A sacrament is a sacred sign instituted by Christ to give grace. A sacrament is “entrusted to the Church”. The seven holy sacraments are living signs of Christ’s presence in the world. They are acts of Christ through the living Church which deepen our relationship with God, give guidance and strength on the path to salvation. “The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify all people, to build up the Body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God.” (CCC 1123 – Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Why does the Church have seven sacraments?
Because Christ instituted seven sacraments. A sacrament must be “instituted by Christ.” The Church did not invent them; it is only defined and defended them. The seven sacraments are:
“The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of the Christian life” (CCC 1210): Birth (Baptism), Maturing (Confirmation), strengthening by food and drink (Eucharist), Repair and Restoration (Penance), Service to others (Matrimony and Holy Orders), and Healing (Anointing of the Sick)
New life and ways of living: The First Sacrament
Initiation into the Christian community, the Body of Christ. Baptism cleanses the soul of the effects of original sin and any sins committed up to that time. The Holy Spirit enters the soul and makes it one with Christ. Water and spoken words signify “New Birth,” the beginning of life with God and membership among the people of God. Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Gift of the Holy Spirit
Confirmation is the sacrament by which those born anew in baptism receive the seal of the Holy Spirit, the Gift of the Father. Along with baptism and the Eucharist, confirmation is a sacrament of initiation– in this case, initiation into the life of adult Christian witness. The deepened presence of the Spirit, who comes to us in this sacrament, is meant to sustain us in a lifetime of witness to Christ and service to others.
Usually conferred by a bishop, confirmation strengthens the commitment to Christ made at baptism, so that a person can maturely face challenges and problems in daily life as a Christian. It gives courage and strength to witness Christ in the world and to selflessly serve our fellow human beings.
Confirmation is the sacrament in which the Holy Spirit is called down upon the person being confirmed through the imposition of hands and anointing with Chrism by the bishop. Like baptism, confirmation imparts a special mark or character on the soul, and, also like baptism, it can only be received once in a person’s lifetime. While confirmation can be administered at any age, the general practice is to administer confirmation to adolescents and older people who convert to Catholicism. At the Easter Vigil, confirmation is administered by the priest to confirm those who were baptized at the Vigil. Persons validly baptized in another Christian tradition, may also receive Confirmation at the Easter Vigil. Otherwise, the Bishop or Archbishop is the ordinary minister of confirmation.
Confirmation can be thought of as a “coming of age” sacrament, and people who receive it are expected to have undergone religious education. The bishop informally quizzes the candidate for confirmation on basic articles of faith. As with baptism, the person being confirmed has a sponsor who has the responsibility to encourage the individual in leading a holy, Christian life. Information about registering for new confirmation classes can be found out at the parish office from the PSRs and announcements will be made in the weekly newsletter.
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us”
The Mass is the central act of Catholic worship; it is a prayer of thanksgiving by which Calvary is renewed. “The very presence of Christ” comes into the lives of the community; unites them with Christ, strengthens their faith in God and commitment to work for salvation.
The priest consecrates bread and wine; Jesus becomes present, whole and entire in these elements, to nourish His community.
Penance is the sacrament by which we receive God’s healing forgiveness for sins committed after baptism. This rite is called reconciliation because it reconciles us not only with God but with the Church community. Both these aspects of reconciliation are important. Sin wounds and weakens the Body of Christ; the healing we receive in penance restores health and strength to the Church, as well as to ourselves. Sin is a tragic reality but the sacrament of penance is a joyful reunion.
This sacrament involves sincere sorrow for violating one’s friendship with God, and desire to be reconciled with God and the faith community. CONFESSION OF SINS is made to an ordained priest, who grants ABSOLUTION (assurance of God’s forgiveness). The the priest assigns a GOOD WORK, symbolizing wholeness in a life with GOD.
OLPH parish confession schedule is as follows:
OLPH – Fridays from 5.00 p.m.
Saturdays from 11.00 a.m.
Christ the King – Thursdays before 6.00 p.m. Mass
St Andrew Kaggwa – Fridays before 6.30 p.m. Mass
In serious illness you experience mortality. You realize that at some time you are going to die. If you are not seriously ill, but infirmed or aged, you know this same experience. Because these circumstances lead you to face God in the light of your own death, there is something especially sacramental about the condition you are in. And so there is a formal sacrament for this situation: anointing of the sick. You need to be on the verge of dying or very seriously ill to receive a special form of this sacrament known as Extreme Unction.
Anointing with oil blessed by the bishop and prayers by a priest give comforting grace, bring Christ to the seriously ill or dying. Often physical healing occurs. But emphasis is on spiritual healing –strengthening the soul — through forgiveness of sin.
COMMUNION FOR THE SICK & SHUT-INS
This communion is provided to the sick and shut-ins in the Parish on the first Sunday of every month. Parishioners are encouraged to provide the details to the Parish office and a Eucharistic minister would be assigned to visit the individual. In addition, you should also indicate whether the sacrament of reconciliation is required and arrangements would be made to have one (1) of the resident priest make a visit, as soon as is possible. If there are any other special circumstances, please provide the details to the PSRs at the Parish office.
The Church is the Body of Christ. As such, the whole Church shares in the nature and task of Christ, our head. This includes sharing in his priesthood. Beyond this “common priesthood of the faithful,” there is the special or “ministerial priesthood” of Christ that certain members of the Church receive through the sacrament of holy orders.
This sacrament consecrates Christians in service to God. Spiritual power and grace are given to help them put aside daily concerns and devote their work to the good of the community — teaching, administering sacraments, governing the Church. Holy orders is given to Deacons, Priests and Bishops.
Parish Vocation Committee..
Marriage: Sacrament of Life-Giving Oneness
In all civilizations people have sensed a mysterious sacredness about the union of man and woman. There has always been a vague realization that the deep longing for oneness with “the other” is life-giving — and that it is a longing for oneness with the source of all life. This is why religious rituals and codes of behaviour have always been connected with marriage.
In matrimony a husband and wife are called to love each other in a very practical way: by serving each other’s most personal needs; by working seriously at communicating their personal thoughts and feelings to each other so their oneness is always alive and growing. In matrimony, a couple is also called to live their sacrament for others. By their obvious closeness, a couple affects the lives of others with “something special” — the love of Christ in our midst.
A man and a woman selflessly share life, love and Christian faith with each other and with God. The sacrament is administered by the two partners themselves, with the priest acting as Church’s witness. The Holy Spirit breathes God’s own love into the couple’s love, so that each becomes a grace for the other; helps them grow together in a life of God and so fulfill their lives.
Couples are advised to consult with an available Parish Priest before your fix a date for your wedding. If the priest you choose is not attached to this parish, you are advised to consult with the parish office before you fix a date. The parish priest and the parish office requires at least 6 months notice of your intention to wed. Please view the PSRs in the office for more information on requirements for couples to be wed or view the download centre to download a pdf of the brochure.