ORIGINS OF THE EUCHARIST
The first time the Eucharist was prepared was when Jesus and His Disciples celebrated the Passover during the Last Supper. Since then the Eucharist has been celebrated from the 1st century, where they had a communal meal and where the Early Christians remembered and celebrated Jesus' words and actions on the night before he died. There were no set prayers other than the words of Jesus. It then developed from being in the homes of the believers into Churches with Priests. Luke 22:7 "The day came during the festival of Unleavened Bread when the lambs for the Passover meal where not o be killed." The Eucharist has it's origins from the Passover meal.
Explanation of the Belief in Transubstantiation
Transubstantiation is the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ at consecration. Catholics believe that through Transubstantiation, the risen Jesus becomes truly present in the Eucharist. Even the Earliest Christians believed that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist as St. Paul made that clear in his first letter to the Corinthians when he referred to the bread and wine of the Eucharist as the 'body and blood of the Lord,' Jesus Christ.
The Eucharist as both Meal and Sacrifice
The Eucharist is celebrated as a communal meal, but in reality at its heart is the self-offering of Jesus. Jesus sacrificed his life to save us all and we keep him present with us in the body and blood (bread and wine). By Christs word and the power of the holy spirit the bread and wine have been transformed. The Gospels tell us all about the sacraments and we will be able to recognise the actions Jesus did when we are having the Eucharist. If you read Luke 22:14-23 this section of the Gospel is significant for Catholics because Jesus links the meal the disciples are about to share with the sacrifice of himself that he is going to make.
Here is a very simple video talking a little bit about the Eucharist (communion) and how it is important to us
CCC 1375 states that- It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion.
Thus St. John Chrysostom declares: It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
This statement talks about how the conversion of bread and wine into the body and blood becomes one of the main focus of the Eucharist as well as Jesus giving up his life for us. St. John Chrysostom says that the priest is responsible of spreading the message of Jesus by proclaiming the word of Christ.
Catechism of the Catholic Church n.d., Vatican, accessed 27 April 2017, <www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm>.
Catholic Doctrine of Transubsantiation 2017, accessed 4 May 2017, <http://study.com/academy/lesson/catholic-doctrine-of-transubstantiation-definition-lesson-quiz.html>.
Da Vinci, LD 1495, The Last Supper, Illustration, Wikipedia, accessed 4 May 2017, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Supper_(Leonardo_da_Vinci)>.
Minister2kids 2016, Communion for Kids, 2 January, accessed 4 May 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5zqtsiwKDw>.
Taylor, P 2017, Eucharist, Catholic Australia, Chatswood, accessed 27 April 2017, <http://www.catholicaustralia.com.au/the-sacraments/eucharist>.
The Sacraments 2011, DVD, Clickview, Religious Studies.
Transubstantiation 2017, Digitally formatted, SlidePlayer, accessed 4 May 2017, <http://slideplayer.com/slide/7746621/>.
Wordle 2014, Digitally formatted, The Cornerstone Church, accessed 4 May 2017, <http://thecornerstoneministries.org/031-knowing-god-catechism-series/>.