the sacraments

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The Sacraments

Sacrament: An outward sign and/or action representing God love and saving grace; they are living encounters with God.

In a broader sense, any person, event or thing through which you experience Gods presence in a new or deeper way could be called a sacrament. Sacraments are highly symbolic. All of the sacraments were instituted by Christ. They begin with the human experience of the people who were followers of Jesus. Sacraments bring about what they symbolize (for example, baptism symbolizes being cleansed of original sin at the same time God is making the cleansing happen)

Seven Sacraments The Catholic Church celebrates seven events that show the difference aspects of holiness. Every important moment and every stage of Christian life is touched by one of the seven sacraments.

Sacraments of Initiation 1.Baptism2.Eucharist (Communion)3.Confirmation

Sacraments of Service 4. Holy Orders 5.Matrimony Sacraments of Healing 6.Reconciliation (Confession)7. Anointing (Last Rites)

Sacraments of Initiation: They are starting points for our lives as Christians.

These sacraments welcome people to the community of Christ. During the sacraments initiation, they must enter into a covenant with God and with the community. They must promise to love God and Gods people. They must accept forgiveness and try to be forgiving. They must reach out to all who are in need. When you belong to a community, you are expected to give something to it. The sacraments of initiation give us purpose and offer us strength and support.

Signs and Symbols of the Sacraments of Initiation

Water- main symbol of baptism; sign of cleansing, renewal, death and rebirth; sign of immersion into Gods life as expressed in Jesus

White Garment- given to a person after he or she comes out of the waters of baptism to mean that the person is now clothed in Christ

Light- sign that Christ brings light to the life of a baptized person

The Laying of the Hands- signs of the gift of the Holy Spirit; resents the sharing of love, strength, support, and encouragement

Oil- sign of strength, beauty, health and healing; signs of abundance and joy

Bread and Wine- sign of our thanks and of our wish to offer ourselves to God; sign of Gods faithfulness


Baptism: this washes away original sin which was committed by Adam and Eve. This is the first introduction to the Catholic faith community. Christ has called his death and resurrection a baptism. This is the plunging into death and resurrection of Christ.

Baptism is usually initiated by parents on behalf of their child. Godparents are chosen to help raise the child in the Catholic faith. Baptismal promises are made by parents and Godparents for us. These promises are a renewal of our baptismal commitment and are renewed each year at the Easter Vigil.


Eucharist (Communion): This is when we have transubstantiation and as a community we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. When we take part in the Eucharist, we do three important things. We celebrate Gods abundant love and faithfulness. We offer all that we are and all that we do to God. We commit ourselves to care for and be at peace with one another. There are definite spiritual and physical benefits that arise from the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is re-enacting the last supper when Jesus sat down with his disciples. In doing this, we understand the sacrifice involved. This sacrament involves transubstantiation where the bread and wine turn into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is NOT symbolic as Catholic we believe that the wine and bread actually do become the body and blood of Jesus. Consecration is when Christ is actually made present through transubstantiation. Throughout Christian history, our Lord has shown us that HE is really present as the Blessed Sacrament. Many Eucharistic miracles have occurred during times of weakened faith. Many Eucharistic miracles have occurred during times of weakened faith. For instance, many have taken place as a result of someone not believing that Christ is actually present.


Confirmation: is when a candidate is accepted into the Catholic faith as an adult and when the Holy Spirit comes to us to strengthen the gifts that we received at Baptism. When someone is being confirmed, it means that they fully understand the responsibility of being a Christian and that they accept Christ and His teachings. Confirmation means strengthening and usually occurs during the Easter season. Candidates are referred to as Catechumenate. They choose a sponsor, who is a person that they know and respect to help them in their journey through the Catholic faith.

Confirmation..The word sponsor comes from the same root as responsible, someone who guarantees or promises This person will travel with the candidate on a journey to Christian maturity and will help the candidate to accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit and encourage the candidate to demonstrate the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in their family lives.

1.The laying of the hands on the candidate is when the Holy Spirit is asked to enter into the person. 2.Anointing of the candidates forehead in the sign of the cross with Chrism (olive oil with balsam blessed in a special mass) It is a symbol of strength and the fragrance of Christ3.A sponsor places a hand on the shoulder of the candidate as a sign of spiritual support. 4.The Bishop administers the sacraments because he is considered the successor to the apostles, who bore witness to Christ.

The sacrament is celebrated in the following steps:Anointing of the Sick..

Anointing of the Sick: It is offered to all those who are seriously sick to help heal them not only of their physical sickness but also of their things that hurt them on the inside: when they suffer. The sacrament helps sick people to find God even in their suffering. It helps them use their suffering to enter more deeply into Jesus suffering, death and resurrection. It also helps people who are seriously ill to grow spiritually though their illness. It helps give them courage and hope.

This is a preparation for the Kingdom of God and involves a cleansing of the spirit. In some cases, miraculous healing has taken place as a result of anointing of the sick.

It is first celebrated with the Liturgy of the Word. Second, there is the laying of the hands on the head of the one to be anointed. Third, thanks is then bestowed on the oil of the chrism and then the head and the hands are anointed. The forehead is anointed with the sign of the cross (also during Baptism and Confirmation). The hands are anointed because they express our active being in the world.

The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has its effects:* The uniting of the sick to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole church * The strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner for the suffering of illness or old age * The forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through reconciliation * The restoration of health, if it is meant to be to help save the persons soul


Reconciliation: the priest offers Jesus forgiveness to those who have sinned and repented.

This sacrament also offers the repentant sinner the strength and courage to rebuild old relationships that have been broken and to build more positive new relationships. IT does not just affect people who have sinned. It affects the entire Catholic community. The sacrament of Reconciliation and Anointing bring Gods healing touch through the Christian community. They are signs of hope and wholeness.

ReconciliationThe Sacraments of Service are about Love and Vocation..

Love: true love is self-giving love when we act out of love, we care about the other person as much as or more than we do about ourselves

true love is faithful lovewhen we truly love others, we show our care for them even when it is inconvenient or when there is something else we would rather be doing

true love is unconditional love when we truly love other people, we care about them and want what is best for them no matter what they have done. Jesus gave is an example of perfect and true love when he gave his life out of love for us.

Love.Vocation: a call from God to give ones self for the sake of others. Each one of us is called by God to use our gifts and talents for the benefit of others. Learning to love generously, faithfully and unconditionally is a life-long task. Jesus gave the Church two special signs to help us remember what it means to love generously and to help us teach the world about love: the sacraments of Marriage Holy Orders.


Marriage: a man and woman make a covenant (lifelong commitment)brings together a man and women as one flesh involves a ring as a symbol, which has no beginning and no end, just like Gods love. establishes the best possible atmosphere for having children and raising them

Because man and women are created in the image of God, who is love, the love of husband and wife for each other is an image of the absolute and unfailing love of God. Married love is meant to last forever and married love is meant to be faithful. It is a sacred vocation of Christ. When two people become married, their lives intertwine and become one. They are no longer separate.

Holy Orders

Holy Orders: involves a calling to dedicate your life to God and His teachings The three levels of holy orders are: Bishop, Priest and Deacon

Take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience The sacrament of Holy Orders establishes priests, deacons, and bishops a