The Mystery of the Eucharist

The third quarter of Youth Journey in Faith (yJIF) – our parish Confirmation class for youth – focuses our attention on the mystery of the Eucharist.  By this point in their lives, our youth have consumed a lot of Eucharistic bread and wine.  They can repeat back the words the priest says; they know when the priests bow and when Paula rings the Sanctus bells (and that she loves ringing them!); they’ve brought forward the bread and wine as acolytes and some of them have even helped make bread at home.

Lots of Eucharist in their lives, but how does any of this help them learn to follow Jesus?  Why does Paula ring those Sanctus bells?  Why does “Holy, Holy, Holy” show up in Eucharistic prayers A, B, C, and D?  What does it mean that we “lift up our hearts”?  Did Jesus really mean that the bread and wine were his body and blood… Do we really eat Jesus each week or is this a symbolic act?  And, why do the servers need to finish off the wine left over in the cup?  Lots of Eucharist in our youths’ lives and lots of fruitful questions.

And the third quarter of yJIF is replete with rich opportunities to reflect upon these questions.  We consider a short piece written by former seminarian Fr. Jonathan Melton called, “A Conversation with Bread and Wine.”  One of our clergy will come help us explore the “Whys” behind our Eucharistic actions and language, like “lift up your hearts” and our use of wine (and not grape soda).  We’ll work with the Altar Guild one morning to prepare the altar for the 11:05 liturgy.  And we’ll consider how Rublev’s famous icon of the Holy Trinity (with a chalice near the center) helps us understand what happens to us each Sunday as we share in the Eucharist at Holy Family.