The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. -CCC 1113
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance (Reconciliation), the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. 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. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life. CCC 1210
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 If it were not for Jesus walking this earth, we would not have these gifts (sacraments, mysteries) from God. Jesus modeled the sacraments for us in the perfect way recognizing that we needed not only his sacrificial love but gifts that would help us stay close to him as we traveled our own journey.
Sacraments are identified in three categories, sacraments of Christian initiation, sacraments of healing and sacraments of service. Each button below offers additional information about each individual sacrament and how we participate in them at St. Bernadette Catholic Parish.
Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life. “The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity . CCC 1212
Historically these sacraments have been administered within a few months of birth, Baptism; within 1 or 2 years of the age of reason (7 y.o.), Eucharist; and middle school to high school, Confirmation. In the Archdiocese of Denver, the order and administration of these three sacraments has changed. It is referred to as Restored Order. Baptism remains a sacrament administered with a few months of birth but Confirmation and Eucharist are now administered at the same ceremony, in the order of Confirmation first and then Eucharist at the age of 8-9 or (3rd grade). More information for sacraments for all ages can be found on the specific sacrament button.
Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, man receives the new life of Christ. Now we carry this life “in earthen vessels,” and it remains “hidden with Christ in God.” We are still in our “earthly tent,” subject to suffering, illness, and death. This new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin. The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance) and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. CCC 1420-1421
Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God. CCC 1534
The Archdiocese of Denver is in the process of restoring the order of the Sacraments of Initiation.
These three sacraments are originally intended to be received in this order: Baptism, Confirmation then Holy Eucharist (First Communion).
The sacrament that fully initiates a person into the Catholic Church is First Communion.
A video about the Restored Order and a Pastoral Letter “Saints Among Us” from Archbishop Aquila are available below.