The Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is another sacrament of initiation and can be received daily if desired. It is the central rite of Catholic worship. A baptized child's First Communion is usually celebrated around age seven or eight and is preceded by their first confession (the sacrament of Reconciliation). During the mass the priest consecrates bread and wine, the elements of the Eucharist, which are transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ. As a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and in a reflection of hisLast Supper with his disciples, the congregation then shares in the sacred meal. Special lay ministers (i.e., non-priests) are trained to bring the consecrated elements to the ill or otherwise homebound so that all Catholics can participate. The Holy Eucharist is the most important of the seven sacraments because, in this and in no other sacrament, we receive the very body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Innumerable, precious graces come to us through the reception of Holy Communion.
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
If you have questions regarding First Communion preparation for a child or an adult, please call (619) 444-9425 or stop by the parish Ministry Center, or click on the links below.