A sacrament is a visible sign of God’s presence and celebrates the new life which Jesus brings to each of us who bear the name Christian. (Collins, Dove. Dictionary for young catholics,L.Woods(p69))
When we come to ‘New Life’ in the Risen Christ God sends us the gift of ‘grace’ to help us grow closer to God, and to each other. (ibid)
Christ Our Hope Community is an Inter-Spiritual, ecumenical, contemplative network of companions. We are a community of Christians walking a spiritual path together that integrates simplicity, mindfulness, meditation, social justice, equality for all and prayer. We are a community of inquiry, outreach, learning and service. As Christians our entrance into Christ’s Church, and our walk through it is via the following Seven sacraments:
The following definitions of the 7 sacraments are taken from the Official definitions of the Roman Church
Sacraments of Initiation
A sacrament marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water and resulting in admission of the recipient into the community of Christians. (Definition from the free Dictionary)
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For your interest read ” Water and Religion”
The Blessed Sacrament, or the Body and Blood of Christ, is a devotional name used in the Roman Catholic Church, Old Catholic and Anglican Churches, to refer to the Host and wine after they have been consecrated in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Christians in these traditions believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic elements of the bread and wine and hence practice Eucharistic reservation and Eucharistic adoration. This belief is based on interpretations of biblical scripture and tradition. In the Roman Catholic tradition, Christ’s presence is believed to be corporeal, while in the Old Catholic and Anglican traditions, his presence is more usually seen as spiritual. The Roman Catholic understanding is defined by numerous church councils including the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Trent and is quoted in paragraph 1376 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which explains the meaning of Transubstantiation)(Explanation from The Free Dictionary).
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Confirmation is a rite of initiation in many Christian Churches, normally in the form of laying on of hands and/or anointing for the purpose of bestowing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit upon them. In some denominations, confirmation bestows full membership in the church upon the recipient. In others, such as the Roman Catholic Church, confirmation “renders the bond with the Church more perfect”, but a baptized person is already a full member. ( Definition The Free Dictionary)
The R.C.I.A is a programme which prepares Adult Catechumens to enter the church.See the slide show on our Liturgies page where Ray a member of Christ our Hope enters the Community as an adult both receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist and by this making his Confession as a follower of Christ.
The sacraments of Service are celebrated from time to time, when the need arises or when the folk, themselves present themselves for commitment.
The Roman Catholic tradition of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries defined marriage as a sacrament ordained by God, signifying the mystical marriage of Christ to his Church. “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.”  The mutual love between man and wife becomes an image of the eternal love with which God loves humankind. The celebration of marriage between two Catholics normally takes place during the public liturgical celebration of the Holy Mass.(Information from Answers.com)
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles; thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as “the sacrament of apostolic ministry.” “Ordination” comes from the Latin word ordinatio, which means to incorporate someone into an order. In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a man is incorporated into the priesthood of Christ, at one of three levels: the episcopate, the priesthood, or the diaconate. (Catholic Teachings on Holy Orders)
Sacraments of Healing
Reconciliation or Penance
Reconciliation & Confession of sins is part of the Christian faith and practice (James 5:16). The meaning is essentially the same as the criminal one – to admit one’s guilt. Confession of one’s sins, or at least of one’s sinfulness, is seen by most churches as a prerequisite for becoming a Christian. (The Free Dictionary Confession or Reconciliation)
Sacrament of the sick and the dying
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick takes away all mortal and venial sins, even if the person is unconscious. To hear the person’s last confession and to provide them with the Viaticum ( Holy Eucharist ), prepares them for their journey to Our Lord. In addition, the apostolic pardon takes away any temporal punishment (purgatory time) that remains for the soul.