Eucharist

The Eucharist culminates the process of initiation. In the Eucharist we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection, the moment when he made a total gift of himself to God and to us. As we unite ourselves with Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist we celebrate what we believe. The Eucharist thus nourishes us in our journey of discipleship. When we live as Christ taught us, by dying to self and making love of God and neighbor the first priority in our life, then we will share in his resurrection.

Reception of communion

The Catholic Church believes that the Risen Christ becomes truly present, but in sacramental form under the appearances of bread and wine. Many other Christian churches believe the Eucharist is only a symbol of Christ's presence or the remembering of Jesus.

While Catholics are encouraged to receive communion every time they participate in the celebration of Mass, they are to receive communion at least once a year, during the Easter time that is the first Sunday of Lent until Trinity Sunday.

Since Catholics believe that one receives the Risen Christ, truly present in his transformed body, but many of our Christian brothers and sisters in other traditions view communion as a "remembrance" of the Last Supper, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops provides the following guidelines on the reception of communion:

For Catholics

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. A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

For our fellow Christians

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions that separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one."

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to holy communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches.

For those not receiving communion

All who are not receiving holy communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another. It is a spiritual communion.

For non-Christians

We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to holy communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.

To arrange for the first communion of a child

Preparation for children to receive first communion begins each year after the celebration of first reconciliation. A parent meeting is usually scheduled in early February to begin the process of preparation.

For more information, contact:

Pat Gleason
Pastoral Assistant for Liturgy, First Reconciliation and Communion
253–564–5185, ext. 3018

To arrange for the first communion of a teen

Teens who wish to receive their first communion are directed to the RCIC program.

For more information, contact:

Pat Gleason
Pastoral Assistant for Liturgy, First Reconciliation and Communion
253–564–5185, ext. 3018

To arrange for the first communion of an adult

Adults who wish to receive their first communion are directed to the RCIA program.

For more information, contact:

Renee Stocks
Pastoral Assistant for RCIA, Grief Ministry and Parish Life
253–564–5185, ext. 3037

Communion to the sick

Eucharistic ministers to the sick are available to bring communion to those in hospitals, nursing homes or confined to their own homes. This applies even if only for a short time such as after a surgery or an injury. A priest can also visit to provide the sacraments of penance and the anointing of the sick.

For more information or to let us know who needs this pastoral care, contact:

Kim Seevers
Pastoral Assistant for the Sick and Homebound, Marriage and Parish Outreach
253–564–5185, ext. 3013

Communion to the dying

Otherwise known as viaticum which means "food for the journey" and is the proper sacrament of the dying. Family or friends should ask a minister to the sick or the priest to bring communion to the one who is near death while they are still able and alert enough to receive communion.

For more information or to let us know who needs viaticum, please contact:

Kim Seevers
Pastoral Assistant for the Sick and Homebound, Marriage and Parish Outreach
253–564–5185, ext. 3013

If Kim is unreachable in an emergency, call the Parish Office at 253–564–5185 during regular hours or call the emergency line at 253–677–9827 after hours and state your emergency and needs.