where heart speaks to heart
Catholic life would be unrecognisable without the Sacraments.
They keep us focused on the living presence of Christ who by the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit guides our way through life, keeping us close to God.
Sacraments are so much more than mere stepping stones, rites of passage, or one-off ceremonies. They are living encounters with God's love that open our lives to being guided, shaped and blessed by the help and grace that come from God.
Some sacraments are celebrated once in the life of an individual. These are the sacraments that establish our status within the Church and they include: Baptism which initiates us into the life of the Church and unites us with Christ in an unbreakable bond that only we can tarnish or reject. Confirmation brings this bond with Christ and the Church into a sharper focus through the laying on of hands, the invoking of the Holy Spirit and the anointing with Chrism. The Church also shares the sincere hope and intention of those couples who freely and maturely promise to live together in an unbreakable covenant in Marriage. Those Ordained as deacons, priests and bishops are likewise expected to remain faithful for the whole of their lives to the grace and ministry to which they are called.
while others form part of our ongoing, everyday understanding of who we are and how we are uplifted by God in every circumstance. Examples are the Eucharist which bring spiritual and emotional nourishment, Reconciliation which allows us to let go of resentments and guilt. And Anointing of the Sick which can liberate us from the shame unjustly felt by those living with mental illness and can offer consolation and reassurance for those in physical pain.
Please click on the appropriate section of the menus for further details about the practical requirements for the sacraments.