Tag: Sacraments

How Do the Sacraments Help Us?

How Do the Sacraments Help Us?

We all have those moments in our lives that we say were formative for the shaping of who we are today. We celebrate birthdays in our homes every year. We remember our wedding anniversaries and the dates on which we first met our spouses or made a life-changing career decision. Often, these events have sights and smells that are associated with them, or particular sights and smells bring to mind particular episodes or feelings. If your mother made you a special batch of chicken soup every time you got sick, smelling hot chicken broth might evoke fond memories of her and her care. Finding a treasured doll or stuff”ed animal from your childhood will likely take you back to those days and the experiences you enjoyed.

This human tendency to remember important events by means of tangible objects carries right over into the religious sphere. We understand that the life and worship of the church involves what we call “Word and sacrament.” In Protestant churches particularly, there has been a tremendous emphasis on the preaching of the Word, but historically, the celebration of the sacraments in Protestantism has also been vital. Sadly, there has been a neglect of the sacraments among modern evangelicals, though there are encouraging signs that this trend is being reversed. Nevertheless, the celebration of God-ordained sacraments has been a constant throughout the history of God’s people. From the days of the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament, God has been concerned not only to speak to His people through His Word, but also to communicate in other ways and in other methods, one of the most important of which is through the sacraments.

When we speak of the sacraments, we are usually referring specifically to baptism and the Lord’s Supper, those signs and seals instituted by Christ to remember His death and His work in cleansing His people from sin. But theologians also use terms such as sacrament or sacramental in a broader sense. Such terms can be applied to many ways in which God has communicated to His people through object lessons, through signs or ordinary symbols that take on extraordinary meaning. For example, we have the rainbow, which was the sign given to Noah that the Lord would never destroy the earth again with a flood. He used that common, natural phenomenon of the rainbow as a sign of an uncommon, special, divine promise of His persevering and preserving providence. Now, every time we see a rainbow, we are involved in the sacramental life of the faith, not in the technical sense of sacraments, but rather in the sense of the broader meaning of external objects that are used to enhance and support the communication of the verbal promises of God. Old covenant believers also had circumcision as a visible reminder that they had been cut out of the world to be the Lord’s holy people. Moreover, the prophets often dramatized the Word of God through visible signs such as a plumb line, a broken jar, or other such things. Perhaps the preeminent sacramental celebration under the old covenant was the Passover, the meal that was eaten to commemorate God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Here we see the sign joined to the Word of God, as is to be the case whenever a God-ordained sacrament is celebrated. As the meal was being eaten, the families in Israel were to retell the story of the exodus, to recount the divinely sent plagues and God’s message to Israel through Moses that were part and parcel of the liberation from Egypt.

Under the new covenant, we remember, for example, the Lord’s Supper, when Jesus took the Old Testament sacrament of Passover and filled it with new meaning and new content. He took the bread and the wine of the Passover meal and made them signs and seals of His broken body and shed blood, which are the purchase price of our redemption. He said to eat the bread and wine in remembrance of Him. Jesus knew His people; He knew what we were like, that sometimes our faithfulness to Christ is only as intense and as strong as the vivacity of our recollection of our most recent blessing at the hands of God. But we come down from those mountaintop experiences and we tend to forget what God has done for us in the past. The sacraments represent the Lord accommodating Himself to this weakness of ours in order to assist us in remembering what He has done for us.

We are weak, sinful people who need all the assistance we can get in order to remember what the Lord has done for us. If we neglect the sacraments He has given His people and fail to understand the importance of the sacramental aspects of our faith, we are turning down precious helps that provide additional confirmation of His promises. When joined to the Word of God, the sacraments strengthen our faith, further our sanctification, and assure us of the Lord’s unwavering faithfulness to us—His forgetful and often unfaithful people

A Little Reminder on Why the Sacraments Are a Really Big Deal

A Little Reminder on Why the Sacraments Are a Really Big Deal

It is critically important that we remember the sacraments are not traditions. They are not little rituals we play out like the make-believe games of childhood. They have the power to bring heaven to earth, rip the veil between all things seen and unseen, and allow humanity and eternity to commingle in mysterious, yet palpable ways. Through the sacraments, heaven comes, not just to visit, but to live with us and in us. In the sacraments, we are graced.

My appreciation for how the Church upholds and protects the seven sacraments has been vividly reawakened as I watch my brother prepare for the priesthood. Living a sacramental life is the great gift and calling of every Catholic, and we sometimes forget just how powerful and healing that is.

