St Barnabas Parish > Holy Communion

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

What is Holy Communion?

Holy Communion also known as “The Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving”

The Eucharist refers to Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity that are truly present in the consecrated host and wine (now called the Body and Blood of Christ) on the altar. 

When the priest consecrates the bread and wine, its substance becomes the body and blood of Christ. This process is known as transubstantiation. Where it is not bread, or holy bread, or a cracker or biscuit; rather, it is truly and substantively Jesus Himself. It is at the Mass, through validly ordained bishops and priests, whereby the Eucharist is truly made present.

For us as Catholics, there is nothing greater than to receive Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.

The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Christ Himself on the night before He died during the Last Supper. Sharing a final meal of bread and wine with His disciples during the Passover meal. Jesus had instructed his followers that the bread was “my body” and the wine was “his blood.” He commanded his followers to eat these and “do this in memory of me.

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”(CCC 1324) It is in the Eucharist that we truly and substantially encounter Jesus this day. The reception of this Sacrament completes Christian initiation.

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Why the Eucharist?

Jesus instituted the Eucharist “in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His Death and Resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to’” (CCC 1323). 

It is in the Eucharist that we truly receive and are united with our Lord Jesus. In addition, “The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal He washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love. In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from His own and to make them sharers in His Passover, He instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of His Death and Resurrection, and commanded His apostles to celebrate it until His return; thereby He constituted them priests of the New Testament” (CCC 1337).

Register for First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in a Roman Catholic person’s life. It is the first time that a person receives the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the eating of consecrated bread and drinking of consecrated wine. Most Catholic children receive their First Holy Communion when they are in grade 2 or at least the age of 7 or 8 as this is considered the age of reason.

Registration for the 2021 First Holy Communion is now closed

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the parish office.

Registration for the 2022 First Holy Communion will begin in January 2022, information has been sent to the parish schools.

If your child is older than grade 4 and wishes to receive Holy Communion for the first time, can do so by enrolling in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC) Program. 

If you are an adult, 18 years or older, who is seeking more information on how to become a member of the Catholic Church, or if you are a baptized Catholic and have never received First Holy Communion, please refer to The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) for further information.

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“The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” 

Lumen Gentium 11

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