Eucharist

Eucharist

To receive the Eucharist with the people of our parish, please see our Mass Schedule for times and locations. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is held on each First Friday, from 8:30am - 6:00pm and other Fridays from 7:00am - 8:00am, in the Chapel. Ministers are also available to bring communion to the sick, elderly, and home-bound of our parish. If you would like to receive communion at home, please reach us (by email to Hope Guerena through our Contact page or by phone at 205-871-1153) to arrange a visit.

Adults who have not yet received their First Communion or who have not yet been received into the Church may do so through the RCIA program

Preparation for the Sacrament of First Communion is done during 1st and 2nd grade with the reception of the Sacrament in 2nd grade.

Our sacramental preparation program works with the families of our school and PSR students to prepare our children to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. If you have a child who is ready to begin sacramental preparation, he or she is very welcome to join us. If the child has reached a more advanced age (6th grade or older) without yet receiving his/her First Communion, then our Youth Christian Initiation program may be more appropriate. Please contact the Shaun Byrne, Director of Religious Education, through our contact page for more details regarding Eucharist preparation programs.

2017-2018 First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation Schedule

What is the Eucharist? 
The Eucharist is the very sacrifice of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus which he instituted to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until his return in glory. Thus he entrusted to his Church this memorial of his death and Resurrection. It is a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

What does the Eucharist represent in the life of the Church?
It is the source and summit of all Christian life. In the Eucharist, the sanctifying action of God in our regard and our worship of him reach their high point. It contains the whole spiritual good of the Church, Christ himself, our Paschal Communion with divine life and the unity of the People of God are both expressed and effected by the Eucharist. Through the Eucharistic celebration we are united already with the liturgy of heaven and we have a foretaste of eternal life.

How is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist carried out?
The Eucharist unfolds in two great parts which together form one single act of worship. The Liturgy of the Word involves proclaiming and listening to the Word of God. The Liturgy of the Eucharist includes the presentation of the bread and wine, the prayer or the anaphora containing the words of consecration, and communion.

In what way does the Church participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice?
In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, their suffering, their prayers, and their work are united to those of Christ. In as much as it is a sacrifice, the Eucharist is likewise offered for all the faithful, living and dead, in reparation for the sins of all and to obtain spiritual and temporal benefits from God. The Church in heaven is also united to the offering of Christ.

How is Christ present in the Eucharist?
Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with his Body and his Blood, with his Soul and his Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man.

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 neighbor. It strengthens us in charity, wipes away venial sins and preserves us from mortal sin in the future.

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, questions 271, 274, 277, 281, 282, 291-292

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church abides by the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama Youth Protection Program. For more information and links, click here.