The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Communion, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
The purpose of the sacraments is to make people holy, to build up the body of Christ, and to give worship to God.
Worship is integral to our lives as Christians. When we engage in the prayer and ritual of the Church, we are formed as Church. Our sacramental rites are of primary importance while we are gathered.Sacramentals are instituted by the Church and are effective by virtue of the Church’s intercession. Institution and alteration of them is reserved to the Holy See.
The Sacrament of Baptism is often called “The door of the Church,” because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but in priority, since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Baptism is done every month except during Lent and December. The babies are registered on a date to be announced which is usually a Thursday between 9.00 and 11.00am at the office at St. Michael’s. Anyone can register the baby. This is followed by three sessions starting on the Monday after registration. Parents and catholic god-parents must attend these sessions at St. Cecilia’s Chapel, La Seiva.
The Sacrament of Communion is a Holy Sacrament by which the believer eats the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, presented by the Bread and Wine. This Sacrament has the greatest importance among the Seven Church Sacraments. It is sometimes called the ‘Mystery of Mysteries’ or the ‘Crown of Sacraments’; for all the Sacraments are crowned by the Eucharist
First Communion at St. Cecilia’s Chapel is usually on the Feast of Christ the King in November and classes are held at the Chapel on Sunday morning. First Communion at St. Michael’s is usually on Corpus Christi (May or June) and classes are held at the Church on Sunday morning after the 7.30am mass. The start of classes is always announced at the Masses in the parish.
The basic requirement for the Sacrament of Reconciliation or for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the “prodigal son” and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest. Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic.
Confession is available 15 minutes before Mass on Weekends or by Appointment with Fr Gerard.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually received between the ages fifteen (15) and seventeen (17) years. The classes, however, start two (2) years before the young adult is confirmed. If an adult (eighteen (18) years and over) wishes to receive any of these sacraments, he/she can join the RCIA programme (The Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)
If you wish to receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church, at least six (6) months prior to the set date, an appointment should be made with the Parish Priest. Several stages are involved in the marriage preparation process and several documents need to be provided in order to advance the process.
You can call the office at St. Michael’s to make an appointment (Ph# 662 4103).
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is a very important sacrament. This Sacrament helps us remember that by suffering, dieing and rising to new life, Jesus saved us. This Sacrament is a Sacrament of Healing. You receive this Sacrament when you are at old age, close to passing away, or when you are very sick. This Sacrament gives you hope and when you receive it, you know that the whole church is praying for you. If you are very ill more than one time you re able to receive the sacrament again.
Requests for Anointing of the Sick may be made by contacting the Parish Office at 662-4103.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles; thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as “the sacrament of apostolic ministry.”
Young men and women discerning religious life are encouraged to speak with a priest or religious, or to check the Seminary for more information, about pursuing the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Of course, you can always speak with Fr. Gerard about this as well!