THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH — BAPTISM,
CONFIRMATION, EUCHARIST (HOLY COMMUNION), RECONCILIATION
(PENANCE), MARRIAGE, HOLY ORDERS, AND THE ANOINTING OF THE
SICK—ARE THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH. EACH SACRAMENT IS AN OUTWARD
SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE. WHEN WE PARTICIPATE IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST,
EACH SACRAMENT PROVIDES US WITH GRACES AND HEALING — WITH THE
DIVINE LIFE OF GOD. IN OUR PUBLIC WORSHIP (THE LITURGY) WE GIVE
WORSHIP AND THANKSGIVING TO GOD, OUR ETERNAL FATHER. WE RECEIVE
THE GRACES NECESSARY FOR US TO GROW IN CHRIST AND TO LIVE AS TRUE CHRISTIANS.
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway
to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.” (CCC1213)
Baptism is the first of the sacraments of initiation. Freed from sin, we begin to live a new life in Christ Jesus. Through this sacrament we become members of the Body of Christ, the Church. It unites all of us to Our Lord Jesus Christ and brings us into a new and special relationship with God through him.
Through this sacrament we are welcomed into a community distinguished by our worship, by our service and our belief in the one truth.
To arrange a baptism, you should obtain an Application Form. You can obtain this form by attending Mass and see Fr. Philip or Deacon Antony. Alternatively, you can ring the parish office to request a form with a view of meeting and arranging time and date.
To have a child baptised at St. Peter and St. Raphael, at least one parent must be Catholic.
Parents living outside the parish or do not regularly worship at St. Peter and St Raphael may at times be required to receive permission from the relevant parish priest of the parish in which they live.
“The Sacrament of Penance obtains pardon from God's mercy
for the offence committed against him, and are, at the same time
reconciled with the Church.” (CCC1422)
This is the sacrament of healing. It should be a consoling sacrament which we as individuals are led to Christ, and through the mission and ministry of the Church, Christ himself forgives us for all the wrongs we have done and gives us the mercy and strength to be transformed in Him.
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is available each Saturday (refer to newsletter for times) and at any time by appointment with the parish priest. Twice a year during Advent and Lent our community celebrate a Liturgy of Reconciliation with other local priests who come into the parish to minister this sacrament on an individual basis.
THE HOLY EUCHARIST
“At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine
that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit
become Christ's Body and Blood.” (CCC1333)
This sacrament is at the very heart of our celebration. We are a Eucharistic people who gather as a community on Sundays (and weekdays) to celebrate the Day of Our Lord’s Resurrection, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist which is the “source and summit” of our faith. This is the mystery of God’s love for all people in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
Christ gives himself to us through His body and blood – we all share in the breaking of bread and the chalice.
Parents who wish their children to make their First Holy Communion are prepared by our two Catholic primary schools, St. Raphael’s, Millbrook and St. Peter’s, Stalybridge. Generally, children should be in at least Year 3 of primary school age and attend Sunday Mass with their parents. Arrangements can be made to help and support families whose children do not attend any of the parish schools but would like their child(ren) to receive this sacrament.
“By the Sacrament of confirmation the baptised are more perfectly
bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the
Holy Spirit.” (CCC1285)
Through this sacrament we call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to confirm our faith, to seal us in God’s love and to strengthen us in our faith through our worship and service to all people.
Every year our young people from Year 8 onwards join the Confirmation preparation programme which runs usually after Easter until early July where Bishop Mark visits the local missionary area of St. Anselm’s and confirms these young people. The aim of the programme is for the candidates to focus on their faith at a crucial time in their lives where changes are constantly being made as they reach adulthood and to help them grow with confidence to equip them with a better understanding and the sharing of the mission of the Church.
If you would like to join the programme, lookout for notices (after Easter) in the parish newsletter. During this time an application form will be left at the back of church or it can be requested by contacting the parish office.
“This covenant between baptised persons has been raised by
Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (CCC1501)
This sacrament is where two people pledge themselves to each other in an unbreakable alliance of total self-giving love. This sacrament is for life which means it is not temporary but a responsible and free decision to bind each other together in good times and in bad.
It is the unconditional gift of oneself to the other partner, proclaimed before the eyes of the Church and the whole world. It is a public expression of their love for each other. It is the road to holiness for all members of a family.
To arrange a marriage, it is important to contact the Parish Office and/or Father Philip before setting a date to discuss and arrange the ceremony for the proposed date of marriage. In addition, there may be areas to discuss and seek advice prior to setting a date.
Please note, Father Philip will require plenty of notice, preferably six months before the actual date. And it is the responsibility for the couple to register their intended marriage with the local Registrar’s Office.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
“The Church is the Body of Christ and we are all members of His Body.
If one member suffers, all suffer; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)
This sacrament is ministered to those with serious illness, individuals going into hospital for major surgery or those members of the community who have become sick and frail. It is a sacrament of healing providing strength, consolation and comfort to give healing and the forgiveness of sin. It is a sacrament which can be repeated several times throughout an individual’s illness.
To receive this sacrament of the sick at home you should contact the parish office. It should be noted that to receive this sacrament in hospital it is necessary to ask the staff on the ward to call the hospital chaplain.
Catholic priests are restricted by information legislation and as such they may not be aware of Catholics patients who are in hospital unless someone informs them.
The sacrament of anointing the sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with holy blessed oil.
NOTE: St. Peter and St Raphael parish respect individual rights to a certain amount of privacy. It is each person’s agreement to share information about an illness to the parish priest or deacon and to what extent this can be shared in the community. (We always pray for the sick in our Universal Prayers of the Church each week at Sunday Mass). Our community as Christians accompany each other through times of sickness to give support and comfort that comes from our prayers and through the sacraments.
The Sacrament for someone who is close to death is called Viaticum, translated as “With You on the Journey”. This Sacrament is essentially Holy Communion with prayers for the dying person.
Anyone who is housebound and is unable to attend Sunday Mass and would like to receive the Eucharist on a regular basis in their own home or care/nursing home please contact the parish office or ask someone to make this request on your instruction. At times the priest or deacon will visit but in various circumstances visits will be made with the assistance of our Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who have been trained and commissioned to give the Eucharist to those groups most in need.
When the priest or a Minister of Holy Communion is bringing Holy Communion to one who is ill at home, it is usual to make some preparation in the room where Communion will be received. Wherever possible, there should be a small table covered with a clean white cloth and on this table a candle and a small crucifix should be present.
“I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through
the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the
priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the “common priesthood of the
faithful.” Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists
another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament
of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in then person of Christ
the Head in the midst of the community.
The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the
faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained
ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi),
divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).
Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in
three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters (priests) and that of deacons. The
ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the
Church: without bishops, priests and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church (St.
Ignatius of Antioch).
The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptised men whose
suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognised. Church authority
alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of
Holy Orders. (CCC1590-1600)
All are encouraged to discern their call to active ministry or religious life. Those who
feel called or are interested please contact Father Philip on 0161 338 2575.