Eucharist Source and Summit
Feb. 04, 2009

"The Eucharist is 'the source and summit of the Christian life.'"

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Referencing Vatican II's Lumen Gentium,
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us to consider the Eucharist as:

  • The memorial of Christ's death and resurrection;
  • Praise of God the Father in thanksgiving for the work of creation;
  • The substantial body and blood of Christ.

Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper the night before He died. He took bread and wine, gave it to His disciples and said, "Do this in memory of me." The Eucharist is the memorial of the death and resurrection of our Lord.

Praise and Thanksgiving

The term Eucharist means an act of thanksgiving. Through the Eucharist, we are giving thanks to God the Father for all he has "accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification."1

The Substantial Body and Blood

Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a true, real and substantial way. The bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ "by the power of His word and of His Spirit," a process called transubstantiation. Through the Eucharist, we are made one with Christ, sharing His Body and Blood to form a single body.

Source and Summit

The Eucharist is the "source and summit" of our faith life. Within it we find spiritual nourishment. It is administered to the dying as food for their journey home, but it is also food for our journey in life.

We are a Eucharistic people, the beneficiaries of God’s great gift.