The Eucharist is celebrated during all of our mass times. Please see our website home page for mass times.
AT SAINT MARY’S CHURCH
THEOLOGY OF THE SACRAMENT OF EUCHARIST
WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES
Eucharist, a Greek term signifying thanksgiving, encompasses the thanksgiving due to God through Christ for His saving presence among His people. Through Eucharist, Jesus becomes the Christ really present in sacrament and sacrificial meal. Through Eucharist, the new law of love takes shape within the life of the baptrized.
This sacrificial meal of the Eucharist recalls the passion, death, resurrection of Jesus and His promise to be with us always. Its celebration makes present these most sacred mysteries of Christ and fills the faithful in such a way that all become the Body of Christ. Through the celebration/reception of this sacred meal, the new law of love is proclaimed and Christ becomes present within the Eucharistic community. Through the Eucharist, Christ unites His people as one Body, nourishes them with the one Bread and one Cup, and becomes present to all the world through the leaven of His Eucharistic people.
PASTORAL PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE SACRAMENT OF EUCHARIST:
WHAT THE CHURCH PRACTICES:
1. As with other sacraments, no baptized Catholic, properly disposed, is denied celebration/reception of the Eucharist.
2. The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life and the most solemn celebration of the mystery of faith within the Catholic Christian community.
3. The local community (parish) through its priest and catechists, provides the catechesis required by the candidate for Eucharist. In the case of a child, this catechesis is conducted in conjunction with the parents in a manner that does not hinder the prophetic vision, that is, the determination of when God’s Spriit has marked the child as “ready” to receive First Eucharist.
4. In the case of children who approach the local community (parish) for reception of First Eucharist, the competent authority (the pastor, in consultation with the parents) determine that maturity of the child and the child’s understanding of Eucharist.
5. All who have received First Eucharist continue to celebrate Eucharist on the Lord’s Day, each and every Sunday. Children are initiated into this practice of Sunday Mass through the example and accompanying presence of their parents.
6. The faithful receive Eucharist on the Lord’s Day, at least during the Easter season.
7. In order to be properly disposed to receive communion, communicants should be free from grave (mortal) sin, have fasted from food and drink (except water and medicine) for an hour and seek to live in charity with their neighbors. Persons conscious of grave (mortal) sin must first be reconciled with God and the Church through the sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation.
8. For Catholic Christians, Eucharist signifies a unity of faith, life and communal worship. The sad divisions in Christianity hinder this unity and make it impossible for Christians of other churches/denominations to receive Eucharist at the Catholic community’s celebration of Mass, since this would imply a oneness in faith and practice which does not yet exist and for which we must all work and pray.
9. The local community, presided over by its priests, celebrates Eucharist with preparedness and devotion and the highest degree of prayerful participation. When unable to celebrate/receive Eucharist, the faithful unite themselves spiritually to the community celebrating Eucharist.
PARISH POLICIES REGARDING THE SACRAMENT OF EUCHARIST:
WHAT ST. MARY’S CHURCH REQUIRES:
1. No baptized Catholic, properly prepared and disposed, is denied celebration/ reception of Eucharist. Accordingly, every baptized child who is presented for First Eucharist at St. Mary’s will receive First Holy Communion upon his/her completion of the First Eucharist Preparation Program.
2. Our parish community, through its pastor and pastoral staff, determines the extent and intensity of catechesis necessary for any baptized Catholic seeking reception of First Eucharist.
3. In the case of children whose parents present them for First Eucharist, the parents’ Catholic expression and practice of faith determine the child’s process of catechesis. The Catholic faith-example necessary for a child’s initial preparation for the Eucharist includes Sunday worship in our parish (especially at the 10:00AM Sunday Family-Mass-with-Children), frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance/Reconciliation and Eucharist by the parents (when possible), and an attitude of love and concern for others which is the daily expression of Christ’s new law of love.
4. Regular religious education/formation for children at our Parish Community supports the faith upbringing and religious training by the parents whose serious and irreplaceable duty it is as the first teachers of their children:
—Each Sunday religious education is provided for our public school children from 9:00AM to 10:00AM preceding the 10:00AM Family Mass-with-Children.
—Religious education is provided within the curriculum of our Catholic School for children enrolled there. The children and parents of our Catholic School and our School of Religious Education/Formation (CCD) celebrate the 10:00AM Family Mass-with-Children every Sunday.
—Holy days and special holidays are celebrated by all our children (both public and parochial) and their families throughout the year.
—Children with special handicaps are prepared by catechists on a one-on- one basis during our Sunday morning religious education time, if this is possible. Otherwise, arrangements are made for these children to participate in the special religious education program of the Diocese of Scranton.
5. Parental involvement in the preparation process of First Eucharist is an indispensable requirement. Meetings for parents are scheduled throughout the year; such meetings are to be considered a MUST-ATTEND by parents. Meetings are arranged and planned in such a way as to allow time for parents to renew their own faith in the Eucharist, receive necessary information concerning First Eucharist, and join their child for prayer.
6. Our whole parish joins in the preparation period of First Eucharist of children:
—Our Pastoral Staff prays especially for the children;
—Individual parishioners assist in the purchase of clothing for children in need.
—Our Social Affairs Commission and our Family Life Commission arrange a First Communion Reception for all families whose children have celebrated First Eucharist. This reception takes place immediately after the celebration of First Eucharist. Our Eucharistic celebration of First Communion is prepared by the Worship Commission and our music ministry rehearses the songs of the Mass with the children prior to the day of First Eucharist.
7. All exceptions to the above norms governing First Eucharist are presented to the pastor for his decision.
8. In thanksgiving, an offering on behalf of the first communicant is presented by the family to the church for its upkeep and its works of charity and justice.
9. All members of the Eucharistic community of our parish have a serious obligation to support the parish through their Sunday offering (envelopes).