Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and it marks the beginning of a person’s journey in to faith with God. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation. In some denominations this Sacrament is referred to as Christening. Literally making Christ-like.
Through Baptism we become members of Christ, and we are welcomed into the Church. We recieve the Holy Spiit who will advocate and helps us in life.
They now share in the rights and responsibilities of the Church in life and sharing.
It is traditional in the Roman Catholic Church that parents bring their children to Baptism. The parents participate in a formation programme so that they understand their role as the 'first educators of faith'
Confirmation is the second Sacrament of Initiation. At Confirmation the power of Holy Spirit, who helps us to become good Christians is activated in us. It helps us to be brave and tell people by our words and actions that we believe in Jesus.
The Holy Spirit helps us in many ways. It comforts, teaches, helps us grow in our relationship with God and gives us strength to get rid of the bad habits in our lives. The power of the Holy Spirit helps us know when we've done something wrong and to overcome difficulties i our lives. We need to want to grow, learn and change to be more like God for the Holy Spirit to really work with us.
Fruits of the Spirit
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
The Holy Spirit makes a home in people’s hearts. We see the fruits of the Spirit in how lives are lived and how people are treated by each other.
First Holy Communion
Often people will talk about receiving the Eucharist as 'going to Communion'. When Catholics process up to receive the Body and Blood of Christ it is a sign of our unity, with each other and Christ.
The day of someone's first communion is big for Catholics and is often accompanied by great celebrations. Traditional Catholic children are prepared for First Communion at the age of discretion around seven or eight years.
Parents and the parish community prepare the child together recognising that parents are the first educators of faith. For some parents this can seem quite daunting so the diocese has prepared some information for parents preparing children for first Communion.
Reconciliation, Confession, Penance
What's in a name? This sacrament is often referred to as Confession and is officially called Penance. However today it is generally referred to as Reconciliation. These names refer to particular parts of the Sacrament. First, we feel sorrowful in our hearts, and have a determination not to sin again. We then confess our sins to a priest. After our confession and an Act of Contrition, we receive absolution of our sins and a penance to strengthen us to live fully and in love. By receiving the sacrament we are reconciled.
Not only does the sacrament free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.