THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, 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.
“Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sins and all punishment due to sin. It makes the baptized person a participant in the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace, the grace of justification which incorporates one into Christ and into His Church.” – (from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #263)
Holy Baptism is the gateway of God’s grace to the soul. It is important to give this grace to your child from the beginning. The Church strongly urges parents to baptize their children soon after birth so that they may benefit from God’s own divine life dwelling within.
Regarding Godparents (please read before selecting Godparents!): Godparents are practicing Catholics who promise to aid their godchild in learning the Catholic faith. Please note when choosing this most important role that at least one person must be a practicing Catholic. Any others may stand as a Christian witness, but are not true godparents, who promise to help raise a child in the Catholic faith. It is strongly urged that both be practicing Catholics and, therefore, true Godparents.
Click the link above for Godparent Guidelines
Please contact the church office for more information on the Holy Sacrament of Baptism for your child.
“The call of Christ to conversion continues to resound in the lives of the Baptized. Conversion is a continuing obligation for the whole Church. She is holy but includes sinners in her midst.” – From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #299 & 298
Confession & Forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance is a great grace from God. There is nothing wrong with admitting that we are sinners and that we need God’s grace and conversion of life. Through this holy Sacrament, it is Christ Himself who continues to forgive through the ministry of His priests. The Compendium tells us, “The Risen Lord instituted this Sacrament on the evening of Easter when He showed Himself to His Apostles and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:22-23). (Compendium #299)
The Sacrament of Confession (also known as Penance or Reconciliation) is offered Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and by appointment.
“The Eucharist is the very sacrifice of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus which He instituted to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until His return in glory. Thus He entrusted to His Church this memorial of His death and Resurrection. It is a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.” – From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #271
Communion, or the Most Holy Eucharist, is the crown of all the Sacraments. Jesus promised to be with us always, and He continues in a special, real way His Presence through the Most Blessed Sacrament, which Catholics are privileged to receive in Holy Communion. At the heart of the Holy Mass are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, truly and substantially become the Body and Blood of the risen and glorified Lord Jesus. We receive no mere symbol – we receive Christ Himself as He promised: “My Flesh is true food, and My Blood is true drink” (St. John 6:55; see Bread of Life Discourse, John 6:24-71).
Normally in our diocese, children receive this Sacrament after the age of reason, which is usually in or around 2nd grade. In order to receive either First Holy Communion or Confirmation, if students are not in our Catholic Schools system, children must attend two full years of religious instruction.
Adults who did not receive this Sacrament as a child and who would like to receive both Holy Communion and Confirmation, please contact the church office for information.
Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost. This outpouring impresses on the soul an indelible character and produces a growth in the grace of Baptism. It roots the recipient more deeply in divine sonship, binds him more firmly to Christ and to the Church and reinvigorates the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his soul. It gives a special strength to witness to the Christian faith.” – From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #268
The Sacrament of Confirmation confers a permanent (indelible) mark on the soul of the recipient, gifting the recipient with the fullness of God’s seven-fold Gifts, which in turn produce great fruits in the soul of the believer (see below).
Normally in our diocese, children receive this Sacrament in or around 8th grade. In order to receive either First Holy Communion or Confirmation, if students are not in our Catholic Schools system, they must attend two full years of religious instruction in our parish’s Christian Formation (CCD) program. Adults who did not receive this Sacrament as a child and who would like to receive this most important gift of God, please contact the church office.
Holy Orders is the Sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to His Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the Sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate [priesthood], and diaconate.” From the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1536
Holy Orders is one Sacrament in three degrees: the episcopate (bishop), the presbyterate (priest), and the diaconate (deacon). These Orders are a participation in the apostolic offices of teaching, sanctifying, and governing given by the Lord Jesus to the Twelve. Bishops are the successors to the Apostles, and a bishop is the chief shepherd of his diocese. Priests are special co-workers with the bishops, ordained and appointed by their bishops to especially administer the holy Sacraments to the faithful. Deacons are ordained for service, proclamation of the Word, and for charity.
At ordination, the soul of a priest is forever changed, and he is then enabled to act in the person of Christ the Head. The Church chooses her priests from those also called by God to a life of celibacy – perpetual chastity – for the sake of the Kingdom and total devotion to the Bride of Christ, the Church (read Matt. 19:12& 1 Cor 7:32-34 – serving Christ with an undivided heart). As a married man is called to devote himself completely to his wife and family, so the priest is called through the gift of celibacy to devote his entire self to the Church and his family born of Baptism, the parish to which he is assigned. If you are a man who is feeling called to serve Christ as a priest, please contact Rev. Mark Good at vicar@CharlestonVocations.com, 843-727-6727.
Or visit the Vocations office of the Diocese of Charleston website at: http://www.charlestonvocations.com
“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a Sacrament.” From the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1601
Holy Matrimony or Marriage was created by God and elevated by Christ to the privilege of a Sacrament for the Baptized.
If you are recently engaged and looking at this page for information on a wedding here at Our Lady of the Valley, congratulations on your engagement! In asking to be married in the Catholic Church, you and your future spouse are publicly proclaiming your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and asking to live as disciples of Christ in the Sacrament of Marriage. The sacred liturgy of your wedding, which begins your married life by the solemn exchange of marital consent, is above all else an act of worship; and we will help you prepare both for that happy day and for the lifetime of marriage that follows your nuptial liturgy.
Cohabitation (living together) before marriage is not part of God’s plan for marriage and decreases the chances of success in maintaining a permanent union. Cohabitating couples should separate and live apart before requesting the Sacrament of Matrimony. A date is not able to be set unless the couple is living separately.
To be married at Our Lady of the Valley, either the bride or groom must be a practicing Catholic, registered at the parish before beginning the six-month minimum preparation, and regularly attending Holy Mass and participating in the life of the parish. (Exceptions are happily made for Catholic children of our registered, attending, and participating parishioners. However, such children must be registered and active in their own parish where they live.)
Anointing of the Sick
“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests, the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that He may raise them up and save them; and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.” – From the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1499
Holy Anointing is truly a Sacrament of healing in body and soul. In His time walking among us, Jesus not only taught, but He healed and forgave the sins of many. Early on, He sent the Apostles out. “They anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them” (St. Mark 6:7-13). Later, as the Christian community grew, St. James would instruct in his Epistle, “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the Name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven” (St. James 5:14-15).
This Sacrament is called many things including the Sacrament of Healing and the Sacrament of the Sick. Sometimes, one may hear it called “Extreme Unction” (Last Anointing), which was its name in recent history.
This Holy Sacrament should be received by any Catholic who is preparing for surgery, or who is admitted to the hospital for a serious injury or illness. There may be other reasons to receive the Holy Anointing. Please contact the church office.