Every Sacrament is a channel of God's grace with the potential to transform our lives. How we much benefit from the life God offers us in the Sacraments depends on our own internal dispositions and our desire to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
There are Seven Sacraments entrusted by Christ to His Church. These are grouped into three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist); two Sacraments of Healing (Confession and the Sacrament of the Sick); and two Sacraments of Mission (Marriage and Holy Orders).
To receive a Sacrament in the Catholic Church we need to be part of a community of faith that prays and grows together. That means we must be followers of Jesus Christ, learning from Him, modelling our lives on His teaching, and joining the wider community when it comes together each week to celebrate the Mass. In the case of an infant receiving baptism, the faith is expressed and lived by parents and Godparents.
Baptism is the Sacrament through which God introduces us to the Christian life. Through it we become children of God and followers of Christ. In Baptism a seed of faith is sown in us to grow strong and bear fruit. That seed is nourished by the example of other Christians and by the grace God gives us in the other Sacraments.
Following an ancient tradition, the Catholic Church baptises both adults and infants. Children are baptised because of the strength of their parents' and godparents' faith. Adults are baptised because of their own faith and desire to follow Jesus.
Confirmation is the second Sacrament of Initiation. In this Sacrament we are anointed by the Holy Spirit to go out and bear witness to God's love by both word and example.
Adults requesting Confirmation are invited first of all to complete Alpha and then join our Catholicism for the Curious course.
Young people are prepared for Confirmation in the context of our Monday night activities for young people.
Holy Communion is the final Sacrament of Initiation. Our life on earth is a preparation for eternal life with God in heaven. To receive Holy Communion is to anticipate eternal life by receiving Jesus here on earth. In Holy Communion, we receive the risen Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.
Holy Communion is also a sign of our union with God and his Church. To receive Holy Communion we have to be united in the faith of the Church; in worship (by attending Mass); and in living well the Christian life (free from serious sin).
Sometimes we take a wrong turn in our lives and we need to begin again. Reconciliation or Confession is the Sacrament of pardon and peace.
In Confession the Holy Spirit lifts the burden of sin from us and restores our relationship with the Father and the Church. In Confession we receive the forgiveness of our sins and the grace of a new beginning.
The Sacrament of the Sick is offered to those who are very sick, about to undergo serious surgery, or preparing for the final journey from this life to the next. It is a Sacrament that offers a healing which is sometimes physical and always spiritual.
When a Catholic is admitted to hospital, the family is encouraged to ask the staff to request the priest who is the hospital chaplain to visit and anoint their loved one. It is also possible to arrange for a priest to administer the Sacrament of the Sick to someone needing it in their home.
Marriage is a Sacrament of Mission in the Church. In this Sacrament God unites a man and woman in a faithful, life-giving, and exclusive bond. Married love is called to reflect God's love as revealed to us in the Scriptures.
We have a lot of weddings at St Elizabeth's so it is important to contact us as soon as possible when you get engaged.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is a Sacrament of Mission in response to a vocation, or calling, given by God to live our Christian life by serving others in a particular way.
The call to Holy Orders may be to the priesthood or to the diaconate. In the priesthood a man makes himself totally available to proclaim God's Word, administer the Sacraments, and care for the people, wherever the Church may choose to send him.
The call to the diaconate is given also to married men who serve the local church and are usually attached to a specific parish. As well as proclaiming the Word, a permanent deacon administers the Sacraments of Baptism and Marriage, and officiates at funeral services.