Whereas most of the other sacraments only happen once in our lives or infrequently, the Mass is the ongoing sacrament of the Christian life which sustains and feeds the faithful on a regular basis. It is the source and summit of the Christian life. It is the culmination of both God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
The Mass was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper when he took bread and said "This is my Body" and He took wine and said "This is my Blood. Do this in memory of me". Thus the Mass is celebrated in response to Christ's command and it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his whole saving work. In the celebration the lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value.
The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits including the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood.
SUNDAY, the first day of the week, is of special significance because it is the Day of Christ's resurrection from the dead and the first day of the New Creation which God brought about through his Son's resurrection. It is thus the principal day for the celebration of the Mass and all Catholics are obliged to attend Mass every Sunday. However the Mass is celebrated every day and Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass more frequently, even every day.
COMMUNION TO THE SICK
The sacrament can be brought to the sick and housebound. Usually this is done by one of our Eucharistic ministers. They are lay people who, after special training, are licensed to distribute Holy Communion at the Mass and to take Communion to the sick and housebound. For this please contact Deacon John O'Brien. Tel. 01299 400371.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Children are prepared to receive First Holy Communion when they are in year 3 of primary school and usually occurs on the first weekend in June each year. Those who attend St Wulstan's Roman Catholic Primary School are prepared jointly by the school and the parish. The preparation is designed so that parents also take part. The children will learn about the beauty of God's creation, the love God has for them, the gift of Holy Communion and of being part of the Church and the wider Christian community. Parents can take the opportunity to renew their own commitment to God and to the Sacrament.
Children who attend other schools but wish to make their First Holy Communion can do so at the same time. In this case please contact Deacon John O'Brien (01299 400371) for details of how your child can receive instructions.
Adults who want to become Catholics and receive Holy Communion should refer to the Tab "Becoming a Catholic".