Saint Christopher Catholic Church
Diocese of Knoxville
The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred." The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Catholics. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God's grace.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ's Body and Blood, we also are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
At baptism, a child was incorporated into the Church and became a sharer in Christ's threefold ministry as priest, prophet and king. His or her journey of faith continues with the reception of Holy Eucharist and will later culminate with Confirmation. These three Sacraments are known as the Sacraments of Initiation and make us full members of the Catholic Church. First Communion in the faith journey of your child is met with great excitement and families have the opportunity to prepare them in a special way. As parents, you will study with them and pray with them as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Communion.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God's unconditional forgiveness; as a result we are called to forgive others.
Confirmation is a Catholic Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation in St. Christopher's Parish is a four-year program incorporating the elements of worship, message, community and service into each year. Regular participation in each of these elements is encouraged and expected. It is the hope of the Pastor and the Faith Formation Board that through these efforts young people will be lead by the Holy Spirit to an ever deepening relationship with God committed to sharing Jesus' ministry of teaching, guiding, preaching, celebrating, worshipping and serving.
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.
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). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church.
God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other. Man and woman were created for each other. "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him. . . . The two of them become one body" (Gn 2:18; 24). Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond.
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.
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the priest being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.