143. At the funeral Mass, the community, having been spiritually renewed at the table of God’s word, turns for spiritual nourishment to the table of the eucharist. The community with the priest offers to the Father the sacrifice of the New Covenant and shares in the one bread and the one cup. In partaking of the body of Christ, all are given a foretaste of eternal life in Christ and are united with Christ, with each other, and with all the faithful, living and dead: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 16:17).
This one paragraph succinctly expresses Catholic belief in the Eucharist:
- meal and sacrifice
- nourishment and New Covenant
- union with Christ and with the faith community
- foretaste of eternal life
- a sacramental connection with the deceased