The word 'Eucharist' means 'Thanksgiving.'
The greatest act of thanksgiving is the life and death of Jesus Christ, and in the Sacrament of the Eucharist we are made sharers in his perfect offering of praise and thanksgiving to God the Father.
Every Sunday, the Eucharist is celebrated four times. It is also celebrated on weekdays. The first half of the service is called the Liturgy of the Word, and Jesus who has called us together and who is present in our midst reveals himself in the words of the scriptures, the preaching of the kingdom and the prayers of the people.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist commences with the greeting of peace. Bread and wine is taken and blessed, the holy bread is broken and the gifts are made holy. We worship Jesus' presence and we offer to God his one, perfect sacrifice. In receiving his body and blood we share in the Lord's Supper of the upper room and we have a foretaste of the banquet of the kingdom of heaven.
We live by grace, and this means that we seek God's help in loving family members, friends and neighbours. We put out our hands to receive Jesus so that we can put out our hands to love those with whom we share our lives.
The bread used in the Eucharist is unleavened. The wine is fortified. The priest wears special clothes called vestments, and these remind us that the host at the meal is the risen Lord.
The Eucharist is celebrated with both joy and solemnity, and in the presence of Jesus we experience the power of his love, life and forgiveness.