7 Sacraments and Sacramental Life

As handed down by Tradition and attested to by Sacred Scripture, Christ gave to the Apostles and their successors to us today, 7 Sacraments that pour grace into the lives of the Faithful. In a special way, the Sacraments of the Church accompany the faithful throughout their sojourn in this world and prepare them for their own passover into the world to come.

Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of the “Sacraments of Initiation”. Baptism represents initial entry into the Church, and further opens the door for the Baptized person to receive other Sacraments. In accepting and receiving Baptism, the faithful are grafted on to the Body of Christ and become Christians. In receiving this gift of new birth by water and the Holy Spirit (Jn 3), the person who is baptized becomes a New Creation in Christ, reborn in Christ and recieves Divine Adoption. In Baptism, we possess by gift what Jesus possesses by Nature.

Families seeking to have children under the age of 7 Baptized should call the office 3 months in advance of the desired date.

Sacrament of Reconciliation & Penance (sometimes called “Confession”)

Recorded throughout the Gospels, Jesus gave the Divine Power to forgive sins to His Church. Only God can forgive sins and in giving the keys to the kingdom of heaven, He gave her authority to bind and loose on both earth and heaven. The Church is thus willed into existence for the proclamation of the mercy of God, revealed in the fullness of Truth, Who Is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing, a restoration of life and love, when we have separated ourselves from the source of all life, and the God Who is Love (1 Jn 4).

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available in the Church every Saturday afternoon 3pm – 4pm.

Sacrament of Holy Eucharist

On the night He was betrayed, the day before He was to suffer, knowing that the Father had given Him all things and that He was going to the Father, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of His Sacred Presence. In this Sacrament, He Who could not lie, because He is Truth incarnate, speaks a new reality into existence as He did at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. God speaks, reality is made real. “This is my body” and again “This is my blood”. In turning an execution into a covenantal sacrifice, the God-Man enacts the “new and eternal” covenant between God and Man. Often referred to as “Holy Communion”, the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian Life, because the Eucharist is not a WHAT but a WHO.

First Communion is ordinarily received around 2nd grade. Students of our CCD Program and St Edward School receive instruction prior to First Communion. If your child is not enrolled in St Edward School or our CCD Program, contact the Parish Office to speak to a priest. For adults coming into full communion with the Catholic Church at the East Vigil, both Eucharist and Confirmation are given at that time.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Also understood as The Sacrament of the Holy Spirit, Confirmation has it’s most obvious connection to the day of Pentecost from the opening chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. Having joined themselves to Christ, having received the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, witnessed Good Friday and been amazed by Easter Sunday, 50 days later the Disciples of Jesus were gathered with the Mother of Jesus in prayer and recieved the outpouring of the Spirit in the form of “tongues of fire”. Emboldened by the Gift, Peter proclaimed the Easter Kerygma and 3,000 souls were added that day. The gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation changes the relationship of the person to the Eucharist. No longer merely receiving Christ’s Body and Blood for themselves, the Holy Spirit convicts them of the truths of the faith and gives them strength to bear witness to Christ in the world.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is typically given around 8th grade for both St Edward School and CCD students who have been Baptized. For adults, it is included in the Easter Vigil rites of initiation.

Sacrament of Marriage (Holy Matrimony)

In the long history of the Church, three primary vocations have been handed down: Priesthood, Religious/Consecrated Life or Marriage. For those who have discerned the vocation to Marriage, they become on icon of Christ’s love for the Church: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom”. The Priest or Deacon receives the couples wedding vows as God’s representative of the Church. Catholics are bound by Canon Law to be married in the Church.

For recently engaged couples looking to schedule marriage prep at St Edward, please contact the parish office 6 to 8 months in advance of the proposed wedding date. For couples wishing to be married in St Edward Church, it is encouraged to confirm the wedding date with the Priest before signing contracts, agreements or sending out invitations.

Holy Orders

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is one Sacrament that gives us three offices or “orders” in the Church. In Acts 6, we see the Ordination of Deacons by the Apostles, after much prayer and discerning the will of God. In all three Synoptic Gospels, Jesus gives the Apostles the power to confect the Holy Eucharist. On Easter Sunday night, He breathes the Holy Spirit upon them, giving them power to forgive sins. We see in these divine acts, the Order of the Presbyters (Priesthood). In a special way, Jesus called The Twelve out from among the multitude of disciples who walked with Him and He gave them authority. Those called to the Episcopacy are the successors of these overseers (Epi: “over”, scop: “see”). Ordination to the Deaconate is the first time the sacrament is received. Upon the second time, the Deacon moves from the order of Deacanoi to Presbuteroi. Bishops receive “the fullness of the sacrament” with the third and final laying on of hands at their Episcopal Ordination.

If you have been inspired to discern a vocation to the Permanent Diaconate or possibly to the Priesthood, please visit our Diocesan Vocations Website – https://cdop.org/vocations/

Sacrament of Anointing (Anointing of the Sick)

We read in Sacred Scripture, in the Letter from James, “14 Is anyone among you sick?  He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord,15 and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14-15)

The footnote commentary from the NAB Bible explains: in case of sickness a Christian should ask for the presbyters of the church, i.e., those who have authority in the church (cf Acts 15:2,22–23; 1 Tim 5:17; Titus 1:5). They are to pray over the person and anoint with oil; oil was used for medicinal purposes in the ancient world (see Isaiah 1:6; Luke 10:34). In Mark 6:13, the Twelve anoint the sick with oil on their missionary journey. In the name of the Lord: by the power of Jesus Christ.