From the last days Christ walked the Earth as a human, those who follow his way have celebrated the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, we gain everything we need to live our lives as Christians, and it is the highest expression of our Christian faith. This is why the Second Vatican Council called the celebration of the Eucharist the “source and summit” of the Christian life. In the celebration of the Eucharist (which comes from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving”), we celebrate the presence of Jesus in four ways: in the Word of God, in the assembly, in the person of the priest and especially in the sacrament of the altar. As Catholics we reserve the Eucharistic elements in the tabernacle, so that they may be available to be taken to the sick, those in prison and the homebound who cannot attend our Sunday celebration.
The reception of Communion is a continuing initiation of the Christian to the life of Christ. Therefore, the first time each of us receives the Body and Blood of Christ, it is call for a special celebration.
Receiving the Eucharist for the first time
For children. At St. Brendan we retain the custom of providing a festive celebration for young children who receive the Eucharist for the first time, also called First Holy Communion. This is a special day each year to celebrate with family and friends. Those who wish their children to receive their First Holy Communion should call the parish office so that their children may be enrolled in the religious education program.
For adults. Baptized adults who have not yet received the Eucharist for the first time must generally participate in the Rite of Christian Invitation for Adults (RCIA). This process culminates each year at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night, when the parish community celebrates baptism of adults, confirmation and first reception of the Eucharist for adults and reception into the Catholic Church of adults baptized and raised in other Christian traditions. To learn more, contact the parish office.