Thesis: The Eucharist is a sign of Jesus' death; how He
sacrificed himself for us and how we experience Him through
History of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist is a Jewish Ritual of worship. It dates back
to the Last Supper, where Jesus celebrated a typical Jewish
community meal with His friends. Sharing a meal with
family, (very important to the Jews) also dates back to the
Passover Meal. This is called the Liturgy of the Eucharist,
and the early Christians added Jewish synagogue service and
then it became the Liturgy of the Word.
The Eucharist is a sacrament, and is also a ritual. It is a
repeated sacrament, and is the most frequently used among
all sacraments. It is "a way of remembering" and a daily
reminder if God's love. Jesus at the Last Supper shared
bread with us, and said "Do this in Memory of Me." This is
why we have bread, because it represents Jesus' body, and
how He gave Himself up for us. The first little while of
the Church, the "Mass was celebrated as a friendship meal
called agape." Christians shared brought food to the house
where they were assembled, but as the numbers increased,
the meal was cut down to bread and wine. Today, the
offertory collection echoes the early years of the spirit
giving at the Eucharist. It is living bread that came down
from heaven. Whoever believes has eternal life.
Rituals of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist, breaking of the bread, sharing the wine,
eating and gathering are the earliest form of rituals.
These rituals are a sacrifice meal. They are sacrifice
meals because they take time, and are enjoyed, so therefore
it is a meal, not a routine. The sharing of the meal is
important, and it is a time of experiencing each other.
The word Eucharist means giving thanks, and the ritual of
the Eucharist is like a "Thanksgiving every day of the
Symbols of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist is a symbol of God's love for us. It
illustrates Jesus's body, and welcomes others to
participate in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is an unfilled
Celebration and receiving the Eucharist on Sunday, makes
the rest of the week more meaningful. It symbolizes the
unified body of Christ, and the church symbolizes a
community as we celebrate the presence in Christ in the
Eucharist. The bread symbolizes giving thanks, and is the
basic food for most people and is closely associated with
nature and work of human hands. Sharing the Cup represents
that drink is essential to life and both bread and wine are
symbols of Christ. It also symbolizes how we can go forty
days without water as opposed to five days without water.
Proclaiming the Word of God means that Jesus is present in
the Gospels and He comes alive for us in hearing the words
and stories of his life. We stand to welcome Christ into
our living word of God.
The garments worn during the Eucharist at Church are either
Black, White, or Purple. These are for different times of
the year. Black symbolizes death, purple illustrates
Advent, and white portrays ordinary time.
Words, Statements, Responses
There are many different expressions used in the Mass, all
with important meanings. First, the priest prepares the
gifts, to make them Holy. We respond "Blessed it be God
forever." Another one is "Do this in Memory of Me." This
means that Jesus gave Himself up for us, and wants us to
remember what He did for us. It reenacts the closing events
of Jesus' life on earth. This is followed by the Eucharist
Prayer "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord..." then ensued by "Lord, I
am not worth to receive you, but only say the word, and I
shall be healed." This means to clean yourself of sins, and
get ready for the body of Christ.
To ask God if He welcomes you to receive the Eucharist.
Cook, Bernard, The Eucharist, "Mystery of Friendship".
Centre of Studies in Religious Education. Ohio, 1969.
Guzie, Tad, W. Jesus and the Eucharist. Paulist Press: New
Religion Manual p.117-131
John 6: 47-58, Bible
Luke 22: 14-20 Bible
Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Handout
Liturgy of the Word. Handout
What Is the Sacrament., Handout