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Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ's Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.

Special Features
The Sacraments: Eucharist

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What does the Eucharist mean to you?
We'll post selected responses in this feature.

What the Eucharist Means to Me: Our Readers Respond
As the Year of the Eucharist came to an end, St. Anthony Messenger readers revealed how their lives were changed by the Body of Christ.

201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist
by Sister Patricia Proctor, O.S.C.

Is Jesus really present in the Eucharist?

May I receive Communion during a service in a non-Catholic church?

May Catholics give holy Communion to non-Catholics?

May I take the host to the cup and dip?

How many times may I receive holy Communion in one day?

How should we prepare for Communion in the home?

FAQs on other Sacraments



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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
</p><p></p> American Catholic Blog Together with baptism, the other sacraments of initiation are Eucharist and confirmation. This trifecta makes us full members of the Church, like older children who can thoughtfully participate in all the elements of family life. But more than just milestones of belonging, these sacraments change our souls.


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