The church ritualises important moments in our lives through the seven sacraments. Sacraments are visible signs or symbols of Gods love and presence. They help to strengthen the Christian person's life so they can carry out the mission of Jesus to bring everyone closer to God. They fill Christians with the new life of Jesus in order to inspire and transform us. The seven commandments are Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage and Holy Orders. In different points of a Christian's life, we celebrate with prayer and ritual.
Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are the sacraments of initiation.
You enter the Christian Community when you are baptised. You become a member of the Body of Christ and share the Church's mission. The person is either immersed in water or water is poured over their head. This signifies the new birth you have in Christ. The person dies in the water and is reborn in Christ, symbolising death and new birth.
The water cleanses the person of their sins. Baptism is for both adults and children and can only happen once in your life.
In Confirmation, the bishop uses chrism, a holy oil, to anoint the people that are being confirmed. The oil is used to consecrate the person to serve God and share in the mission of Christ. By the laying on of hands we are commissioned to continue the mission of Christ. God confirms the Holy Spirit we received on the day of our baptism. For children, confirmation is given when they are older and can understand the meaning of the sacrament. The child is then able to speak for itself and make its own commitment through the mission of Christ. Confirmation strengthens us to be able to personally declare our faith.