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Chapter 17. The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Christian Life • 229

• The essential signs of the Eucharist for the Latin Church are unleav-

ened wheat bread and grape wine.

• At Mass, the consecrated bread is Christ’s Body. The consecrated

wine is Christ’s Blood. Jesus Christ, whole and entire, is fully present

under each form of the Eucharist. He is substantially present in a

way that is entirely unique. This happens by the power of the Holy

Spirit through the ministry of the priest’s acting in the person of

Christ during the Eucharistic Prayer.

• “As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins

of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual and temporal ben-

efits from God” (CCC, no. 1414).

• To receive Communion, one should be in the state of grace. A person

conscious of mortal sin may not receive Communion until absolved

from the sin in the Sacrament of Penance (see 1 Cor 11:27-29).

• A person who is conscious of grave sin but has no opportunity for

sacramental confession may receive Communion for a serious rea-

son; in such a case, the person must first make an act of perfect con-

trition and have the intention of confessing as soon as possible (cf.

CIC, can. 916).

• The fruits of Holy Communion include a deeper union with Christ,

a closer identity with all the faithful, a commitment to the poor, and

a pledge of future glory.

• The faithful are urged to receive Communion at Mass. The Church

obliges them to do so at least once a year during the Easter season.

• Once Communion has been distributed, the remaining hosts are

placed in the tabernacle to provide Communion for the sick and


for the dying and also to provide opportunity for prayer

and worship before Christ in his Real Presence.


O Jesus, joy of loving hearts,

the fount of life and my true light,

We seek the peace your love imparts

and stand rejoicing in your sight.