Sacraments of Initiation

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Sacraments of Initiation. January 6, 2009. What is a Sacrament?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Sacraments of Initiation January 6, 2009

  • What is a Sacrament?The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions. (#1113)Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life. (#1210)

  • Signs and SymbolsA sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols. Their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ. (#1145) The liturgy of the Church presupposes, integrates and sanctifies elements from creation and human culture, conferring on them the dignity of signs of grace, of the new creation in Jesus Christ. (#1149) Signs of the covenant. The Chosen People received from God distinctive signs and symbols that marked its liturgical life. (#1150)

  • Signs and SymbolsThese are signs of the covenant, symbols of God's mighty deeds for his people. Among these liturgical signs from the Old Covenant are circumcision, anointing and consecration of kings and priests, laying on of hands, sacrifices, and above all the Passover. The Church sees in these signs a prefiguring of the sacraments of the New Covenant. (#1150)Signs taken up by Christ. In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.17 He performs healings and illustrates his preaching with physical signs or symbolic gestures. He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant, above all to the Exodus and the Passover, for he himself is the meaning of all these signs. (#1151)

  • Sacraments of InitiationThe Sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist - lay the foundations of every Christian life. "The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity. (#1212) (Intro to RCIA [Divinae consortium naturae])

  • Sacraments of Initiationbaptizein: (Greek) for plunged intometanoia: (Greek) for turning aroundBaptism was seen as a conversion/turning from life of the flesh to life in the SpiritPlunging into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus ChristCelebrate this conversion process through ritual ceremonies/actions within the ChurchSacraments of Initiation are invitation to a life-long process of conversion

  • The Early ChurchFirst Christians were those who had either known Jesus or were hearing about him from those who knew him personallyWe know from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles the Jesus sent his disciples out to preach, teach and baptizeBaptism of John the Baptist, the same that Jesus himself experiencedThrough baptism that you became a follower of Jesus a Christian

  • The Early ChurchIn the early Church, adults and children were all baptized; hear in the Acts that whole households were baptizedFrom the earliest times, baptism was first and foremost for the forgiveness of sinsInvolved a personal commitment, metanoia, turning around, life-changeThis new start of life involved the presence of Jesus; the newly baptized sharing in Christs passion, death and resurrection

  • Sacrament of ConfirmationEarly Church, the ordinary ministry of all sacraments was the bishop; direct connection with the ApostlesBy 4th C, with the growth and spread of the Church, priests began to baptize and preside at the EucharistSo, anointing after baptism (confirming) reserved for the bishop; originally may have been separated by weeks or months, but soon became months or yearsTrue in the Western rite, not Eastern Rites

  • Sacrament of ConfirmationInterestingly, the Eucharist was still given to all newly baptized, even infants (either the bread or the wine, or both)Still true today in Eastern RitesSo, by 4th C, in Western Rite, the original order of Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, had changed to Baptism, Eucharist and ConfirmationTrue with the exception of the Easter Vigil celebrated by the bishop

  • The Middle AgesTime passed and theology evolvedDark Ages: Catholic theology and ritual were confined primarily to monasteries in the WestGreat Schism (1054 AD) between East and WestAll of these events impacted theology surrounding Sacraments of InitiationBy 12th C, for example, Church stopped offering Eucharistic bread to infants because might spit up, then when cup was withdrawn for everyone, children now excluded

  • The Middle AgesSo, by 13th C, First Holy Communion would happen after a period of education, usually around the age of 14 or 15However, baptized children probably had already been brought to the bishop cathedral for confirmation before First Holy CommunityOriginal order of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist was again restored

  • Pre-Vatican CouncilPope Pius X (1906) allowed children to make First Holy Communion as young as age 6-7Now, order disrupted again; Baptism, Eucharist and ConfirmationTheology developed around Confirmation as a stand alone sacrament of strengtheningKiss of peace became a slap on the cheek; those being confirmed with soldiers for Christ

  • Contemporary PracticeVatican Council II (1962-1965) opened the Catholic Church to the modern age and new thinking and schools of theologyOne call from the bishops of the world was to reinstate the catechumenate; time of preparation for adults preparing to come into the ChurchBy 1972 promulgated by Rome; 1988 became mandatory for all dioceses in the USA

  • Duality of PracticeFor infants/young children, still have the practice of Baptism for infants, first Eucharist in 2nd grade, and Confirmation in high schoolCatechesis:Parents are required to complete preparation classes for BaptismChild and parents complete classes before First Holy CommunityChild/young adult completes two year program of preparation for Sacrament of ConfirmationParish priest is ministry for Baptism and Eucharist; Bishop or delegate for Confirmation

  • Duality of PracticeFor adults, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)Catechesis:Extensive period of preparation; usually accompanied by a sponsorAt the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), candidate receives Sacraments of Initiation in original orderParish priest is ministry for all of the sacraments; using Sacred Chrism blessed by the bishop

  • Sacraments of Initiation TodayThe sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. (#1113)

  • Sacraments of Initiation TodayWhenever possible, Sacraments of Initiation should take place within the celebration of the Eucharist; greatest of the SacramentsLiturgy of the Word is always celebratedBaptism (for infants)Anointing: Oil of Catechumens (on the chest)Bless the Water and Make Profession of FaithBaptism: either pouring water or immersionAnointing: Sacred Chrism (on the head)Clothing with White GarmentLighting Baptismal Candle from Easter Candle

  • Sacraments of Initiation TodayEucharist:Liturgy of the WordLiturgy of the EucharistSpecial involvement of the children in the liturgyConfirmation (for young adults)Celebrated by the Bishop (or designee)Invocation of the Holy SpiritTaking of a NameAnointing with Sacred ChrismSign of Peace

  • RCIA TodayBegin as Candidates seeking membership in the Christian community of faithWelcome through a formal ritual and anointing to the Catechumenate; now Catechumens; time of final preparation for initiation into the Church; finally become Elect with scrutiniesEaster Vigil (Holy Saturday)Profession of FaithBaptism RiteConfirmationParticipation in the Eucharist

  • Closing ThoughtGospels tell of that Jesus missioned His disciples to go out, preach the Good News of salvation; to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy SpiritRitual process of Christian initiation is the beginning of a journey that concludes only with the vision of God. In other words, one is initiated into a way of life, a living out of the implications of baptism. Such a journey is not concluded until each Christian meets the Lord.

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