Sacraments of Initiation
“The sacraments of Christian Initiation; Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist – lay the foundation of every Christian life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.” (CCC 1212)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
For Catholics, Baptism is the first sacrament we celebrate in becoming full members of the Church community and to begin our lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship.
The word ‘baptism’ has its roots in the Greek word meaning ‘to plunge’ or ‘immerse’ into water. Jesus is the living water, the source of all life, and in Baptism we are reborn to new life with Jesus Christ. Original sin is washed away and we inherit eternal life as children of God.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh…
Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day… Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. (John 6:51, 54, 56)
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood.This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us’”. (CCC 1323)
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John:14-25-26)
When we prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation, we discover the meaning of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and how to use these gifts to serve the Church and our parish.
Through Confirmation, at the anointing with oil and the laying on of hands, we receive the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus before His death, marking ourselves as belonging to God so that we may bear witness to Christ our Lord.