The 7 Sacraments of the Church
A sacrament is a sacred and visible sign that is instituted by Jesus to give us grace, an undeserved gift from God. They are not symbolic gestures from man to Jesus, but are physical gifts of grace from Jesus to man; special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence. They are the steps that strengthen us in our lifelong journeys of commitment and discipleship to Christ. They help us recognize Jesus, who comes to us through cleansing water and invigorating oil to welcome and fortify us, life-giving bread and wine that become Christ’s Body and Blood, a hand outstretched in forgiveness, vows lovingly exchanged in marriage, a hand designating someone for ordained service and oil to strengthen the sick and comfort the dying.
The Catholic Church recognizes 7 sacraments:
The role of a Godparent for the Sacrament of Baptism is very important in the eyes of the Catholic Church. You may have either one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each. Not everyone qualifies for this vital role. Please note that a Godparent must be:
- at least 16 years of age;
- a fully initiated Catholic (having completed Confirmation);
- practicing the faith by actively participating in the Sacraments;
- if married, must be married sacramentally in the Church;
- living a life in harmony with the faith.
Though you may select two Catholic Godparents (one female, one male), the Church only requires that there be one Godparent.
A non-Catholic baptized Christian cannot participate in the Rite of Baptism as a Godparent, but is welcome to participate as a “Christian witness.” In that case, a Catholic Godparent must also be present.
You should not select a Godparent simply in order to honor a relative or friend. The Godparent represents the Church, the community of faith, into which the child is being baptized, and will assist the child to grow in that community. For a Catholic baptism, only a practicing Catholic can take on this responsibility.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) – the process of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) into the Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church for all those who are not baptized. Baptized non-Catholics as well as those adult Catholics who have not been Confirmed, are encouraged to call Sr. Mary Selina at 973-763-5454, ext. 248 for information on this process.
Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
The Eucharist completes the Sacraments of Initiation. It is the Body and Blood of Jesus Himself and food for our journey of faith. The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament and a sacrifice. In the Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered, and received. The whole Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Eucharist. We use the words “really, truly, and substantially” to describe Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist in order to distinguish Our Lord’s teaching from that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that He is present only by His power. The word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.”
- First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion – Catechetical preparation for these sacraments is administered by our Religious Education program. Please call 973-763-5454, ext. 285 for further information.
Sacrament of Confirmation
Adults who have not been confirmed may inquire about the process to receive that Sacrament through our RCIA program (see above, under Baptism).
Sacrament of Marriage
The marriage covenant, by which a man and woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.1660
We congratulate you on the occasion of your upcoming marriage. Through the Sacrament of Matrimony, Jesus calls a man and a woman to draw closer to each other, to God and to the faith community of the Church in a permanent and total commitment to a marital life. This commitment requires careful thought, much prayer, and intense preparation.
Click here for our Wedding Policies.
Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Jesus came to heal the whole person, body and soul. This sacrament celebrates the desire and truth of Jesus’ healing touch and His desire that we might have life and have it to the full. It is offered to anyone who is seriously sick, about to undergo surgery and/or suffering the effects of advanced age. Emergency sick calls will be attended at any time. Call 973-763-5454 and ask to speak to a priest.
Holy Orders is the Sacrament through which men receive from God the grace to perform the sacred duties Christ entrusted to His Church. The Twelve Apostles were the first priests and bishops of the Church. Through the ages men have been ordained as bishops and priests by the laying on of hands to continue the mission of Christ and His Church.
In the early Church, the order of Deacon was created to assist the priest in the mission and service to the Christian community (Acts 6:2-6). Today, deacons help the priest at the celebration of Mass, the baptism of children, the witnessing of marriage, and the celebration of funerals. They are ordained to serve and care for the needs of the Church’s faithful as well as the poor, the sick, and marginalized of the world. The permanent diaconate is often comprised of married men. Through a call from God and affirmed by the local bishop these men assist in parishes.
To explore a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate, or religious life, contact Fr. Brian Needles at firstname.lastname@example.org.