What is the Eucharist?

Corpus Christi Procession

The Sacrament of Eucharist: Institution and End

What is the Eucharist?
The Eucharist is the sacrament which under the appearances of bread and of wine, really contains the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the nourishment of souls.

What is the matter of the Eucharist?
The matter of the Eucharist is bread from wheat and wine from grapes.

What is the form of the Eucharist?
The form of the Eucharist is the words of Jesus Christ, This is my Body; this is the chalice of my Blood …shed for you and for many for the remission of sins.

Who is the minister of the Eucharist?
The minister of the Eucharist is the priest who, pronouncing in the Mass the words of Jesus Christ, changes the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.

When did Jesus Christ institute the Eucharist?
Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, before His Passion, when He consecrated the bread and the wine, and distributed them to His Apostles as His Body and Blood, commanding that they after do the same in memory of Him.

Why did Jesus Christ institute the Eucharist?
Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist, that it might be in the Mass the permanent sacrifice of the New Testament and in Holy Communion the spiritual food of souls, for the perpetual remembrance of His love and of His Passion and Death.

Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist

In the Eucharist is there the same Jesus Christ who is in heaven, and who was born on earth of the Virgin Mary?
In the Eucharist is the same Jesus Christ who is in heaven and who was born on earth of the Virgin Mary.

Why do you believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist?
I believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist because He Himself declared the consecrated bread and wine His Body and Blood and because the Church so teaches us; but it is a mystery, and a great mystery.

What is the host before the consecration?
The host before the consecration is bread.

After the consecration what is the host?
After the consecration the host is the true Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread.

What is contained in the chalice before the consecration?
In the chalice before the consecration is contained wine with a few drops of water.

After the consecration what is in the chalice?
In the chalice after the consecration is the true Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of wine.

When do the bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus?
The bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus at the consecration.

After the consecration is there nothing left of the bread and the wine?
After the consecration there is neither bread nor wine any longer but there remain only the “specie” or appearances of them without their substance.

What are the “species” or appearances?
The “species” or appearances are all that which falls under sense, such as the shape, the color, the smell and the taste of the bread and of the wine.

Under the appearance of the bread is that only the Body of Jesus Christ, or under those of the wine is there only His Blood?
No, under the appearances of the bread Jesus Christ is present whole and entire, in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity; and likewise, under those of the wine.

When the host is broken into several parts, is the Body of Jesus Christ broken?
When the host is broken into several parts, the body of Jesus Christ is not broken, but only the “species” of the bread; and the body of the Lord remains entire in every part.

Is Jesus Christ present in all consecrated hosts of the world?
Yes, Jesus Christ is present in all the consecrated hosts of the world.

Why is the Most Holy Eucharist reserved in churches?
The Most Holy Eucharist is reserved in churches so that the faithful may adore It, may receive It in communion, and may know in It the permanent assistance and presence of Jesus Christ in the Church.

Holy Communion: Dispositions, Obligation and Effects

What things are necessary to make a good Communion?
To make a good communion three things are necessary:
1. to be in the grace of God;
2. 
to realize and consider whom one is going to receive;
3. 
to observe the Eucharist Fast.

What does to be in the grace of God mean?
To be in the grace of God means to have a conscience clean of all mortal sin.

Does he who receives Communion knowing he is in mortal sin, receive Jesus Christ?
He who receives Communion knowing that he is in mortal sin, does receive Jesus Christ, but not His grace; rather he commits a horrible sacrilege and renders himself worthy of damnation. 

What does it mean to realize and to consider whom one is going to receive?
To realize and consider whom one is going to receive means approach our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist with a living faith, with ardent desire and with profound humility and modesty.

What does the Eucharistic fast require?
The Eucharistic fast requires one to abstain from any food and drink at least one hour and if possible three before the communion.

Is Communion ever permitted to one who is not fasting?
To one not fasting, Communion is permitted in danger of death and during a long illness, under the conditions determined by the Church.

Is there an obligation to receive Communion?
There is an obligation to receive Communion every year at Easter and in danger of death, as Viaticum which fortifies the soul in the journey to eternity.

At what age begins the obligation of Easter Communion?
The obligation of Easter Communion begins at the age when one is capable of making it with fitting dispositions, that is ordinarily, around the age of seven.

Is it good and useful thing to receive Communion frequently?
It is an excellent thing and most useful to receive Communion frequently, even every day provided it be done always with the proper dispositions.

After Communion, how long does Jesus Christ remind in us?
After Communion Jesus Christ remains in us as long as the Eucharistic species remain.

What effects does the Eucharist produce in one who receives it worthily?
In one who receives it worthily, the Eucharist preserves and increases grace, which is the life of the soul, as food does for the life of the body; It remits venial sins and preserves from mortal sins; It gives spiritual consolation and comfort, increasing charity and the hope of life eternal , of which it is the pledge.

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Is Eucharist only a sacrament?
The Eucharist is not only a Sacrament, but is also the permanent sacrifice of the New Testament, and as such, is called the Holy Mass.

What is sacrifice?
Sacrifice is the public offering to God of a thing which is destroyed to profess that He is the Creator and the supreme Master, to whom absolutely all is due.

What is the Holy Mass?
The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, which is offered on the altar by the priest to God, under the appearances of bread and wine, in memory of the sacrifice of the Cross and in renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross.

Is the Sacrifice of the Mass the very sacrifice of the Cross?
The sacrifice of the Mass is the very sacrifice of the cross; the only difference is in the manner of accomplishing it.

What difference is there between the sacrifice of the Cross and that of the Mass?
Between the sacrifice of the Cross and that of the Mass there is this difference, that Jesus Christ, on the Cross, sacrificed Himself in giving voluntarily His own Blood, and He merited every grace for us; whereas on the altar without shedding blood He sacrifices Himself and annihilates Himself mystically by the ministry of the priest, and applies to us the merits of the sacrifice of the Cross.

For what ends in the Mass offered to God?
The Mass is offered to God to render Him the supreme worship of latria or adoration, to thank Him for His benefits, to appease Him make satisfaction to Him for our sins, and to obtain graces for the faithful, living and dead.

Is the Mass not also offered to the saints?
The Mass is not offered to the saints, but to God alone, even when it is celebrated in honor of the saints; sacrifice regards only the Creator and supreme Master.

Are we obliged to hear Mass?
We are obliged to hear Mass on Sunday and on the other feasts commanded; it is good, however, to assist at Mass often to participate in the greatest act of Religion, supremely pleasing to God and meritorious.

What is the most fitting way to assist at Mass?
The most fitting way to assist at Mass is to offer it to God in union with the priest, recalling the sacrifice of the Cross, that is the Passion and Death of our Lord, and receiving Communion: Communion is real union with the immolated Victim, and is therefore the greatest participation in the Holy Sacrifice.