At St. James, First Holy Communion is celebrated for children in grades 2 and older each spring, after Easter, and preparations begin in the fall for second-graders as part of the RCIC and Youth Ministry programming. For questions about First Holy Communion, call 308-234-5536. For questions about the Sacrament of Eucharist and your ability to receive the sacrament, call Father Joe Hannappel at 308-234-5536.
What is the Sacrament of the Eucharist? In his dialogue with the people at Capernaum, Christ used his miracle of multiplying the loaves of bread as the occasion to describe himself as the Bread of Life: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven... Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Jn 6:51, 53). And so rich is the mystery of the Eucharist that we have a number of terms to illumine its saving grace: the Breaking of the Bread; the Lord's Supper; the Eucharistic Assembly; the Memorial of Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy and Divine Liturgy; the Eucharistic Liturgy; Holy Communion; and Holy Mass (cf. CCC, nos. 1328-1332).
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.
Every communion with Christ in the Eucharist is sacramental. Many families focus on the child’s First Holy Communion as an important occasion in carrying out one’s sacramental growth as a Catholic, but every Eucharist is also celebrated as a sacrament.