THE SACRAMENTAL LIFE OF THE CHURCH
As revealed by Jesus Christ, the Church recognizes and celebrates seven sacraments-Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. Each sacrament of the Church is a celebration of the Paschal Mystery-the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ-and is truly an encounter with our Lord.
These seven Sacraments are divided into three groups: Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments of Healing, and Sacraments of Service. The Sacraments of Initiation-Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation-are the first sacraments that a Catholic receives to be fully initiated in the life of the Church. The Sacraments of Healing-Penance and Anointing of the Sick-are the sacraments we celebrate when we, spiritually or physically, are in need of His help. The Sacraments of Service-Marriage and Holy Orders-are celebrated in love of and for the Church.
Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament a Catholic receives. In this sacrament, the recipient is cleansed from original sin and is claimed as a beloved child of God. Forever changed and configured to Christ, the recipient of baptism receives the gifts of faith, hope, and love and becomes a dwelling of the Holy Spirit. As members of the Church, God calls all the baptized to a life of services: love of God and love of neighbor. It is required that you are a registered and participating member for at least six months before scheduling a baptism. Baptisms can be scheduled during the regular weekend liturgies. Parents and Godparents are expected to attend a Baptism Preparation Class prior to having their infant baptized. Watch the bulletin for the Baptism Preparation schedule. Paperwork for parents and Godparents can be picked up from the parish office at any time. Contact the parish office to schedule your child’s Baptism.
Sacrament of The Most Holy Eucharist
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. Everything that we are comes from and moves towards the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, Christ gives the Church his whole person-body, blood, soul, and divinity-as an act of love. Therefore, when we come to receive the Eucharist, we receive a Person into our life who loves us so much that He died for us. With every reception of the Holy Eucharist, we enter into a deep, personal, and holy communion with God and the Church. Because of the centrality and importance of the Eucharist in the life of the baptized, Catholics come every Sunday and on specified holy days for the celebration of the Holy Mass. The Sacramental program for First Eucharist is held each spring at the parish. Your child must have been enrolled in religious education the year prior and be in second grade to participate in this program and receive this sacrament.
Sacrament of Confirmation
The Sacrament of Confirmation is a strengthening of the gifts of God in the life of the baptized. At Baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the baptized and shares the gifts of knowledge, understanding, wisdom, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord. Each of these gifts helps the baptized live the Gospel in his or her life. In Confirmation, these gifts are strengthened and made full by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church celebrates the healing power of Christ and His presence with us in the midst of suffering and sickness. By the power of the Holy Spirit, this anointing strengthens the weakened individual and encourages them in faith. Typically, candidates for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick are those who are seriously ill or preparing for surgery. Also, those who are advanced in years and are feeling the burdens of old age are encouraged to receive this strengthening. If you are admitted to a local hospital, inform a hospital staff member that you belong to St. Michael Parish of Maple Grove so they can contact the parish office. If someone in your family or neighborhood is sick, please contact the parish office.
Sacrament of Penance
The Sacrament of Penance offers forgiveness, healing, and hope to the baptized. In baptism, original sin is washed away and the recipient is made new in Christ. However, we still experience the effects of original sin throughout life. When we have committed serious sin or mortal sin, we must seek God's forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance. When we confess to God, He comes into our life and heals our brokenness and hurt. God listens with compassion and offers His love. Every Catholic is asked by the Church to celebrate and receive God's unconditional love for them at least once a year through this sacrament. See the bulletin for the schedule.
Sacrament of Marriage
In the Sacrament of Marriage, the love of Christ for his Church is witnessed in the commitment between a man and a woman to live in holy matrimony. Modeled after the love of Christ on the cross, married love is freely given, totally given, faithfully given, and bears great fruit through openness to their children. Couples should register at least six months before the proposed wedding date. Engaged couples are expected to participate in the Pre-Marriage Program at St. Michael. You should refrain from making wedding plans until you have attended a Marriage Fair.
Sacrament of Holy Orders
Before Christ ascended into heaven, he commissioned the apostles to preach the good news of God's love to the whole world and to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. As the Church continued to grow, three ranks developed within one Sacrament of Holy Orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. Bishops receive the fullness of the sacrament and lead the local Church or diocese. Priests are co-workers with the bishop and help him in his ministry to preach the Gospel. Deacons are called to serve the corporal and spiritual needs of the Church. If you think God is calling you to serve the Church as a priest, deacon, religious brother, or religious sister, please contact Father Cotter.
You may contact Fr. Cotter or Deacon Alan Wright at any time for time of death pastoral care. Please contact the parish after a death and before making plans with the funeral home.