The 7 Sacraments
The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the sacraments as follows: "The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony." The sacraments are symbols. A symbol is a sign (an outward reality) that represents an invisible (spiritual) reality, totality different from signs. Signs can be defined as “anything that points to something else and symbols as special signs that convey deep meanings”. The deeper meaning of symbols like sacraments calls fourth both conscious and unconscious feelings and thoughts. Baptism, Confirmation and The Eucharist are all sacraments of initiation through which the person becomes a full member of the Church. Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick are sacraments of healing. They are concerned with receiving forgiveness, strength and healing. Marriage and Holy Orders are sacraments of ministry, ways in which we are called by God. These two sacraments are looked at elsewhere.
Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation. Initiation means ‘bringing into membership of, learning to belong’. In baptism the person becomes a Christian, they receive the new life of God within them and they begin their journey of faith. Baptism means immersed in water. • WATER: A symbol of life and death (death to sin and rising to new life with God). • CHRISM - a symbol of being chosen for a special task. • WORDS and GESTURES: The key words in the ceremony when the water is poured over the baby’s head are: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”. The sign of the cross signifies the saving power of the crucifixion of Jesus. The child now belongs to God. Confirmation
Confirm means to strengthen/make clear what has already been agreed. At confirmation...