THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
“A Sacrament combines two elements: one visible, the other invisible.” –Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen
For information about the celebration of a particular Sacrament at St. Therese Church, please click on the appropriate link in the blue panel to the left. For Mass and Confession schedules, see the separate link at the top of the page. To understand more about what a Sacrament is, please continue reading below.
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 Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance or Confession) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness; as a result we are called to forgive others.
Catholics believe the celebration of the Eucharist at Mass is the unbloody reenactment of Jesus’ crucifixion. We believe in the Real Presence of Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist–the same Jesus who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
Confirmation is a Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics (including Baptism and First Communion). It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to his or her spouse. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God’s values.
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by providing them the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Confession), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing—appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness. It is to be administered to anyone who needs healing and is not just for those in danger of dying.