Sacrament of Holy Communion
“The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host.”
– Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
The Sacrament of the Eucharist
Once we become members of Christ’s family, He does not let us go hungry, but feeds us with His own Body and Blood through the Holy Eucharist.
In the Old Testament, as they prepared for their journey in the wilderness, God commanded His people to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts, so the Angel of Death would pass by their homes. Then they ate the lamb to seal their covenant with God.
This lamb prefigured Jesus. He is the real “Lamb of God,” Who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Through Jesus we enter into a New Covenant with God (Luke 22:20), Who protects us from eternal death. God’s Old Testament people ate the Passover lamb. Now we must eat the lamb that is the Eucharist. Jesus said, “unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you have no life within you” (John 6:53).
At the Last Supper He took bread and wine and said, “Take and eat. This is My body…This is My blood which will be shed for you” (Mark 14:22-24). In this way Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrificial meal Catholics consume at each Mass.
The Catholic Church teaches that the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross occurred “once for all;” it cannot be repeated (Hebrews 9;28). Christ does not “die again” during Mass, but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar. That’s why the Mass is not “another” sacrifice, but a participation in the same, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Paul reminds us that the bread and the wine really become, by a miracle of God’s grace, the actual Body and Blood of Jesus: “Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1Corinthians 11:27-29).
After the consecration of the bread and wine, no bread or wine remains on the altar. Only Jesus Himself, under the appearance of bread and wine remains.
At Our Lady of the Lake, preparation for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is typically received in the second grade after two years of preparation through the Religious Education Program. Home School families are welcome to follow formation materials approved by the Diocese and then incorporate their children in our parish sacramental celebration.
The parents are expected to attend any parent meetings scheduled to clarify the role of the parent, the parish procedures and to distribute materials. The celebration of the Sacrament occurs at the 9:00 AM Mass on a Sunday during the Easter Season. Your child should be enrolled in Our Lady of the Lake Religious Education Program to receive all necessary information and preparation. Adaptive procedures for older children are available. Contact the Religious Education Coordinator – Alice Bartow at 294-6440 for more information.
To receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the first time as an adult or older child, please consult our pastor so that we can help facilitate this moment of grace.
More information about the Holy Eucharist can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1322-1419).