First Eucharist#

The Sacrament of the Eucharist is the ritual, sacramental action of giving thanks and praise to the Father. Together we bring ourselves to the altar to share in the sacrificial memorial of Christ. As the symbolic gifts of bread and wine are brought to the altar – we give ourselves in love, and together become the Body of Christ.


Children’s preparation for first reception of the Eucharist begins in the home. Children who participate with their family in the Mass, experience the Eucharistic mystery in an initial way. Parents have the right and the duty to be involved in preparing their child for First Communion. Therefore, catechesis offered must also help parents grow in their own understanding and appreciation of the Eucharistic act of giving ourselves in love at the altar and truly becoming the Body of Christ. After receiving this sacrament we are sent forth to “be” the Body of Christ for others. Catechesis should be lifelong for all.

The Catechesis, through the Faith Formation Programs:

  • Teaches that the Eucharist is the living memorial of Christ’s sacrifice and a commemoration of his last meal with his apostles
  • Ensures the baptized have been prepared and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Develops an understanding of the Father’s love, of the sacrifice of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit
  • Teaches that the Holy Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ
  • Teaches the meaning and the manner of receiving Christ’s Body and Blood.

Readiness for Reception of the Sacrament:

  • an understanding that there is a difference between the Eucharist and ordinary Bread;
  • a desire to take part actively with the people of God in the Eucharist and share fully at the Lord’s table
  • has been baptized and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation

#36, A3-3aInformation from the National Directory for Catechesis



So rich is the mystery of the Eucharist that we have a number of terms to illumine its saving grace: the Breaking of the Bread; the Lord's Supper; the Eucharistic Assembly; the Memorial of Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy and Divine Liturgy; the Eucharistic Liturgy; Holy Communion; and Holy Mass (cf. CCC, nos. 1328-1332).

The use of bread and wine in worship is already found in the early history of God's people. In the Old Testament, bread and wine are seen as gifts from God, to whom praise and thanks are given in return for these blessings and for other manifestations of his care and grace. The story of the priest Melchizedek's offering a sacrifice of bread and wine for Abraham's victory is an example of this (cf. Gn 14:18). The harvest of new lambs was also a time for the sacrifice of a lamb to show gratitude to God for the new flock and its contribution to the well-being of the family and tribe.

These ancient rituals were given historical meaning at the Exodus of God's people. They were united into the Passover Meal as a sign of God's delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, a pledge of his fidelity to his promises and eventually a sign of the coming of the Messiah and messianic times. Each family shared the lamb that had been sacrificed and the bread over which a blessing had been proclaimed. They also drank from a cup of wine over which a similar blessing had been proclaimed.

When Jesus instituted the Eucharist he gave a final meaning to the blessing of the bread and the wine and the sacrifice of the lamb. The Gospels narrate events that anticipated the Eucharist. The miracle of the loaves and fish, reported in all four Gospels, prefigured the unique abundance of the Eucharist. The miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana manifested the divine glory of Jesus and the heavenly wedding feast in which we share at every Eucharist.

In his dialogue with the people at Capernaum, Christ used his miracle of multiplying the loaves of bread as the occasion to describe himself as the Bread of Life: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. . . . Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Jn 6:51, 53).






At St. John de LaSalle we emphasize the importance of Mass attendance for children receiving the sacrament of Eucharist. We ask that the families attend Mass weekly and once a month the children and their families are asked to come forward to receive a blessing and a sacramental or gift to add to their faith experience.  

Communion in the Home

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are available to bring Communion to those who are unable to attend Mass. Please call the office at 716-283-2238 or email for more information.





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