The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church's life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church. (CCC 1407)
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever;
. . . he who eats my flesh and drnks my blood has eternal life and
. . abides in me, and I in him."
"Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking." (CCC 1327)
The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharist species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. (CCC 1377)
The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Mass; she obliges them to do so at least once a year. (CCC1417)
Rules for Receiving Holy Communion
Receiving Holy Communion with Reverence
- One must be a Baptized Catholic in full communion with the Church.
- Fast for one hour before receiving Holy Communion i.e., no food or drink except water or medicine.
- Be in the state of grace, free from mortal sin, before receiving Holy Communion.
- Receive Holy Communion as often as possible.
- Participate in Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation.
- Receive Holy Communion at least once each year.
- We bow when the Body and Blood of Christ are offered.
- To receive Holy Communion in our hands, we extend our hands with palms facing up.
- The priest or minister of Holy Communion says “the Body of Christ.”
- We reply “Amen.”
- After receiving the Body of Christ, we pick it up with our right hand and place it in our mouth.
- If we choose to receive Holy Communion on our tongues, then we say “Amen,” we fold our hands, open our mouths, and extend our tongue.
- After the Body of Christ has been placed on our tongue, we close our mouth.
- The priest or minister offers the chalice and says “The Blood of Christ.”
- We reply “Amen” and take the chalice in our own hands.
- We sip a small amount of the Blood of Christ and then return the chalice.
- After receiving Holy Communion, we return to our places in church and pray.
For more information on First Communion please visit the First Communion page under SPX Faith Formation.