The Eucharist has always been the most important aspect of our Christian faith. Jesus instituted this sacrament at the Last Supper that he shared with his disciples on the night before he died on the cross. The Eucharist is not symbolic of his body and blood, rather it is his body and blood.
We believe that the bread and wine offered during the Mass is transformed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus through Transubstantiation.
Therefore, it is our faith that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and by receiving him in the Eucharist we make him the centre of our lives. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC, no. 11; cf., no. 1324). It is our privilege to receive Jesus in Holy Communion whenever the Mass is being offered. A true understanding of the importance of Eucharist will create in us an ardent desire to receive him and experience his abiding presence and receive his blessing in our lives. One should have received the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation and first Eucharist before they come forward to receive Holy Communion during the mass. We know that there is no substitute for Eucharist, but those who are not prepared to receive Holy Communion are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing from the priest.
The Holy Mass is also a gathering of the faithful sharing their Christian fellowship, love and care together. St Patrick’s offers a number of Masses for those who would love to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Our volunteers (Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion) take Holy Communion to those who are elderly, sick or housebound periodically so that they too can experience the enrichment and grace received from the Eucharistic Lord.