In the Catholic Church, the term sacrament refers to a visible and efficacious sign instituted by Christ that imparts God's grace to believers. Sacraments are seen as sacred rituals through which Catholics encounter God's saving presence and receive His grace, enabling them to grow in faith, receive forgiveness, and participate in the life of the Church. Catholics believe that Jesus himself instituted the sacraments.
Catholics believe that the sacraments are powerful channels of God's grace, and they are considered essential for the spiritual well-being and growth of believers. Through the sacraments, Catholics believe they receive divine assistance, are cleansed from sin, are strengthened in their faith, and are united with Christ and his Church.
The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Confession), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. Each of these sacraments has its own specific rituals, symbols, and effects, but they are all considered integral to the Catholic faith and are administered by ordained ministers within the Church. Some may be administered by Deacons, who are ordained ministers, and all are administered by priests.
These seven sacraments are considered sacred rituals that enable Catholics to encounter and experience the presence of God in their lives, receive His grace, and grow in their relationship with him and the Christian community. They are at the center of the religious lives of Catholics.
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.”
–Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1422
As Catholics, we believe the Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus Christ and that He lovingly offers Himself as spiritual nourishment with each celebration of the Mass. This intimate exchange with our Lord strengthens us spiritually and brings us closer to God. It also increases our capacity to love one another more fully and to live in Christian community.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to another person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of the love between the Holy Trinity and the family values reflect God's values.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Anointing of the Sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death. It was formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction. Anointing of the Sick is not just for those at the point of death, but may be received by anyone in danger of death from sickness or old age. This ritual of healing is available not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual illness. The sacrament may be repeated if the sick person recovers after the anointing but becomes ill once again, or if, during the same illness, the person's condition becomes more serious. In more basic terms, it is a rite that is performed to convey God's grace to the recipient, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To schedule an Anointing of the Sick or to schedule Last Rites, please call the church office at 205-822-9125 ext. 58