And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood." Luke 22:19-20
CCC 1322 The holy Eucharist completes the Christian Initiation.
CCC 1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."
Christ gave of Himself on the Cross in an ultimate sacrifice so that we may have eternal life. Prior to doing so, He introduced His Apostles at the Last Supper to the way that He would provides for them and remain with them even after He returned to the Father -- through the gift of the Eucharist.
He instructs us in John's Gospel: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
We believe Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist, "body and blood, soul and divinity". So, Eucharist is the source and summit of who we are -- the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. We are never more Church than when we are at Eucharist, and so we come together to share in this Sacrifice as often as we can so that we might live out the words of The Lord and become what we receive. Celebrating Eucharist together is the primary way that we observe the 3rd Commandment and keep holy the Lord's Day. We embrace Sunday celebration as an obligation for worship that we owe the Lord in gratitude for the way He blesses and sustains us in living each and every day.
At Sts. Joachim & Ann, children are prepared for and make their First Holy Communion through participation in the second grade -- either in our full-time school or PSR. Adults are prepared for First Holy Communion through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.