The seven sacraments Jesus has given us: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation (Confession or Penance), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are available to the parishioners of the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
In Baptism we receive sanctifying grace and also a continuing chain of graces enabling us to preserve and extend that grace by the practice of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
Confirmation increases our basic vitality (sanctifying grace) but also establishes a permanent fund of actual graces (sacramental grace) upon which we may draw in order to be strong and active and productive exemplars of Christian living.
Our catechism points out that the Holy Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a sacrament.
As a sacrifice the Holy Eucharist is the Mass. The Mass is that divine action in which Jesus, through the agency of the human priest, changes the bread and wine into His own Body and Blood and continues through time the offering which He made to God on Calvary—the offering of Himself for mankind.
It is at the consecration of the Mass that the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist comes into being. It is then that Jesus becomes present under the appearance of bread and wine. As long as the appearances of bread and wine remain, Jesus remains present and the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist continues to there exist.
The sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament in which the priest, as the agent of God, forgives sins committed after Baptism, when the sinner is heartily sorry for them, sincerely confesses them, and is willing to make satisfaction for them.
By his death on the Cross, Jesus Christ redeemed man from sin and from the consequences of his sin, especially from the eternal death that is sin’s due.
Anointing of the Sick
The Anointing of the Sick strengthens us in sickness or prepares us to meet death with confidence. Its sacramental grace comforts us in our sufferings and, by supporting us in any final temptations that may assail us, enables us to face eternity unafraid.
There are two notable ways in which the sacrament of Holy Orders differs from the other sacraments.
One is the fact that Holy Orders can be administered only by a bishop. Only a bishop has the power to ordain priests. An ordinary priest cannot pass his power on to another.
The second way in which Holy Orders differs from other sacraments is that Holy Orders is not received all at once.
When we are baptized, we are completely baptized by the single pouring of water. When we are confirmed, we are completely confirmed in a single ceremony. Holy Orders, however, is given by degrees, by successive steps.
Besides this increase in sanctifying grace—which all “the sacraments of the living” confer—Matrimony gives its own special grace, its sacramental grace.
This consists in a claim upon God for whatever actual graces the couple may need, through the years, to make a happy and successful marriage.
For its full effectiveness this grace needs the cooperation of both partners to the marriage. The grace is intended for that single entity, that “one-from-two,” which a married couple have become. But if one partner should prove derelict to Christian duty, the other spouse still can count on exceptional graces of strength and wisdom.