What is the Holy Eucharist?
"The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament and a sacrifice. In the Holy Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered, and received.
"(a) The whole Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. We use the words "really, truly, and substantially" to describe Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist in order to distinguish Our Lord's teaching from that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that He is present only be His power.
"(b) All Christians, with but few minor exceptions, held the true doctrine of the Real Presence from the time of Christ until the Protestant Revolution in the sixteenth century.
"(c) The word "Eucharist" means "Thanksgiving.""
Baltimore Catechism No. 3, The Text of the Official Revised Edition 1949, by Rev. Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R., S.T.D.
Importance of Instruction on the Eucharist
"As of all the sacred mysteries bequeathed to us by our Lord and Savior as most infallible instruments of divine grace, there is none comparable to the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist; so, for no crime is there a heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use by the faithful of that which is full of holiness, or rather which contains the very author and source of holiness. This the Apostle wisely saw, and has openly admonished us of it. For when he had declared the enormity of their guilt who discerned not the body of the Lord, he immediately subjoined: Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.
"In order that the faithful, therefore, aware of the divine honors due to this heavenly Sacrament, may derive therefrom abundant fruit of grace and escape the most just anger of God, pastors should explain with the greatest diligence all those things which may seem calculated more fully to display its majesty."
The Catechism of Council of Trent, 1962 edition, Baronius Press, pp. 197
What is necessary to receive Holy Communion worthily?
"To receive Holy Communion worthily it is necessary to be free from mortal sin, to have a right intention and to obey the Church's laws on the fast required before Holy Communion out of reverence for the body and blood of Our Divine Lord. However, there are some cases in which Holy Communion can be received without fasting.
a) Venial sin does not make us unworthy of receiving Holy Communion; but it does prevent us from receiving the more abundant graces and blessings which we would otherwise receive from Holy Communion."
Baltimore Catechism No. 3, The Text of the Official Revised Edition 1949, by Rev. Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R., S.T.D.
Fasting Laws (for Communion)
All recipients of the Body and Blood of Our Lord must fast from food, alcohol, and nourishing beverages (such as shakes and smoothies) at least three hours prior to receiving Communion.*
Recipients must abstain from liquids at least one hour prior to receiving Holy Communion.
Water can be consumed any time prior to Communion.**
*Note 1: If one has a serious medical condition, such as hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, etc., which requires them to eat more often than within the three-hour period, that individual should consult with Father Campbell beforehand to determine if the fasting obligation can be lifted for that person without the pains due to sin.
**Note 2: Medicine does NOT count as food, nor does toothpaste, and can be consumed/used with water at any time prior to Communion.
THE NECESSARY MATTER, FORM, INTENTION, AND PROPER MINISTER FOR CONFECTING THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST VALIDLY AND LAWFULLY (PDF version here)
THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH ON THE MATTER AND FORM OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST ACCORDING TO THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT AS PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF POPE SAINT PIUS V (1566):
1) THE MATTER OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
THE FIRST ELEMENT OF THE EUCHARIST IS BREAD
“The matter of this Sacrament is twofold. The first element is wheaten bread... As the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke testify, Christ the Lord took bread into His hands ... saying: This is my Body; and, according to John, the same Saviour called Himself bread in these worlds: I am the living bread, that came down from heaven ... It is to be observed that ... the words of the Saviour show that the bread should be wheaten; for according to common usage, when we simply say bread, we are sufficiently understood to mean wheaten bread. This is also declared by a figure in the Old Testament, because the Lord commanded that the loaves of proposition [thanksgiving], which signified [prefigured] this Sacrament, should be made of fine flour...”
UNLEAVENED BREAD IS DESIGNATED AS THE PROPER MATTER FOR THE HOLY EUCHARIST BY THE LATIN RITE, BUT IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL FOR THE VALIDITY OF THE SACRAMENT, AS LONG AS THE BREAD IS MADE FROM WHEATEN FLOUR.
