This step in our initiation as followers of Christ enables those who receive the sacrament to participate fully as members in the Body of Christ, whether as a child or an adult. By sharing in the bread and wine, the sacred Body and Blood of Christ, this unifying food of life nourishes us as we walk the daily path of life. For those baptized as infants, this sacrament is received before Confirmation; for newly baptized adults, the ancient practice of receiving the sacrament of Eucharist after that of Confirmation is followed.
Eucharist (from the Greek word for giving thanks) is also the public work (or liturgy) by which the Christian community through word and action fully participate in the human and divine encounter. It is the spiritual experience that is the source and summit of our lives as Christians. This liturgy, commonly known as the Mass and formally as the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is celebrated for the community principally on Sunday (the Day of the Lord), although in many places, as at St. Matthew’s, it is celebrated during the week as well.