BAPTISM & CHRISMATION
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. . . . Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.
No other sacrament may be received before the sacrament of Baptism. Baptism washes out original sin and floods the soul with sanctifying grace. There are beginning prayers said before the candidate enters the church proper. After being received into the main part of the church, the most important part of the rite of Baptism takes place; that is the pouring of water. At the end of the Baptism the priest covers the child with a white robe to denote the purity of its soul.
Chrismation (or Confirmation), is given in the Ukrainian rite immediately after Baptism by the priest. It includes the anointing of the baptized individual with holy chrism. The priest anoints the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, breast, hands, and feet, saying: "The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Amen." The newly baptized person is also given the Holy Eucharist. Through this strengthening grace, the baptized person is able to be strong in his or her faith and live accordingly.
For more information on the Sacrament of Baptism, click here.
Not only does it [the Sacrament of Penance] free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
For more information on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, click here.
The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion, in the Catholic Church is a sacrament celebrated as "the source and summit" of the Christian life. The Holy Eucharist was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper where Christ celebrated the First Mass when he changed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. The Eucharist is celebrated daily during the celebration of Divine Liturgy. In our Byzantine rite, Holy Communion is offered in both species; that is bread and wine.
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Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with "the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Rev 19:7, 9). Man and woman were created for each other.
The rite of engagement takes place when the priest blesses the rings with holy water and places each on the fourth finger of the right hands of the young couple to signify the marriage bond is indissoluble.
The marriage vows are pronounced before the priest who then solemnly confirms and blesses the marriage with the authority invested in him by the Church.
The right of crowning takes place when the priest places wreaths or gold crowns on the heads of the bride and groom. They are now king and queen of a new family unit, and the crowns on their heads symbolize their parental authority.
The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy.
For more information on the Sacrament of Marriage, click here.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders gives a cleric the authority which is conferred on him by the grade of order received as well as the grace necessary for the exercising of his authority.
In Eastern Rite we have:
Minor Orders: reader, cantor, candle-bearer, and subdeacon; and
Major Orders: Deacon, Priest and Bishop.
Both Minor and Major Orders can be administered only by a bishop through ordination.
Minor Orders can be administered at any service.
Major Orders during a Pontifical Divine Liturgy: deacon after the Eucharistic consecration; priest after the Cherubic Hymn and a bishop is ordained by three bishops before the Gospel reading at the Pontifical Divine Liturgy
For more information on the Holy Orders, click here.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.
For more information on the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, click here.