Jesus is the Shepherd and the Guardian of our souls. He touches our lives through the sacraments. Our celebrations of the sacraments are signs of Jesus’ presence in our lives and a means for receiving his grace.
The Church celebrates seven sacraments, which are divided into three categories.
1) SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
Baptism: Baptism is the first and fundamental sacrament; it wipes away all sin and gives us a new birth in the Holy Spirit. In Baptism we receive new life in Christ.
Sign of Baptism: pouring of water.
Confirmation: Confirmation perfects and strengthens the grace given at Baptism; it seals our life of faith in Jesus.
Signs: laying on of hands (usually by a bishop) on a person’s head and the anointing with oil.
Eucharist: The Holy Eucharist is the great gift by which we experience the ultimate sign of Christ’s real presence; the Eucharist nourishes our life of faith.
Signs: the bread and wine we receive—the Body and Blood of Christ.
2) SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
Reconciliation (Confession): Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we receive Jesus’ healing grace through absolution by the priest; it enables us to become reconciled with God and at peace.
Signs: our confession of sins and the words of absolution.
Anointing of the Sick: This sacrament heals us spiritually (brings forgiveness of our sins) and unites our suffering with that of Jesus.
Signs: anointment with oil and the laying on of hands from a priest.
3) SACRAMENTS OF SERVICE
Matrimony: Matrimony (or Marriage) binds a man and a woman together for life in the covenant of Jesus Christ’s love for the Church, and enables them to become a channel through which God pours out love into the world.
Signs: the couple and their wedding rings.
Holy Orders: Holy Orders is the sacrament by which bishops, priests, and deacons are ordained. They receive the transforming, healing, saving power of Christ, to faithfully serve and shepherd God’s people.
Signs: anointment with oil and the laying on of hands from a bishop.
“The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith.” ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church.
St Teresa’s Darton, St Mary Magdalene Cudworth and Blessed Sacrament Athersley offer the seven Catholic Sacraments. Please click here to view our contact details and learn more about receiving these Sacraments at our Parishes.