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The Church teaches that Christ is truly present in the bread and wine that have been consecrated by the priest at Mass. Although the bread and wine still look and taste like bread and wine, the substance, what is actually there, has changed. The word "transubstantiation," which means "a change in substance," is used to describe this real change. Reception of First Holy Communion is an important step for children in their journey of faith formation and Christian initiation. Spending time with Jesus through Adoration or Holy Hour gives us restful time in His Presence.
The roots of the Eucharist are in the Seder, the Jewish Passover meal which commemorates Israel's delivery from slavery in Egypt. During the first Passover every Jewish household was instructed to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts. Seeing the blood, the angel of death would "pass over" them, sparing the lives of their first-born sons. Jesus spoke of Himself as "the lamb of God." The Mass is the new Passover, with Jesus offering His own body and blood so that we would be free.
Learn more about how to receive First Eucharist.
With Baptism and the Eucharist, Confirmation is the third essential sacrament of initiation for all Catholics.
Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not the work of men but of God, who cares for our lives in such a manner as to mould us in the image of his Son, to make us capable of loving like him. He does it by infusing his in us his Holy Spirit, whose action pervades the whole person and his entire life, as reflected in the seven gifts that Tradition, in light of the Sacred Scripture, has always highlighted. These seven gifts: I do not want to ask you if you remember the seven gifts. Perhaps you will all know them.... But I will say them on your behalf. What are these gifts? Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. And these gifts have been given to us precisely with the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation...
When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow him to act, Christ makes himself present in us and takes shape in our lives; through us, it will be he — Christ himself — who prays, forgives, gives hope and consolation, serves the brethren, draws close to the needy and to the least, creates community and sows peace. Think how important this is: by means of the Holy Spirit, Christ himself comes to do all this among us and for us.
Learn more about how to receive the sacrament of confirmation.