The Eucharist is the most important sacrament in the Catholic Church. It is a remembrance of Jesus' death on the cross, and it tells us that he will come back to give eternal life to all who believe in him. Catholics believe that when they eat communion bread, they are actually eating and drinking Christ's body and blood. The Eucharist has been an important part of our faith for centuries, but not everyone knows what it means or how often we should partake of this sacrament. In this blog post, we'll discuss why the Eucharist is so important to Catholics, its meaning as well as some general guidelines on how you should take advantage of this holy ritual.
Eucharist is derived from the Greek word "eucharistía", which was originally used as a term for thanksgiving. Eucharistic means being thankful or grateful. Eucharist in the Catholic Church is a sacrament. An outward sign of an inward divine grace that strengthens our union with Christ and each other in the church. It affects us both spiritually and physically, as well as uniting us with one another in a bond of love that reflects the love between Christ and his church (see Scripture, New Testament John 6).
Why do Catholics believe in the Eucharist?
Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is literally Christ's body and blood. We receive him in Holy Communion within a Liturgy during Holy Mass. It's a sign and act of our faith, hope, and love for God. But also his unimaginable great love for mankind.
The sacrament of the Eucharist also exists in other Catholic successor churches, the Christian Orthodox as well as Anglican.
How Eucharist was initiated?
The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus at his last supper with his apostles before he died on the cross. The Lord Jesus, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said: "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread, you celebrate the Lord's death until he comes again (1 Cor 11:24-26). In this biblical account of the New Testament, the Eucharist is not only a commemoration of Jesus offering himself for us on the cross. It's perpetuated every time we come together to celebrate the Holy Mass.
Why Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life?
For Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and culmination of their faith, because it contains within itself all that Christians believe. The holy communion is not a meal for them, but a real encounter with Jesus Christ himself. Through this reception of this sacrament he Lord gives us his divine presence.
How Eucharist is celebrated?
The Eucharist is served to the faithful as part of a service or liturgical celebration of the Eucharist. This includes prayerful participation in the celebration of the Mass along with all other members of the congregation who are present at that time. The liturgy is especially uplifting at Sunday Mass (called High Mass). Especially due to the Gregorian chant at the Latin traditional Mass. Read more about this topic here.
Why Eucharist is important?
Jesus is the bread of life, and we must eat his body and drink his blood to be saved from eternal death (= eternal damnation).
"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. Whoever eats this bread, will live forever." (John 6: 56-58)
The Holy Spirit also works within those who partake in the Holy Communion, transforming them into more holy people, so that they can better serve others in their communities. "The spirit creates life" (see 2 Cor, 3). Besides, receiving Holy Communion brings about what is called “communal identity” or “communal belonging” by reminding us who we are at our core – children of God who belong together.
How to receive Holy Communion as a Catholic?
In the following are some practical instructions on receiving Eucharist or Holy Communion. First of all, it is important to know that you can receive Eucharist as a Catholic every day. Secondly receiving Eucharist is very special and a very intense moment of prayer. Finally, note these important points:
- Make sure that your conscience is clear (no mortal sin) and go to confession regularly. The Bible says: "He who eats bread unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord." (1 Cor, 11:27)
- Receive the host or chalice kneeling and on the tongue from the Priest. This is the most venerable form and has been practiced for almost 2000 years.
- If possible prepare for the Holy Communion by spending some time in meditation and prayer before Eucharist (see below).
- Go to daily Mass as often as possible. Every day if you can!
- Last but not least, dress appropriately.
Prayer before Holy Communion
In silence, pray for a few moments with these words from the Roman Missal:
"O Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Say but the word and my soul shall be healed." Or this one: "O God, be merciful to me a sinner!"
Good Prayer after Holy Communion
Soul of Christ, sanctify me!
Body of Christ, save me! Blood of Christ, water me! Water of Christ's side, wash me!Suffering of Christ, strengthen me! O most gracious Jesus, hear me! Hide me in Your wounds! Let me never be parted from You! In the hour of my death call me! And bid me come to You, That I may praise You With Your saints forever. Amen
"O my Jesus! Now I have found what I was looking for, You, my only consolation, my hope, my highest good, my everything. Full of humility I prostrate myself before You and worship You as my God, my Lord, and Savior. Praise, honor, and glory be to You forever."
"O my Jesus! I recognize the excess of Your goodness and thank You with all my heart for the infinite benefit. That You have been worthy to come to me Yourself and to nourish me with Your holy flesh and blood for eternal life. My soul proclaims eternally Your infinite mercy."
"O my Jesus! You are now in me, You inexhaustible source of all good. Remove from me everything that displeases You, and give me everything that promotes me to You. Help also Your Church, so that it may serve You in peace. Pour out, O Lord, Your divine blessing upon my parents and pastors, benefactors and relatives, yes, upon all people on earth, and let the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace through Your mercy. Amen."
The Eucharist is the central and most important Catholic sacrament. In the transformed host the divinity Jesus Christ is really present. Receiving the Holy Communion shows that you're welcoming God into your life with open arms, which is why it’s so crucial to go to Mass every sunday. If you haven't been taking this time-honored tradition seriously so far because you don't know what it means or how to do it properly, we hope to have helped you in this article with some useful information and tips. Go to Holy Mass as often as possible. But at least once a week. Integrate it into daily life and you will reap great rewards! God bless you.