again during Mass, but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar at Mass. This is why Mass is a participation in Christ's sacrifice on the cross (CCC 1364-67).

The Greek word εúχαριοτíα, translated "eucharistia", means thanksgiving. In celebrating the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, the Church, gathers to give God thanks for all the blessing we have received as individuals and as community. The risen Christ becomes truly present in sacramental form under the appearances of bread and wine to give thanks to the Father for all his benefits. The Eucharistic liturgy is an expression of our gratitude, through Jesus Christ, for all that God has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification (CCC 1359-60).

St. Rita's Guidelines for Eucharist
First Eucharist for children at St. Rita's usually occurs on the first Sunday after Easter.

  • Candidates are typically second graders.
  • Instruction is during the School of Religion's second grade class held on Monday evenings.
  • Parents must be church participants and are required to participate in their child's preparation.
  • Adults prepare for first Eucharist through the R.C.I.A. process that begins each fall.