By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread
and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought
about. Under the consecrated species of bread and
wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in
a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his
Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of
Trent: DS 1640; 1651).
As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation
for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain
spiritual or temporal benefits from God.
Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic
communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone
aware of having sinned mortally must not receive
communion without having received absolution in
the sacrament of penance.
Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ in-
creases the communicant’s union with the Lord, for-
gives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave
sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the
bonds of charity between the communicant and
Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the
Mystical Body of Christ.
The Church warmly recommends that the faithful
receive Holy Communion when they participate in the
celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so
at least once a year.
Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of
the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of
adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof
of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of
adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI,
Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ
gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him.
Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his
Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of
this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us
even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin
Mary, and all the saints.