“But as wheaten bread alone is to be considered the proper matter for this Sacrament—a doctrine which has been handed down by Apostolic tradition and confirmed by the Catholic Church ... it may be easily inferred from the doings of Christ the Lord that this bread should be unleavened. It was consecrated and instituted by Him on the first [day] of unleavened bread, on which it was not lawful for the Jews to have anything leavened in their houses. Should the authority of John the Evangelist, who says that all this was done before the feast of the Passover, be objected to, the argument is one of easy solution. For the day before the pasch John understands as the same day which the other Evangelists designate as the first day of unleavened bread ...”
“This quality of bread [unleavened], if it be wanting [unavailable], the Sacrament cannot exist; for both kinds [leavened and unleavened] are called by the same name [bread] and have the true and proper nature of bread. No one, however, is at liberty on his own private authority, or rather presumption, to transgress the laudable rite of his Church. And such departure is the less warrantable in priests of the Latin Church, expressly obliged as they are by the supreme Pontiffs, to consecrate the sacred mysteries with unleavened bread only.”
THE SECOND ELEMENT OF THE EUCHARIST IS WINE
“... the other matter and element of this Sacrament, ... is wine pressed from the fruit of the vine [grapes], with which is mingled a little water...”
WATER SHOULD BE MIXED WITH THE WINE
“...With the wine ... the Church of God has always mingled water. First because Christ the Lord did so, as is proved by the authority of the Councils and the testimony of St. Cyprian; next because this mixture ... renew[s] the recollection [remembrance] of the blood and water that issued from His side ...”
2) THE FORM OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
The Scriptural Basis for the Formula of the Holy Eucharist:
“And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke and gave to his disciples and said: Take ye and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.”
“And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke and gave to them and said: Take ye. This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it. And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.”
“And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.”
THE FORMULA FOR THE CONSECRATION OF THE BREAD AND WINE ACCORDING TO THE COUNCIL OF FLORENCE (1438-1445):
"... since ... the form of the words, which in the consecration of the body and blood of the Lord the holy Roman Church confirmed by the teaching and authority of the Apostles had always been accustomed to use, was not set forth, we have thought that it ought to be inserted here. In the consecration of the body the Church uses this form of words: `For this is My body; in the consecration of the blood it uses the following form of words: `For this is the chalice of My blood, of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins'"
THE FORMULA TO BE USED IN THE CONSECRATION OF THE BREAD AGAIN, ACCORDING TO THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT:
“We are taught by the holy Evangelist, Matthew and Luke, and also by the Apostle[s], that the form consists of these words: This is my body ...”
THE FORMULA TO BE USED IN THE CONSECRATION OF THE WINE ACCORDING TO THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT:
"We are then firmly to believe (certo credendum est)," that the form for the consecration of the wine "consists in the following words: This is the chalice of my blood, of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins..."
THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION FOR THE EXPRESSION, “THE MYSTERY OF FAITH,” WHICH IS FOUND IN THE CONSECRATION OF THE WINE, BUT IS NOT IN THE SCRIPTURAL PASSAGES FROM WHICH THE FORMULA IS PRIMARILY DERIVED:
“The words mystery of faith ... signify what lies hidden and concealed and far removed from the perception of the eye, [and] is to be believed with firm faith ... Here the mystery of faith consists in seeing by faith the blood of Christ veiled under the species of wine ... it embraces the entire profession of the Christian faith.
“Another reason why we call the blood of the Lord the mystery of faith is that human reason is particularly beset with difficulty ... when faith proposes to our belief that Christ ... at once God and man, suffered death for us, and this death is designated is designated by the Sacrament of His blood.”
SUMMARY: THE EXPRESSION, “THE MYSTERY OF FAITH” REFERS TO ONE OF THE CENTRAL DOGMAS OF THE CHURCH, NAMELY, THAT CHRIST IS TRULY PRESENT, BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, AND DIVINITY INSIDE THE TABERNACLES UPON THE ALTARS AROUND THE WORLD, WHEREVER A TRUE MASS IS OFFERED.
THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION FOR THE EXPRESSION, “FOR YOU AND FOR MANY,” WHICH IS FOUND IN THE CONSECRATION OF THE WINE:
“The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit that mankind has received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race ...
“With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation ...”
