Canadian Martyrs/Saint Thomas Aquinas
1725 Oxford Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 3Z7
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (902) 423-3057 | Fax: (902) 484-6944
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The Eucharist

Detail from "The Last Supper"
Leonardo Da Vinci

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
-John 11:53-4, NIV
The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324

To receive the Eucharist, the daily mass schedule is on the home page, as are schedules for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Any baptized Catholic, who is not currently in a state of mortal sin before celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation may receive the Eucharist. For those who may not receive, you are invited to cross your arms in the Eucharistic queue to receive a blessing instead. Scheduled times for reconciliation are available on the home page as well.

If you require communion at home because of illness or infirmity, please contact the parish office at 423-3057 or via .


Question Sections

Eucharist at Mass

Who can receive the Eucharist?
In order to receive the Eucharist, you must be a baptized Catholic who:

  1. Has celebrated first communion.
  2. Is not in a state of mortal sin.
  3. Has fasted for an appropriate time before Mass.

How long must one fast before Mass?
Historically the fast before Mass began at midnight the previous evening. Currently one hour before receiving the Eucharist is considered acceptable.

What happens if I am unable to fast?
If you require food, drink, or medicine before Communion then you are called to respect your body and take any such medicine. You may still receive communion.

How do I know if I am in a state of mortal sin?
You know you are in a state of mortal sin if:
1. The subject of sin is of "grave matter";
2. It is committed with full knowledge, both of the sin and of the gravity of the offense;
3. it is committed with deliberate and complete consent.

May I engage in the practice of Intinction
(The practice of intinction is that of dipping the host into the chalice when receiving the Eucharist.)

No. There are three reasons why the Church discourages this practice. The first is symbolic, the second theological and the third hygienic. Jesus said "Take and drink" and, so, the fullest symbol of "doing this in memory" of him is to take the chalice and drink from it. Secondly, the Church does allow for intinction in certain settings, but the Eucharist is dipped in the Precious Blood by the priest/minister and placed on the tongue. The theological problem with the way this is often practiced in North America is that the Sacred Host is carried away and dipped by the person receiving the Eucharist. We receive the Eucharist and do not help ourselves. Thirdly, people often perform self-intinction for reasons of hygiene, but the problem with this is that they are putting their fingers into a vessel from which others will drink.
-From A Word from Fr. James, Bulletin 9 April 2006

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

What is Adoration?
Adoration is when people come before the consecrated host (a piece of the bread that has become the Body of Christ) so that they may pray and offer adoration to Him. The Blessed Sacrament is held in a monstrance.

Funeral Liturgy

Are Eulogies permitted at funerals?
No. As addressed in Archbishop Terrence Prendgergast's "Guidelines on Funeral Practices" and "Pastoral Letter on Death, Dying and Funerals", and readdressed in A Word from Fr. James, Bulletin 9 April 2006, Eulogies have no proper place during the Mass of Christian Burial. Eulogies can have an appropriate place during the wake service or at the reception after the funeral Families are also invited to print out a word from the family in the funeral program that is often used. For more information, read the article here.

Where can I learn more about the Holy Eucharist?
A course called Catholicism 201. This course teaches more about the sacraments and more about Catholic life in general.

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