What does my child need to do to receive his/her first Holy Communion?
All people above the age of reason, age 7, are eligible to receive their First Communions following a year of study. St. Jude of the Lake Catholic School and Family Faith Formation students receive their instruction during class periods. Children are required to:
- Attend class weekly
- Attend our Reconciliation Retreat
- Receive Reconciliation prior to their First Holy Communion
- Attend our First Eucharist Retreat
- Submit a Baptismal certificate
Q: What is the Holy Eucharist?
The celebration of the Eucharist is called the Holy Mass. The Holy Mass has two distinct parts: The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, during the consecration of the priest standing in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) consecration, the host and wine become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is both a substantial reality and a call to deepen our relationship with Him Who Loves.
Q: What does the word eucharist mean?
The Greek word eucharist means thanksgiving. Since Jesus came as a gift to humanity and all that we have is a gift from God, we praise and glorify Our Lord in thanksgiving for the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. We give our thanks to God that we are able to participate in Jesus’ life through the breaking of the bread, and receive his mercy and love.
Q: Why does the Church call the Eucharist the “source and summit of our faith”?
All of the sacraments and all of the ministries and work of the Church are oriented toward Our Lord, who is substantially present in the host. Jesus is the source of our faith because of his resurrection, his victory over death. Because of this mystery, the Catholic faith flourished with the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the summit of our faith; we unite our very selves with Him in an intimate experience as we partake of the Eucharist. Jesus is our “all in all,” to him our greatest love should go. We are called to love Jesus (source) and to be in love with Him (summit).
Q: How often should I come to Mass?
As God asks us to “keep holy the Sabbath day” each week, we should attend Mass once per week. We should also celebrate the Holy Days (feasting!). Some people feel the need to commune with Our Lord during the week as well.
Q: As disciples of Jesus, what should we do after Mass?
We are asked to “go in peace and love and serve the Lord” in our hearts, our homes, and our communities. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world and to spread his message of love to our friends and neighbors.
*All quotes are taken from Pope Francis thoughts on the liturgy, given at his weekly daily audience throughout the month of November. These words are from his remarks on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.