The Eucharist is the most special sacrament, in which Christ himself is contained, offered and received, and by which the Church constantly lives and grows. The Eucharistic sacrifice, the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated over the centuries, is the summit and source of all Christian life and worship; it signifies and affects the unity of the people of God and achieves the building up of the Body of Christ.
As children reach the age of reason, generally around age seven, the Church extends to them an invitation to celebrate the sacrament of Eucharist. The initiation into the Christian community that took place at baptism is further extended by inviting children to enter fully into the heart of Christian faith through participation in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the sacrament by which Catholics receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. For Catholics, this is the most treasured gift given to the Church by the Lord at the Last Supper. In receiving the Eucharist, we are nourished by the Lord. The bread and wine used in the Mass are transformed in all but appearance into the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Parish Community gathers each weekend to celebrate the Eucharistic Liturgy, or Parish Mass. Baptized Catholics, having been prepared to celebrate Eucharist, and who are in a state of Grace, are welcomed to participate fully in a Eucharistic Liturgy. Children who have been baptized as Catholics and who have prepared for and celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation are also invited to be prepared for and celebrate the Sacrament of Eucharist when they are ready. Parents and Guardians also take an active role in the formal preparation of their children to receive Eucharist for the first time.