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Holy Eucharist

The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our Christian lives, and the summary of our faith.    

Once we become members of Christ's family, he does not let us go hungry, but feeds us with his own Body and Blood through the Eucharist. In the Old Testament, as the Hebrews prepared for their journey in the wilderness, God commanded his people to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their door posts, so the Angel of Death would pass by their homes. Then they ate the lamb to seal their covenant with God. 

This lamb prefigured Jesus. He is the true Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Through Jesus we enter into a New Covenant with God, who protects us from eternal death. God’s chosen people ate the Passover lamb. Now we must eat the Lamb that is the Eucharist. Jesus said, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life within you" (Jn 6:53). At the Last Supper he took bread and wine and said, "Take and eat. This is my body... This is my blood which will be shed for you" (Mk 14:22-24). In this way Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrificial meal Catholics consume at each Mass.

The Catholic Church teaches that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross occurred "once for all"; it cannot be repeated. Christ does not "die again" during Mass, but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar. That is why the Mass is not "another" sacrifice, but a participation in the same, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Paul reminds us that the bread and the wine really become, by a miracle of God's grace, the actual body and blood of Jesus: "Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1Cor 11:27-29). After the consecration of the bread and wine, no bread or wine remains on the altar. Only Jesus himself, under the appearance of bread and wine, remains.

The celebration of the Eucharist is also known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. St. Mary’s offers several Masses on Sunday and Saturday evening, as well as every day of the week. Please see here for our entire Mass schedule.

Please let us know if there is someone who is confined to their home and unable to attend Mass with us in our Church on Sunday. We would be happy to bring them Holy Communion. Please call the Parish Center at (847) 234-0205 or email our Pastoral Associate Lore Nugent to make arrangements.   

To learn more on Religious Education for children receiving the Sacraments, please contact our Religious Education Office at 847-234-0090 or ReligiousEd@Churchofstmary.org