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“Eucharist” means “thanksgiving”. This is central to our Catholic identity, as we gather to be nourished at the Table of the Lord. Then we go forward to nourish others with the life we’ve received. It is also a marvelous, transcendent opportunity to enter into the great communion of the saints – on heaven and on earth – as our altar leads us to the heavenly banquet table and a sharing in Christ’s eternal gift of himself, at the Last Supper and on the cross.

We can receive the Eucharist every day, either at the great communal celebration of the Mass, or at a Liturgy of the Word with Communion (often called a Communion Service) in the absence of a priest. We gather weekly to reaffirm our communal and individual identity as Eucharistic people. As we receive the Eucharist, we enter into communion not only with God but also with one another as Catholics, recognizing our unity as the Body of Christ. (Click here for Mass times.)

Receiving Eucharist For The First Time

With Baptism and Confirmation, the Eucharist is a sacrament of initiation, leading into a deeper sharing in the faith life and practice of the Catholic community. As such, we have a special period of preparation for those seeking to receive Eucharist. We prepare not only to receive the first time, as it traditionally has been called First Communion; we prepare for a lifetime of thanksgiving, celebrating every week our growing communion.

Preparation to celebrate Eucharist and Reconciliation is a two-year journey of faith for children, beginning usually when the children are in second grade. (Adults wishing to receive Eucharist for the first time would inquire in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults -- click here.) This is part of our Faith Formation program for children’s religious education. Classes are part of the weekly studies during the school year. Children study to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation during their first year of sacramental preparation, and prepare to receive the sacrament of Eucharist during their second year.

During this time, it is expected that the children and their families are coming to Mass every Sunday, since Mass is a vital part of their faith formation and sacramental preparation, to know what they will be doing. There will be special sessions for parents, too, during the year, to help their children prepare for each sacrament. There is also a half-day, in-parish retreat just before children receive Eucharist for the first time, and this is mandatory for each child with his or her parent and godparent, if they have one.

(It is a cultural option to have a godparent for receiving Eucharist; it is not required. If someone is serving as a godparent, though, it is expected that they are receiving Eucharist regularly. It is expected, also, that they would receive when the child in their care receives for the first time. All godparents will need to present a letter from their parish priest, stating that they receive Eucharist regularly and are prepared to serve as spiritual guides.)

For more information or to register, please contact our Faith Formation office at 924-1728 or email at faithformation@santarosaparish.org.