The Sacrament of Eucharist
At the heart of all parish life is the celebration of the Eucharist. When Catholics receive the holy Eucharist (holy Communion) we believe that we are receiving the body and blood of Christ, our risen Lord and savior. Because of that, Catholics treat the holy Eucharist with great respect.
Catholics are encouraged to receive holy Communion often, in that it strengthens individuals spiritually as food does for the physical body. Normally a Catholic should be free from serious sin and observe an hour fast before partaking in the sacrament. Because the Eucharist is seen as a strong sign of unity centered in a common profession of faith and belief, those individuals who are not Catholic should refrain from receiving the Eucharist when attending services.
Both Catholics and non-Catholics are encouraged to pray for the unity of all Christian churches. When entering a Catholic Church, Catholics will make a genuflection in the direction of the tabernacle, because the holy Eucharist is held in reserve there to be given to the sick and dying when necessary.
Typically, the atmosphere of a Catholic Church is a quiet one, again out of reverence for the blessed sacrament and those who come to pray. For more information on the holy Eucharist, call the parish office or visit the Diocesan Website.