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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

351

1390

Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the

species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it

possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral

reasons thismanner of receiving communion has been legitimately

established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But “the

sign of communion is more complete when given under both

kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears

more clearly.”

225

This is the usual form of receiving communion in

the Eastern rites.

The fruits of Holy Communion

1391

Holy Communion augments our union with Christ.

The prin-

cipal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an

intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: “He who

eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

226

Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: “As the

living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who

eats me will live because of me.”

227

On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body

of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that

the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said

to Mary Magdalene, “Christ is risen!” Now too are life and

resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ.

228

1392

What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Com-

munion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion

with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life

through the Holy Spirit,”

229

preserves, increases, and renews the

life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs

the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our

pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us

as viaticum.

1393

Holy Communion separates us from sin.

The body of Christ

we receive in Holy Communion is “given up for us,” and the blood

we drink “shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.” For this

reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same

time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:

225 GIRM 240.

226

Jn

6:56.

227

Jn

6:57.

228 Fanqîth, Syriac Office of Antioch, Vol. I, Commun., 237 a-b.

229

PO

5.

460

521

1212

1524

613