The celebrations of the sacraments are signs of Jesus’ presence in our lives and a means for receiving God’s grace. The Church celebrates seven sacraments, which are divided into three categories.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
The sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—lay the foundations of every Christian life. Baptism and Confirmation are received only once in a lifetime
“The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” [CCC 1212] [CCC – Catechism of the Catholic Church].
The Sacrament of Baptism
The first of the three sacraments of initiation, is also the first of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.” [CCC 1213]
Its signs are the pouring of water on the head while reciting the words of the trinitarian formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism of a child in our parishes
The Sacrament of Confirmation
It is the second of the three sacraments of initiation because, historically, it was administered immediately after the Sacrament of Baptism. Confirmation perfects our baptism and brings us the graces of the Holy Spirit that were granted to the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday. Confirmation seals our life of faith in Jesus. Its signs are the laying on of hands on a person’s head, most often by a Bishop, and the anointing with oil.
Confirmation in our parishes for Adults and Grown Children
The Sacrament of Holy Communion
While Catholics in the West (Latin rite) today normally make their First Communion before they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the reception of Christ’s Body and Blood, was historically the third of the three sacraments of initiation.
This sacrament, which the Christian faithful should receive more frequently throughout his or her life, is a source of great graces that sanctify him or her. In other words, it helps him or her to grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ. The Sacrament of Holy Communion is also sometimes called the Holy Eucharist. Its signs are the bread and wine we receive—the Body and Blood of Christ.