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Dipping into the Catechism 289-294

Why is the Holy Eucharist the paschal banquet?
The Holy Eucharist is the paschal b a n q u e t i n a s m u c h a s C h r i s t sacramentally makes present His Passover and gives us His Body and Blood, offered as food and drink, uniting us to
Himself and to one another in His sacrifice.
What is the meaning of the altar?
The altar is the symbol of Christ Himself who is present both as sacrificial victim (the
altar of the sacrifice) and as food from heaven which is given to us (the table of the
When does the Church oblige her members to participate at Holy Mass?
The Church obliges the faithful to participate at Holy Mass every Sunday and on holy
days of obligation. She recommends participation at Holy Mass on other days as well.
When must one receive Holy Communion?
The Church recommends that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions,
receive Holy Communion whenever they participate at Holy Mass. However, the
Church obliges them to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the
Easter season.
What is required to receive Holy Communion?
To receive Holy Communion one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church
and be in the state of grace, that is, not conscious of being in mortal sin. Anyone who
is conscious of having committed a grave sin must first receive the sacrament of
Reconciliation before going to Communion. Also important for those receiving Holy
Communion are a spirit of recollection and prayer, observance of the fast prescribed
by the Church, and an appropriate disposition of the body (gestures and dress) as a
sign of respect for Christ.
What are the fruits of Holy Communion?
Holy Communion increases our union with Christ and with His Church. It preserves
and renews the life of grace received at Baptism and Confirmation and makes us grow
in love for our neighbour. It strengthens us in charity, wipes away venial sins and
preserves us from mortal sin in the future.
When is it possible to give Holy Communion to other Christians?
Catholic ministers may give Holy Communion licitly (i.e. legally under Church law) to members of the Oriental Churches which are not in full communion with the Catholic Church whenever they ask for it of their own will and possess the required dispositions. Catholic minsters may licitly give Holy Communion to members of other ecclesial communities only if, in grave
necessity, they ask for it of their own will, possess the required dispositions, and give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding the sacrament.
Why is the Eucharist a “pledge of future glory”?
The Eucharist is a pledge of future glory because it fills us with every grace and
heavenly blessing. It fortifies us for our pilgrimage in this life and makes us long for
eternal life. It unites us already to Christ seated at the right hand of the Father, to the
Church in heaven and to the Blessed Virgin and all the saints.
In the Eucharist, we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality,
the antidote for death and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ” (Saint
Ignatius of Antioch)