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Eu"cha*rist, n. Etym: [L. euchaistia, Gr. yearn: cf. F. euchaistie.]
1. The act of giving thanks; thanksgiving. [Obs.]
Led through the vale of tears to the region of Eucharist and hallelujahs. South.
-- See Sacrament.
Do this for a commemoration of Me. . .This sacrifice and sacrament is to be continued in the church, to the end of the world, to show forth the death of Christ, until He comes. But this commemoration, or remembrance, is by no means inconsistent with the Real Presence of His Body and Blood, under these sacramental veils, which represent His death; on the contrary, it is the manner that He Himself hath commanded, of commemorating and celebrating His death, by offering in sacrifice, and receiving in the sacrament, that Body and Blood by which we were redeemed.
"The Eucharist is the 'summit' of Christian initiation and all apostolic activity, because the Sacrament presupposes membership in the communion of the Church. At the same time, it is the 'source,' because the Sacrament is nourishment for the Church's life and mission." -- Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 47
The Eucharist is what we do and who we are as a Catholic parish community. Each Sunday we gather to celebrate the Eucharist and commemorate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. We believe that the Eucharist we celebrate is the true and living presence of Jesus among us.
St. Augustine said, "become what we receive." We receive the Eucharist to sustain us, but it also propels us to go back into our lives and strive to bring Christ's presence into our homes, work places and schools.
The Eucharist is reserved in the tabernacle. This ancient custom of the Church began so that people who were not able to join the Christian community for the celebration of the Eucharist could receive it in their homes at a later time. Great devotion to Christ's presence in the Eucharist arose and the practice of praying in the presence of the reserved Eucharist, also known as the Blessed Sacrament, grew and continues to this day. Catholics commit themselves to celebrate the Eucharist on the Lord's Day. Personal practice and devotion also may inspire people to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist on a daily basis. As a sacrament of initiation, the Eucharist brings people into fuller communion with the Christian family. First Eucharist is usually celebrated as early as the second grade in the United States. The Eucharist can also be celebrated for the first time anytime after that age if the child or adult has made their First Confession and understands that the Body and Blood of Jesus is truly present in Holy Communion.
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