In the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, the Risen Saviour, meets us visibly and personally in the power of the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Collins puts it this way:

Until Christ comes in glory, there is no more intense way of experiencing His presence than receiving Him in Holy Communion. This is not ‘holy bread’ that reminds us of Jesus, sacramentally present to be with us on our journey. [1]

“Jesus offered himself on Calvary in generous, unselfish love, in the midst of evil – giving and not counting the cost”. [2] Because of Him, we know what our eternal identity is: To be His witnesses by our love in action. “We love because He loved us. (1 John 4:10) In one sense, we say that Mass never ends because Jesus sends us forth in our mission of service with the recurring word: Go. The Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist makes us full members of the Church. This also brings with it responsibility and so the Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Mass on Sundays.

Frequently Asked Questions

May I received Holy Eucharist on my tongue?

It is the right of the communicants to decide whether they will receive the Eucharist in the hand, on the tongue, kneeling or standing.

Can I receive Holy Communion more than once a day?

Yes, but no more that twice in a 24-hour period: “One who has received the Blessed Sacrament may receive it again on the same day only within a Eucharistic celebration in which that person participates”. (Code of Canon Law, c917).

Under what circumstances, should Catholic receive the Eucharist?

If you desire to receive Christ in communion, we must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must receive absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (CCC: 1415) We are all welcome to attend the Mass in “spiritual communion” and to encounter God’s Word read and proclaimed, whether or not they receive the Eucharist. [3]

Does my separation and civil divorce, prohibit me from receiving Holy Communion?

“Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.” (CCC: 1415) If the divorced are remarried civilly, the Church maintains that the new union cannot be recognized as valid if the first marriage is valid: they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists”. (CCC: 1650)

If I’m a non-Catholic, what procedures and protocols should I observe when I go to Mass?

We ask that you respectfully observe the parish community at Mass, and that you freely follow along as the community prays, sings, reads, listens, sits, stands and exchanges greetings with one another in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Why are members of other ecclesial communities not invited to receive the Eucharist?

Eucharistic communion is reserved to those who are in the fullness of ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church since we cannot separate the mystery of the Church from the mystery of the Eucharist.

We earnestly pray to the Lord for complete unity among all God’s faithful, and we thank God for bringing you to our midst.

Does watching The Sunday Mass on TV fulfill my Sunday obligation?

No. The Church obliges the faithful to be present and take part in the Mass on Sundays whether or not the faithful receive the Most Holy Sacrament. (CCC 1389) For those who wish to receive Communion and cannot be present at Mass due to sickness or otherwise, they may request a priest or deacon or an extraordinary minister to bring Communion to them at their homes. [4]

Can I have a Mass in a park or in my home or a place not in the Church?

The Archdiocese of Toronto does not endorse Masses celebrate in a private home. “The celebration of the Eucharist is to be carried out in a sacred place, unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise. In this case the celebration must be in a decent place. (Code of Canon Law, c.932) Note that “it is never lawful for a priest to celebrate in a temple or sacred place of any non-Christian religion”. [5] For more details please consult Celebration of Holy Mass Outside of a Sacred Space Protocol.

My organization is holding a picnic and would like permission to have a Mass celebrated in the park before the picnic starts.

The public celebration of Holy Mass outside of a sacred space (i.e. Church or Chapel) requires the permission of the Archbishop of Toronto in all cases. Please refer to the Protocol.

Why do we stand, sit, and kneel at various time in the Mass?

In the Mass the Church is at prayer. Prayer involves our entire being. We can pray through our actions such as our gesture and body position.[6] Kneeling and standing, for example, carry profound meanings in worship.

When did Jesus Christ institute the Eucharist?

Jesus instituted the Eucharist on Holy Thursday “the night on which he was betrayed” (1 Corinthians 11:23), as he celebrated the Last Supper with his apostles. (Compendium, 272)

What is the meaning of transubstantiation?

A wonderful change if the ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ takes place during the Church’s eucharistic prayer through the efficacious word of Christ and by the action of the Holy Spirit . (Compendium, 283) This is a mystery of faith. “Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity.” (CCC: 1413)

I have celiac disease? What do I do?

In consultation with your parish priest and your physician, there are at least two options: 1. you may receive a “low-gluten” host if available, or 2. you may receive Holy Communion from the chalice, instead of the host. Make sure that you refrain from drinking from the priest’s chalice because of the small amount of the host in the wine under the fraction rite.