Below is a video to help you get started on your understanding of the Eucharist....
The Eucharist as both a Meal and a Sacrifice
In the beginning when Adam and Eve had sinned, God didn't want them to live a life of sin he decided to make sure there was a way they could be forgiven. One way is to eat together as a community to define ourselves as God's people. We do this now in church when we are given the Eucharist to reflect on what we have done wrong and to free ourselves of sin. Jesus passed on Gods orders and reflected this action through 'The Last Supper' when he shared a meal with his twelve disciples.
On the day of 'The Last Supper' Jesus breaks the bread saying "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me", and pours the wine saying “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you". This demonstrates that Jesus is sacrificing himself for us and that he is sharing his last meal. It is also a sacrifice because when we are receiving the Eucharist we are sacrificing ourselves to be in the presence of God and to reflect on and pain in our lives. We take the bread and wine to participate in the sacrifice that Jesus performed on Good Friday.
Origins of the Eucharist
The Eucharist is the event in which Jesus associated the meal he had with his disciples to the following day where he died on the cross. The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke shared the ceremony of the last supper where Jesus performed the breaking of the bread and pouring of the wine. When the twelve disciples and Jesus had sat to share the meal, Jesus broke the bread to show a sign of his body and drank the wine to symbolize his blood. He then offered it to his disciples. Jesus then continued to wash his disciples feet which took the twelve by surprise. This represented that Jesus was done with his job and was asking of the disciples to spread the word of God and to follow in his footsteps.
Today we still follow this action and ceremony in churches all around the world. The priest will repeat the words that Jesus did when he offered it to his disciples. The Priest would say as he breaks the holy host saying "This is my body, which shall be given up for you, do this in memory of me". He proceeds to drink the wine and says " This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins"
This ceremony represents how Jesus is sacrificing himself so we can all live happily and freely. Jesus is giving his last supper to the people he trusts the most - his disciples. Jesus reminds them to follow in his path and to spread the word to all.
What is 'Transubstantiation'?
The word 'Transubstantiation' means the changing of substance. In this case it is the conversion from just being two elements (Bread and Wine) to spiritually being Jesus' body and Blood. We do this when the priest is blessing the communion and wine. Whilst he is doing this we reflect on what is happening and preparing ourselves to honor Jesus.
This term is used to help Christians believe that during the breaking of the bread and pouring of the wine, the substances "change" spiritually. The bread and wine are now Jesus' body and blood even though the elements remain the same.