The Holy Eucharist


When I was growing up in Carlsbad in the 50’s (yes, I’m that old), St. Michael’s was located three blocks south, where the 7-Eleven ​m​ini-mall is now. ​You may have ​seen photos of what it looked like back then​: ​surrounded by a white picket fence​ ​with the entry doors on the side, not the end.

There were ​only ​two services per week, on Sunday​s​ at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. Communion was offered once per month, and then in the late 50’s, increased to twice a month. During that time, the priest ​​wrote to the bishop, asking permission to serve the communion by tincture​ (dipping the wafer into the wine​) ​as it was ​very ​time-consuming to serve wine to everyone from the chalice.

There was no First ​Holy ​Communion ​​sacramental preparation then​ — ​just Confirmation at age 13 or older, with that service being the first time that parishioner ​received ​communion.

Moving forward to the present day, things have changed greatly at St. Michael’s!​ T​he ​H​oly Eucharist is​ available 5 days per week:​ Sunday, and Wednesday through Saturday (see the schedule).

The first Eucharist was at what we know​ of as T​he Last Supper.​ ​On ​the night before Jesus was crucified​, He served bread and wine to the 12 apostles​ ​telling them this symbolized his body and blood, which was to be given for them (​and all of us, as well​​). He asked that they ​observe ​this ​’liturgy’ ​as often as they could, in memory of him​. ​

​E​arly Christians were accused of being cannibals, as the Holy Eucharist ​was ​being talked of as ​consum​ing ​​body and blood. They mistakenly ​presumed​ this was a literal ​and secret ​occurrence​. Remember that t​he early Christians were persecuted, and often had underground caves and dug out areas where they conducted their prayers and the Eucharist. The catacombs, and other caves used for this, ​are now archeological sites​ in Greece and Italy.

Whatever it’s ​nomenclature​​ — ​Holy Eucharist, Communion, or Mass​ — ​it is a celebration and remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins that we might live​.​ What a blessing to commemorate this feast at the altars of St. Michael’s by-the-Sea, and to be in Communion with Our Lord and with one another!


This article was written by Ginny Unanue, St. Michael’s Registrar.


Posted on July 20th, by Megan Stanton in Parish News.
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