Eucharist

 

Mass is celebrated daily at St. John's at 8am. Sunday Masses take place at 5pm (Saturday vigil), 7am, 9am, and 11:30am.

 

Following the teachings of Scripture and the early Church fathers, the Church insists upon certain conditions being met before a person can receive the Eucharist. These conditions are mentioned below; more information can be found here.

 

In order to properly prepare for the Sacrament of First Communion, children participate in religious education through the parish’s Religious Education program or by attending a Catholic school. Reception of First Communion usually takes place in the second grade. However, preparation for the sacrament begins with participation in a religious education program one year prior to the sacramental year. In other words, two years of religious education are required for a child to receive this sacrament. All children celebrate the sacrament for the first time during the Easter season. Please contact the Religious Education office at (301) 373-2281 or rolon@sjchollywood.org if you have a child who wishes to receive the sacrament.

ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

 

- Jesus instituted this sacrament at the Last Supper: "Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'" (Mt 26: 26-28)

 

- The Eucharist is also called Holy Communion.

 

It is sometimes called the "summit and source" of our faith.

 

- The Catholic Church teaches and we as Catholics are called to believe that Jesus meant what he said at the Last Supper. The Eucharist does not merely symbolize or represent Jesus' body and blood; it actually is his body and blood. "For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him." (Jn 6: 56-57)

 

In fact, the wheat bread and grape wine are so fully changed into the body and blood of Christ that no trace of their former substance remains, even though the appearance is still there. This is called the doctrine of "transubstantiation."

 

- The Church holds the Eucharist to be so holy that no one can approach it without special preparation.

 

First, one must be in a state of sanctifying grace. Normally this occurs as a result of making a good sacramental confession. In rare occasions, however, when there is no opportunity for confession and there is a grave reason for one to receive Communion (danger of death, etc.), one can receive the sacrament after making a private act of contrition and resolving to confess as soon as possible. Read more here.

 

Second, one must have confessed any serious (i.e., mortal) sins. The same conditions as above apply when there is no opportunity for confession.

 

Third, one must believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation discussed above. "For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself." (1 Cor. 11: 29)

 

Fourth, one must have observed a fast of one hour prior to receiving the sacrament. Canon law states, "One who is to receive the most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion" (CIC 919 §1). Elderly people, those who are ill, and their caretakers are excused from the Eucharistic fast (CIC 191 §3).

 

Fifth, one must not be under an ecclesiastical censure, that is, excommunication or interdiction.

 

Sixth, one must be baptized and a Catholic. There are circumstances in which non-Catholics can receive the Eucharist, but these are rare, and the conditions above would still apply. Read more here.

 

When these conditions are met, the Church recommends frequent, even daily, reception of the sacrament.

 

- The matter of the sacrament is wheat bread and grape wine; the form is the words "This is my body... This is the chalice of my blood."

"Why is the Church so strict about who can receive the Eucharist?"
 

See the answer in this video

from Busted Halo (bustedhalo.com)

"How should I receive the Eucharist?"

 

 

 

See the answer in this video

from Busted Halo (bustedhalo.com)

"What if I have other questions?"
 

 

Check out these great resources

from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and EWTN