The Eucharist and daily life - Page 3
In a time of persecution
This Eucharist was held in the dungeons of the prison at Antioch. There a priest called Lucian and some of his fellow Christians were all fastened with their feet in the stocks. And there, in the darkness, Lucian celebrated their last Eucharist with the bread and wine resting on his chest, and passed the Blessed Sacrament round to them so that they could make their Communion before they died for Our Lord and the Faith. (2)
The Reserved Sacrament
It has been the custom since the early days of the Christian Faith to keep the Blessed Sacrament in a safe in the church, chiefly so that the Sacrament can be taken to people who are ill and so cannot get to church to make their Communion there. Only the consecrated Bread is kept in this way, and it is put in a ciborium, which is a cup that looks like a chalice only it has a lid.
Tabernacle and aumbry
When the safe is on the altar it is called a tabernacle; when it is in the wall near the altar it is called an aumbry. You can always tell where the Blessed Sacrament is kept, or reserved as we say, because a little white light burns near the place. We are very near to Heaven there because, as you know, where the Blessed Sacrament is there is Jesus himself in his Risen and Ascended Body. And so we should try and come into the church during the week to adore Jesus in his Holy Sacrament and pray to him and offer ourselves to him.
There is a special service, called Benediction, in which we honour and adore Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. The ciborium containing the Sacrament is placed on the altar, surrounded by many lighted candles, and hymns and prayers are offered to Jesus there present. Then Jesus’ own blessing is given with the Sacrament. The priest holds up the ciborium and with it makes the sign of the Cross over the people. Often, instead of a ciborium, a monstrance is used. This has a glass front through which the Host can be seen.
Importance of reverence
We should always show reverence and love to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by going down on one knee (genuflecting) whenever we pass in front of where the Sacrament is kept.