Sacrament of Eucharist
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic life and our faith. It is the sacrament in which Jesus is truly present - Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearances of bread and wine. Just as our bodies need nourishment to live, our souls also need nourishment. The Eucharist is our spiritual food. Because the Eucharist is our source of spiritual nourishment, it is beneficial to receive the sacrament frequently. By attending Mass each Sunday we are able to receive Holy Communion once a week. However, because our Church also celebrates Mass daily, we are able to receive Our Lord even more often.
Through worthy reception of Communion, grace, the life of God is increased in our souls, bringing us closer to Him and helping us to be spiritually stronger.
To benefit from the graces of the Eucharist we must prepare ourselves and be properly disposed to receive it worthily. We must:
- Be in a state of grace when we receive Holy Communion. If we have committed a mortal sin, we must first go to Confession before receiving Holy Communion. If one were to receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin this would be the serious sin of sacrilege.
- We must actually believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.
- We must observe the Eucharistic fast of no food or drink (except water and medicine) for one hour before receiving Holy Communion. Those who need to take medicine with food would not be obligated by the ordinary norm.
- After receiving the Eucharist we should spend time in thanksgiving for Jesus coming to us in the Eucharist and asking Jesus to help us.
In addition to receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, we can become closer to Him through Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Adoration Chapel at Our Lady of Joy is available for us to adore, thank and pray to Jesus. Also, on the First Friday of the month, following the 8 a.m. daily Mass we have one hour of Adoration along with the opportunity for Confession.
In the Diocese of Phoenix, children receive their First Holy Communion in the third grade after two consecutive years of preparation. They receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at the same Mass as they receive their First Holy Communion. Students older than third grade and adults who have not made their First Communion may enroll in classes for their preparation.