What are the Sacraments?

                   

 

The disciples were fortunate they could meet the Lord and experience him there and then in their everyday lives. We might think that they were very much a separate privileged group. While this might be true on one level, we are all in fact given the same wonderful opportunity to encounter Jesus - through the sacraments.

 

The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred."

 

The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God's grace.

 

The Seven Sacraments are:

 

BAPTISM.  For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship with Christ in the Church. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults,Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating the loving embrace of God.

  

EUCHARIST.  Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ's Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.

   

RECONCILIATION.  This is also known as Penance or Confession.  We encounter Jesus who, with the words: "your sins are forgiven,   go in peace", restores us to our true dignity and brings us back to His fold. In it we find God's unconditional forgiveness; as a result we are called to forgive others.

    

CONFIRMATION.   This is a Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we become more strongly united with Christ and more fully members of his body - the Church.

     

MARRIAGE.  For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values. Marriage is one of the great callings in life. It is the union of a man and a woman for procreation and the good of the spouses

           

HOLY ORDERS.  In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.  A man ordained as priest is configured to Christ and is send out to bring him into the world. He especially makes Him present at Mass or, for example, by acting as a vessel of His forgiveness in the Sacraments of Confession.

           

ANOINTING OF THE SICK.  Also known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction. Christ's compassion towards the sick is evident even in the Gospels. In this Sacrament we encounter Christ the Physician. Yet He does not only come to heal the body but also the soul. Thus, even if bodily healing itself is not according God's will, we will never be truly alone.

Together we

follow God

& serve

the people

of Bilston,

Coseley

& East Park.

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