Learning the history of how a particular sacrament developed is a useful way to reignite our respect for its practice. For example, the rite of ordination has developed over centuries, but from apostolic times, we believe the prayers of consecration combine with the laying on of hands to effect the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Here, when the bishop calls upon the Holy Spirit, an indelible spiritual mark impresses upon the soul of a man and he becomes typos tou Patros, the living image of God the Father. Here, he is graced for the duties of his ministry. Here, he becomes a priest forever.

During the ordinations I have attended in recent years, as I watch the ordinands stretched out on the floor, knowing that one day soon it will be my own brother lying there, prostrate and anointed, there is one simple thought which consumes me: “This is a really big deal.” Here’s some more news: all the sacraments are—they’re a really big deal. For each of us.

It is particularly important for us to teach children that sacraments are so much more than a ceremony to prepare for; they are God’s way of reaching down to us and offering us a lifelong gift—a gift of grace that gives us a glimpse of heaven and a taste of eternity

What are the rituals of Catholicism?

What are the rituals of Catholicism?

Image result for images of the rituals of the catholic church
A child undergoing a Baptism – one of the Rituals of the Catholic Church

Glory to Jesus; Honour to Mary and Joseph

What is a Catholic Rituals?

Catholics Rituals are the sacraments of the Church. The Sacrament of the Church  starts with Baptism and ends with anointing of the Sick for the Sick or Holy order for ordained Ministers.

What is a Sacrament

A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible spiritual reality. God uses the physical objects and the rituals to convey truth.

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 Catholics. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence.

This outward sign functions as a channel through which God imparts sanctifying grace into the soul. The sacraments are seven in number and have their source in the saving work of Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection, and were established by Him for the sanctification of every member of His Church.

The Sacraments are:

  1. Baptism- For Initiation into the Church
  2. Reconciliation- For Asking of God’s Forgiveness and Receiving it
  3. Eucharist –  Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ
  4. Confirmation- Makes you a member of the catholic church and then to defend the Church now
  5. Matrimony – Marriage as a sacraments
  6. Anointing of the Sick- Giving to the Sick for quick recovery or ease their deaths
  7. Holy Orders – giving to only Ordained Ministers

According the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the 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.

These Sacraments are part of the liturgical celebrations of the Church. In Christian tradition “liturgy” means the participation of the People of God in “the work of God.” Through the liturgical celebrations Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church.

“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us”

 

 

 

 

 



3 STEPS TO BECOMING A CATHOLIC

3 STEPS TO BECOMING A CATHOLIC

3 steps to becoming a Catholic
Candidate receiving the sacraments of confirmation

Glory to Jesus; Honour to Mary and Joseph

Who is a Catholic?

A anyone that practices the Catholic faith is a Catholic. These sacraments and other forms the basics of rituals of the church

What are sacraments of the church

There are seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church. They are essential for salvation and living the life that Christ intended us to live. Of these seven, only three important Sacraments that initiate an individual and welcome him or her into the family of Christ –

  • Baptism,
  • Communion, and
  • Confirmation.

“Baptism is the foundation of the Sacrament of initiation and frees one from original sin”.

“Confirmation is the second Sacrament of initiation.  this is a ritual that signifies strengthening of one’s faith”.

“Communion is the third and in this Catholics partake the Body and Blood of Christ to be a part of his sacrifice”.

These three Sacraments serve to

  • confirm,
  • strengthen, and
  • increase one’s faith and closeness with the community of Christ.

Baptism

Derived from the Greek word, bapto or baptizo, baptism means to wash or immerse. The ritual of Baptism symbolizes the washing away of sins and cleansing the soul by immersing it in water. Baptism is an important Sacrament and being baptized is an important part of being initiated into the family of the Catholic Church. Water baptism is an act of obedience and represents forgiveness and unity with Christ and the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

First Holy Communion

The First Holy Communion is the first reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The age must be around 8 or 9. The garment worn is white. it symbolizes purity and newness.

Confirmation

Confirmation is the completion of the process of initiation into the family of Christ and is preceded by Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. It is one of the 7 Sacraments of Catholicism. Confirmation involves being responsible for one’s faith and actions and is a coming-of-age ceremony. Confirmation is performed by the Bishops. He lays his hands on the candidate. A new name that must be a saint is giving and registered into the diary of the church.

Conclusion

\These three Sacraments are all part of the initiation of an individual into Christ and the Church. Solemn and meaningful, the rites, rituals, and ceremonies of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation all serve to bring a person closer to Christ, help him or her to understand the responsibility of being a Christian, and lead a life of faith