A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Christ gave us his Apostles and his Church to administer the seven sacraments to help us lead a good life in this world and to help us reach Him after death. There are seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic tradition. Please refer to the individual sacraments listed for more details on the sacrament itself and its respective preparation programme at St. Luke's.
Confirmation is the Sacrament that graces one with the Holy Spirit. The rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead with the oil of chrism, together with the laying on of the Presider’s hands and the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The recipient receives the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2-3) and may receive one or more of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
The ecclesial effect and sacramental grace of the sacrament gives the recipient the strength and character to witness for Jesus.
The sacrament of Baptism marks the beginning of our life of faith. In Baptism, we are welcomed into God's family and begin the journey of getting to know and understand the meaning of God's love. At St. Luke's, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of Baptism depending on the age of the person wanting to be baptised.
Baptism of a child and Baptism of an adult.
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the heart and summit of the Church’s life. The Eucharist is the source of community within the Church.
The essential signs of the sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked during the Sacrifice of the Mass. The bread and wine through Transubstantiation become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
We receive the Real Presence of Jesus when we receive Holy Communion. Our soul is nourished, helping us to become like Christ. Receiving Holy Communion with others during the Sacrifice of the Mass brings unity of the Church, the Body of Christ.
The sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as the sacrament of Penance or Confession.
In this sacrament, the penitent confesses their sins to the priest in the reconciliation room or confessional. The priest then gives absolution to the repentant soul, making the Sign of the Cross, and saying the words “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
It is God, through the priest, who forgives someone’s sins. As the penitent must make restitution or satisfaction for his sins, the priest gives a penance to the forgiven one – usually prayer, fasting, or almsgiving.
Anointing of the Sick
If you or a loved one is sick or about to have surgery you may ask for the sacrament of the sick. If you are going into a Public Hospital there are Catholic Chaplains who will arrange the anointing, as well as bring you Holy Communion.
The Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament given to seriously ill Catholics, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ.
The sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehead and hands of the patient with blessed oil, with the priest saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up”.
The sacrament of marriage celebrates the love and friendship between a man and a woman, and gives the couple the grace to grow into a union of heart and soul, to provide stability for themselves and their children. Children are the fruit and bond of a marriage.
The bond of marriage between a man and a woman lasts all the days of their lives, and the form of the Rite consists of the mutual exchange of vows by a couple.
We strongly recommend couples attend the Marriage Preparation course (if at all possible) as the course sets the foundation for a deeper understanding of the commitment each will be making to one another for life.
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Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission, entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles, continues to be exercised in the Church to the end of time. This holy vocation provides the Church with priests for the faithful.
A priest is ordained to act in the person of Jesus Christ in three principle ways: He teaches, He makes holy, He governs
There are special preparation programmes for men seeking to become priests. Website: www.aucklandpriests.org.nz
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