Pope Francis based his catechesis at Wednesday’s general audience on the significance of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Holy Father explained that “The Mass is a banquet which nourishes us not only with the bread of life received from the altar, where Christ’s sacrifice is offered, but also with the proclamation of God’s word in the Scriptures.”
Here is the English summary of the Pope’s catechesis delivered in St. Peter’s Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the sacraments of Christian initiation, we now reflect on the Eucharist, the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. As the source of the Church’s life, the Eucharist accompanies every step of our pilgrimage of faith, fellowship and witness. The Mass is a banquet which nourishes us not only with the bread of life received from the altar, where Christ’s sacrifice is offered, but also with the proclamation of God’s word in the Scriptures. At the Last Supper, Christ gave us this sacrament when he broke bread and offered the cup as the foreshadowing of his sacrifice on the Cross. In the Eucharistic sacrifice, Jesus has thus given us the supreme prayer of thanksgiving to God our merciful Father. As the memorial of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, the Eucharist makes present the paschal mystery in all its saving power. May we give thanks for this great gift, which grants us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet when we will see God face to face. Let us ask the Lord, present in this holy sacrament, always to shape our lives and our communities. I greet all the English-
While Catholics in the Roman tradition today normally receive their First Communion before they receive Confirmation, reception of Christ's Body and Blood was historically the third of the three sacraments of initiation. This sacrament is the source of great graces that sanctify us and help us grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ.
In our parish, children (School Year Three and above) are prepared and presented for First Holy Communion.
A preparation programme to assist parents is led by parish catechists.
Parents who wish to present a child for First Holy Communion must themselves be communicant members of the Catholic Church who have regularly celebrated the Eucharist with St. Bede’s Parish Community in the preceding year.