What is the Eucharist

By Milly, Carla and James

What is the eucharist?

The Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments, which many Catholics believe was instituted by God to give grace. It is one of the Catholic Churches major sacraments. This ritual is observed by mostly christians, or people within the church. Many christians see it as a commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ, marked by partaking in the body of christ, the bread and the wine representing Christ’s blood.

The Holy Eucharist is the physical reenactment of Christ’s Last Supper with his apostles.

But symbolically, it represents so much more:

- The sharing of the gifts of God with God

- The continued presence of Christ in our midst

- A sacred meal to which we are all invited, a source of grace.

The Eucharist celebration also reminds us of the last hours of Christ’s life on earth.

In conclusion the Holy Eucharist is a coming together as disciples of Christ to receive bread and wine, just as Jesus and the apostles gathered at the Last Supper. It is a symbolic reminder of God’s love and the fact that God sent Jesus to show us how we should live on this earth.

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How does the Eucharist relate to every day life?

Everything you do, do for the glory of God. (St Paul)

The Eucharist relates to every day life as, it is the coming together for a meal, just like if you were coming together with family for dinner. The Eucharist is a more exciting event though as we are experiencing God, physically and spiritually.

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Introductory rite

Priest: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. [All together make the sign of the cross.]
All: Amen.

Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

All: And also with you.

Liturgy of the word

The main part of the Liturgy of the Word is made up of the readings from Sacred Scripture together with the chants occurring between them. The Homily, Profession of Faith, and Prayer of the Faithful, however, develop and conclude this part of the Mass.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

At the Last Supper Christ instituted the Paschal Sacrifice and banquet by which the Sacrifice of the Cross is continuously made present in the Church whenever the priest, representing Christ the Lord, carries out what the Lord himself did and handed over to his disciples to be done in his memory. For Christ took the bread and the chalice and gave thanks; he broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take, eat, and drink: this is my Body; this is the cup of my Blood. Do this in memory of me." Accordingly, the Church has arranged the entire celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in parts corresponding to precisely these words and actions of Christ:

1. At the Preparation of the Gifts, the bread and the wine with water are brought to the altar, the same elements that Christ took into his hands.

2. In the Eucharistic Prayer, thanks is given to God for the whole work of salvation, and the offerings become the Body and Blood of Christ.

3. Through the Fraction and through Communion, the faithful, though they are many, receive from the one bread the Lord's Body and from the one chalice the Lord's Blood in the same way the Apostles received them from Christ's own hands.

After this is done and gifts have been prepared the Eucharist Prayer is read a long with the communion prayer and the rite of peace.

Concluding rites

The concluding rites consist of:

- Brief announcements, if they are necessary;

- The priest's greeting and blessing, which on certain days and occasions is enriched and expressed in the prayer over the People or another more solemn formula;

- The dismissal of the people by the deacon or the priest, so that each may go out to do good works, praising and blessing God;

- The kissing of the altar by the priest and the deacon, followed by a profound bow to the altar by the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers.