THE SACRAMENTS OF
The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life. It celebrates the very essence of our Christian faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This gift of grace to the Apostles allows mortal, sinful men to act as God's instruments in the forgiveness of all sins committed after Baptism, and this sacred power is exercised by bishops and priests in the Sacrament of Penance when they hear the confession of sins and pronounce absolution for the remission of sins by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
Even Christians who live the new life of God's children still remain subject to suffering, illness, and death. In illness, we experience our powerlessness and limitations, and serious illness can make us glimpse death.
The Lord Jesus had great compassion on the sick, and His many healings are a resplendent sign that the Kingdom of God is among us. Christ even identified Himself with everyone who is sick: "I was sick and you visited me" (Mt 25:36). Jesus' healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom, and they announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through His Passover. On the Cross, the Lord Jesus took away the "sin of the world," of which physical illness is only a consequence. By His passion and death on the Cross, Christ has given a new meaning to all human suffering: it can henceforth configure us to Him and unite us with His redemptive suffering.
"Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters (priests) of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15). This New Testament passage describes one of the seven sacraments: the Anointing of the Sick. This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament.
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is encouraged for anyone who is in need of physical or emotional healing. The clergy regularly take the Eucharist to the shut-ins. At 9:30am on Wednesday, following the Mass, a priest is present for special prayers of healing and anointing. Following the Sunday Masses, prayer teams are also available in the Lady Chapel. Individuals may request the sacrament at anytime by calling the parish office. The Sacrament is regularly offered to parishioners in the local hospitals and area nursing homes and rehab centers. If you have any questions, please call the parish office.
This Sacrament is not only for those who are at the point of death. Those who are suffering from a chronic illness or are advanced in years may always request the Sacrament. Those scheduled for surgery should please contact the parish office to be anointed. Prayer teams from the Order of St. Luke are also available after the Sunday Masses for the laying on of hands and intercessor prayer. A priest is also available follwing the Wednesday morning Mass.
Through the three sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist) we receive the new life of Christ, but we carry this life in earthen vessels and remain subject to suffering, illness, and death. Moreover, this new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin. For this reason, the Lord Jesus – the divine physician of our bodies and souls – has given us two sacraments of healing: Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.
On the Day of His Resurrection, the Lord Jesus breathed on the Apostles, giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and proclaimed: "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (John 20:23). This gift of grace to the Apostles allows mortal, sinful men to act as God's instruments in the forgiveness of all sins committed after Baptism, and this sacred power is exercised by bishops and priests in the Sacrament of Penance when they hear the confession of sins and pronounce absolution for the remission of sins by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Penance is a sacred mystery of conversion from sin, confession of guilt, forgiveness of the wrong done, and reconciliation with Christ and His Church. Anglicans should come to the Sacrament of Penance at least once each year during Lent or Eastertide and as often as necessary when conscious of serious sin, and anyone conscious of grave sin should not receive Holy Communion before being reconciled to God by sacramental confession and absolution.
"The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). With this ringing call to conversion, the Lord Jesus began His public ministry. It is impossible to be a disciple of Jesus without repentance and conversion, without the constant effort to be conformed by God's grace to the image of the crucified Lord. Baptism for the remission of sins is the foundation of this lifelong struggle against all forms of disordered self-love, but in ordinary circumstances, all grave sins committed after Baptism require the grace of the Sacrament of Penance for forgiveness.
Private Reconciliation as announced and every Friday in Lent. Periodically, a Mass of Reconciliation is offered for Communal Reconciliation.