The Holy Catholic Church was founded so that God might be worshiped, and that we might get to heaven. That this may happen, Christ Himself instituted the the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. They are the ways in which we know that God is active in our souls. Sacraments are an ‘outward sign of an inward grace’. There are seven Sacraments and they can be divided into three groups:
Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion
Sacraments of Healing – Confession and the Anointing of the Sick
Sacrament at the life – Marriage and Holy Orders (Priesthood)
Baptism is often called the gateway to the Sacraments because if you have not received baptism you cannot receive any of the other Sacraments. To ‘baptise’ means to immerse so therefore when someone is baptised they are immersed into the death of Christ and rises with Him as a new person.
Baptisms can be arranged at different times. If you would like your child to be baptised please speak to Father Bede or ring him on 01458 832203. Fr Bede will be able to give you a baptismal application form which must be returned to him before the baptism date booked.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the coming of the Holy Spirit into the life and heart of someone. As the name suggests it is a confirming of the faith. The form of this Sacrament is being anointed usually by the Bishop with Sacred Chrism after the laying on of hands. The words that he uses are these: ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’.
Bishop Declan confers this Sacrament every two years in this parish. If you would like your child to receive this sacrament then they must be in Year 9 or 14 years old and have been baptised. There is a mandatory course which is run in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Please speak to Fr Bede who will be able to give more information.
The Eucharist, or Holy Mass is the central act of worship of any Catholic, and is the centre of our life here at St Michael’s. Our Lord Himself gave the Mass to us, so that we could continue to receive the gift of His Body and Blood until He comes again. The Eucharist is the supreme way in which Our Lord can enter into our lives and give us the food and grace that we need to become the people He wishes us to be.
Holy Mass is first and foremost the worship of God. As we come together week by week, we come into the presence of Jesus Christ, fully present in the Blessed Sacrament, and offer our praise to God the Father. This is what we created for, and it is how we find true happiness.
To receive the Body and Blood of Our Saviour at Mass, you must be a baptised Catholic in a state of grace (that is, you must not be conscious of having committed any grave sins, or be living in a state of life which is against the teaching of the Church). If you cannot receive Holy Communion, then come forward with your arm placed across your chest, and I, or the Deacon, will give you a blessing.
We prepare children to receive Holy Communion from the age of seven, and adults are instructed in the faith to enter into full communion and become Catholic. Please see Fr Bede for any further information.
The Sacrament of Confession, which is sometimes called reconciliation, is when the penitent comes to speak to the priest and confess their faults and failings that they may have committed in their life. It is a repeatable sacrament and people are encouraged to come to confession regularly (at least once a year the church says). The priest acting ‘in persona Christi’ is able to absolve sins and give a suitable penance.
Confessions usually take place on the first Saturday in each month or are available on request.
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament that is usually administered in the case of severe illness or to someone who is close to death. The Sacrament confers a special grace which unites the sick person more intimately to the Passion of Christ. It can bring peace, comfort, courage and forgiveness of sins if the person is unable due to the nature of the illness to make a confession. A Priest is the only person who can confer this sacrament.
If you wish Fr Bede to anoint you or you need him to visit someone in hospital please contact him on 01458 832203
The Sacrament of Matrimony is between a man and woman and is the ultimate expression of love between the couple. God created man and woman to an intimate communion of life and love in marriage.
If you wish to get married in the Catholic Church please speak to Fr Bede who will be able to advise you on the marriage course and the steps needed to be taken. He can be contacted on 01458 832203
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time. Through special gift of the Holy Spirit a man is ordained to the sacred priesthood this enables him to exercise a sacred power in the name and with the authority of Christ for the service of the People of God.