Sacraments are not performed in isolation. The Church has a mission to offer a special type of life and a special type of memory. It brings to memory the event of Jesus Christ and invites us to become part of this.
As with all symbols and rites, the Church’s sacraments have a body and a spiritual component. Each of the sacraments has something to do with our body. But it also has words attached to it. In each statement, sacrament, the words recall memories of what God has done in the past. We call upon the Holy Spirit to come and do for us what was done for our ancestors.
What are sacraments or sacred mysteries?
They are effective signs of God’s saving actions in the world through the risen Lord. They are a way that our Catholic culture makes Christ/God/Holy Spirit present in our life (marriage).
What are effective signs?
Effective signs are objects or gestures that express a specific message or meaning, similar to symbols but more powerful. Example: Eucharist is the body of Christ (more than just a symbol).
Who created the sacraments?
They have been instituted by Christ and entrusted by the Church. The early Church continued to do what Jesus had done; (celebrate the Last Supper using Jesus’ words and actions, baptize new covenants in the name of Jesus, anoint with oil new members as a sign of the Holy Spirit, laid their hands on the heads of their new leaders, Bishops).
Over time, communities started to develop a tradition in which they would use the same words and actions which became formalized symbols and rituals, that we call sacraments. These same words and actions are still part of World Wide Catholic Culture.
How can they do it?
The Holy Spirit acts in and through the Sacraments and it is not dependent on our enthusiasm.
What are the three purposes of the Sacraments?
1. To make us holy; (move from secular into the experience of sacred transcendence).
2. To build the body of Christ (Catholic Community)
3. To give praise and worship to God (build and maintain Catholic Culture).
How is Sacraments culture?
The Seven Sacraments were created by the Catholic Church. Each one celebrates passages of the human life journey by religious symbols and religious rituals.
Eucharist (Body of Christ)
Anointing of the Sick
What is the most important passage of the human life journey that this sacrament celebrates?
The most important passage of the human life journey that Baptism celebrates is to make us apart of society and to have us belong in Jesus’ community. It’s also a time for rebirth. It changes our relationship with God forever. We are welcomed into Jesus’ life.
What is the history of this sacrament?
The history of this sacrament is when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Jesus once said ‘’Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the spirit is spirit.’’
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