SUMMARY: THE WORDING OF THE FORMULAS FOR THE SACRAMENTS MUST SIGNIFY WHAT THEY EFFECT. THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS SUFFICIENT TO SAVE ALL MEN. HOWEVER THE EFFECT OF THE SACRAMENT IS NOT THE SALVATION OF ALL MEN BUT ONLY THE MANY, BECAUSE ONLY SOME MEN COOPERATE WITH GOD’S GRACE.
THERE IS NO SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST OUTSIDE OF THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS, AND THERE IS NO MASS WITHOUT THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
WHAT IS THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS?
THE MASS IS THE UNBLOODY RENEWAL OF THE SACRIFICE AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST UPON THE CROSS AT CALVARY.
There are three essential parts of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
The elements of bread and wine are offered to Almighty God before they are changed by the miracle of Transubstantiation into the Body and Blood of His Divine Son, Jesus Christ;
The sacramental action by the ordained priest through the power of God whereby the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ become truly present upon the altar of sacrifice;
The priest who offers the Holy Sacrifice, consumes the precious Body and Blood of Christ which he has just confected by the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist whereby the Real Presence of Christ is brought about under the appearances of bread and wine.
THE REASON FOR THE CONSECRATION BREAD SEPARATELY FROM THE CONSECRATION OF THE WINE AS EXPLAINED BY FATHER LAWRENCE S. BREY
“THERE IS NO SACRIFICE WITHOUT BOTH CONSECRATIONS. In the first place, the SACRAMENT of the Body and Blood of the Lord was given to us ONLY AND EXCLUSIVELY in the context of the SACRIFICE of the Body and Blood of Christ. As often as the sacrifice is offered, the consecration of both species is required, according to the Will and institution of Christ. For Christ at the Last Supper, consecrating each (both) species, commanded: ‘do THIS in commemoration of Me’ (Cf. I Cor. 11, 24-25) ... (and) the very notion of sacrifice ... demands the consecration of both species.” (De Eucharistia, Noldin-Schmitt, S.J., in “SUMMA THEOLOGIAE MORALIS,” III Innsbruck, 1940)”
THE SEPARATE CONSECRATION OF THE BREAD AND THE WINE, REPEATS THE SEPARATION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST FROM HIS BLOOD AND THEREBY RENEWS HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS
“For the Consecration re-enacts and commemorates the Sacrifice of the
Cross, in that the separate consecration of both species produces the
mystical separation of Christ's Body and Blood. "The consecration of both
species is required by Divine Law for the essence of the Sacrifice: this We
know from Christ's very (words of) Institution, and from the precept and
practice of the Church, so that it is necessary in order that a true
representation of the Sacrifice of the Cross be had." (Brevior Synopsis
Theologiae Dogmaticae, Tanquerey- Bord, Paris, 1952)” - Father Lawrence
S. Brey, Appendix IV, “Questioning the Validity of the Masses Using the
New, All-English Canon,” by Patrick Henry Omlor, 2nd Edition, 1969.
2) THE NECESSARY INTENTION FOR CONFECTING THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST VALIDLY
The necessary intention by the officiating minister for validly confecting the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is to bring about the miracle of Transubstantiation, that is, the substantial change of bread and wine into the actual Body and Blood of Christ, while it retains the appearances of bread and wine, by the power of God, but through the words and actions prescribed by the Church and carried out by His human priestly instrument at the altar.
3) THE NECESSARY MINISTER FOR CONFECTING THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY EUCHARIST VALIDLY AND LAWFULLY (THAT IS, IN A MANNER CAPABLE OF CONFERRING GRACE)
The proper minister for confecting the Holy Eucharist validly and lawfully is a validly ordained Catholic priest, upon whom has been conferred by a valid Catholic Bishop the power to offer sacrifice and forgive sins, with delegation from the same or different residential bishop. Should the priest become separated from lawful episcopal authority, due to the death of his bishop, and when no other legitimate bishop is available to him, his delegation, although dormant, may be reactivated automatically by the Church when the Sacraments are requested of him by the faithful in any serious need.