“Shepherd us, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life”.Hymn by Marty Haugen, based on Psalm 23
Jesus is the Shepherd and the Guardian of our souls. The Sacraments are Jesus Christ’s gift to his Church, and it is the Church’s duty to administer them and protect them from misuse.
When we receive a sacrament with faith, we are given the grace to grow and mature into the true life that has no end. Through the sacraments, we can experience the healing, forgiving, nourishing and strengthening presence of God. Through the sacraments, we aim to become more and more like Jesus.
Receiving a sacrament is a very important moment in the life of a member of the Church community, and therefore careful preparation must be made. By taking the time to prepare, we are able to enter, more fully, into these great mysteries of our faith.
The seven sacraments of the Church are as follows:
Baptism: Through Baptism, the fallen children of humankind become cherished Children of God. Baptism wipes away all sin and fills us with the divine life. You can find out more about getting baptised at St Marie’s here.
Confirmation: Through Confirmation, the weak become strong, committed Christians. Confirmation perfects and strengthens the grace given at Baptism, by completing the initiation process of becoming a full Catholic and a disciple of Christ. Through this sacrament, we say ‘yes’ to the gift of God – the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then comes into our life, never to leave us again – for he loves us without end. You can find out more about receiving this sacrament at St Marie’s here.
Eucharist: The Holy Eucharist is the great gift by which we experience the ultimate sign of Christ’s presence. It is the third sacrament of initiation, and the only one of the three that can be received more than once. In fact, receiving Holy Communion on a regular basis helps us to live the Christian life more fully. It deepens our relationship with Christ, allowing Him to strengthen us in a very special way. If you wish to find out how you or your child can prepare to receive the Holy Eucharist at St Marie’s, please click here.
Reconciliation (Confession): The Sacrament of Reconciliation heals and frees us from our human weaknesses and our inclination to sin. Confession gives us the place and space to become renewed and unburdened, and – through His bountiful love and mercy – enables us to become reconciled with God, again and again. When we are reconciled with God, we are at peace. You can find out more about receiving the sacrament of reconciliation at St Marie’s here.
Anointing of the Sick: The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick heals us spiritually, and unites us more closely to Jesus Christ. It gives us courage and hope during serious illnesses, and can sometimes lead to a physical healing too – if that is God’s will. This sacrament can be received several times in a person’s life. You can find out more about receiving this sacrament here.
Matrimony: Matrimony (or Marriage) is a sacrament of service. It binds a man and a woman together for life, in the covenant of Jesus Christ’s love for the Church, and enables them to become a channel through which God pours out love into the world. In this sacrament, Jesus gives the married couple the grace to live a lifelong union of love and fidelity, and strengthens them to be fruitful. Married couples are called to accept any children God might send them, and to guide their children to heaven. You can find out more about getting married at St Marie’s here.
Holy Orders: Holy Orders is the other sacrament of service. It extends the work of Jesus Christ – as servant and priest – into the present time, by empowering consecrated men to act as a channel for Christ. Through the ordination of a deacon, priest or bishop, the transforming, healing, saving power of Christ is grafted onto him, so he can faithfully serve and shepherd God’s people. You can find prayers for Vocations, and other information about Holy Orders here.
– Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are sacraments of initiation.
– Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick are sacraments of healing.
– Matrimony and Holy Orders are sacraments of service.