The Sacrament of Holy Communion, or the Holy Eucharist, is the third Sacrament in the Roman Catholic faith, typically received for the first time in second grade, following the Sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation.
At the Last Supper, on the night before His death, Jesus instituted the memorial of his Body and Blood in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross on that first Good Friday throughout the ages. The unleavened bread made from wheat flour and the wine made from grapes, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked are offered together with the words of consecration which Jesus spoke on that first Holy Thursday:
"This is my body/This is the cup of my blood...which will be given up for you."
As Catholics, we believe that with those words of consecration offered by a priest, the ordinary bread and wine is transformed, not as a mere symbol, but into the real and substantial presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Usually, a child prepares to receive the Holy Eucharist in second grade, or at the age of discretion, but not before the Sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation are properly celebrated.
Adults are received into this sacrament through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
To learn more about the Sacrament of First Communion as part of our Religious Education Program, please click here.