Our Lady of Lourdes

Roman Catholic Church


Religious Education Center

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The Sacraments

The word "Sacrament" comes for the Latin sacramentum, which means "a sign of the sacred."

The Catholic Church celebrates seven sacraments or 'signs' that point us to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians.

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, both signs and instruments of God's grace.

Through these 'signs' we:

If you learn more about the sacraments, you can celebrate them more fully. To learn more about the individual sacraments, please follow the links below.

The Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church

The Church celebrates 3 Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist. Upon receiving all 3, we attain full membership in the Church and and become mature, committed Christians. With Christ we die, are buried, and rise again; we receive the Spirit of adoption making us God's sons and daughters; and, with the whole People of God, we celebrate the memorial of Christ's death and resurrection.

Baptism |

The Sacrament of Baptism

"I Baptise You in the Name of the Father - - - and of the Son - - - and of the Holy Spirit."

The Priest proclaims these words as he pours water over our head.

This marks the beginning of our lifelong journey of commitment, discipleship and conversion. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God. Through Baptism we reap the benefits of Jesus' Suffering, Death and Resurrection. We are reconciled with God - that is, we enjoy the foregivness of all our sins and the presence of God in our lives.
Confirmation |

The Sacrament of Confirmation

"Receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit."

With these words, the Bishop or Priest invokes the Holy Spirit as he anoints our forehead with holy chrism.

This Sacrament is a deepening of our baptismal gifts and marks our maturity in our Christian commitment. In this Sacrament we grow in our understanding of our faith and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit:
  • Wisdom
  • Understanding
  • Knowledge
  • Fortitude
  • Good Counsel
  • Piety
  • Reverence and Awe
Holy Eucharist

The Sacrament of the Eucharist

"Body of Christ . . . Blood of Christ . . ."

The Priest or Eucharistic Minister so declares as he/she offers us the Eucharistic Host and/or Cup.

With our firm response of "Amen," we acknowledge the real presence of the Risen Lord in Eucharist we are about to receive.

The Sacraments of Healing

The Church celebrates two sacraments of healing. Reconciliation, also known as Confession or Penance, is for spiritual healing; and the Annointing of the Sick helps us deal with physical and/or emotional ailments.

Reconciliation |


We Begin With:

"In the Name of the Father, and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been ## length of time ## since my last Confession and these are my sins:"

At this point we list & discuss our sins with the Priest.

The Priest will guide us during this discussion. Be not afraid.

Then the Priest will invite us to recite an Act of Contrition while he prays over us.

Act of Contrition

"My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You, my Creator, whom I should love above all things.

I firmly resolve, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us and rose from the dead. In His name, have mercy on me so that I might share in His resurrection. Amen."


"I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit."

The Priest ends with these words as he calls upon the mercy of the Father, the death and resurrection of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit to free us from our sins.

Our Response: "Thanks Be to God!!"

Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick

"Father in heaven, through this holy anointing grant your faithful servant ## Name ## comfort in his/her suffering. When he/she is afraid, give him/her courage, when afflicted, give him/her patience, when dejected, afford him/her hope, and when alone, assure him/her of the support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord."

With these or similar words, the Priest calls upon God's mercy after anointing us with the Oil of the Sick.

The Sacraments of Vocation

The Church celebrates two sacraments of Life Commitment. Matrimony is the union of a man and a women, and Holy Orders is the commitment of service to the People of God in the capacity of a Deacon, Priest or Bishop.

Matrimony |


"Do you take this man . . . ?" "I Do!" Do you take this woman . . . ?" "I Do!"

With these words the couple exchange vows to love honor and cherish each other, ". . . until death do us part."

For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values.

The intimate union between huspand and wife is reflective of the union between God and his Church

Click here for an instructive video from the US Coference of Catholic Bishops on the Catholic Wedding Ceremony
Holy Orders

Holy Orders

"Lord, look with favor on this servant of yours, whom we now dedicate to the office of deacon, to minister at your holy altar."

"Almighty Father, grant to this servant of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew within him the Spirit of holiness."

"Father, you know all hearts. You have chosen your servant for the office of bishop. May he be a shepherd to your holy flock . . . ."

These words are taken from the Prayer of Consecration for the three ministries of Holy Orders, Deacon, Presbyter (Priest) and Bishop.

In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the deacon, priest or bishop being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing us the Sacraments, by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing us other means to holiness.