For the People of God, the Eucharist is at the heart of their life as church. It is here that we experience the presence of Christ in the Word, in the breaking of the Bread and in one another.
We remember and make present Christ’s Passover from life, through death, to new life. Joined with Christ, we make reparation for the sins and sinfulness of humans everywhere. In the Eucharist, with Jesus we offer to God our praise and thanksgiving. At Christ’s invitation to “take and eat”, we become more deeply one with him and with one another, and are renewed for the journey of life.
- All other sacraments are connected with and directed to the Eucharist.
- The Eucharist is the origin and culmination of all Eucharistic devotions outside the mass. Reserving the Eucharist was originally for the administration of viaticum to the dying, but over time other purposes developed including administration of communion to the sick, and the veneration of the sacrament.
- There are guidelines for the many aspects of Eucharist such as mass intentions, vestments, the elements of bread, wine and water, the presider, participation of the faithful, ministers of the Eucharist and Viaticum (Eucharist for the dying), who may receive communion, reservation of the Eucharist, the celebration of Mass.
- The celebration of the Eucharist (mass intention) may be offered for anyone – living or deceased, baptized or non-baptized, saint or sinner.
- The bread is unleavened, of wheat flour, and the grape wine natural and unspoiled. Arrangements can be made for those who are allergic to gluten in wheat flour.
- In Canada, special days with the obligation to attend Mass are: all Sundays; Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and Feast of Mary, the Mother of God (Jan. 1).
- Special Ministers of the Eucharist may, when authorized, distribute communion during Mass, bring communion to the sick and infirm, and viaticum to the dying.
- Lay women and men may serve as readers, commentators, cantors, leaders of liturgical prayers, ministers of baptism and communion.
- The use of universal language that includes women as well as men is endorsed and encouraged by the Bishops of Canada.
- For more information, contact the pastor of your parish or mission.
"Sunday Mass is the greatest miracle in the world: the celebration of the Eucharist. God speaks through the Scriptures. The Church offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit transforms the gifts of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. The faithful share Communion with one another and with God. So nourished, the people of God go forth into the world to preach the gospel and to live by its demands."
(Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops)