The Seven Sacraments are ritual celebrations of God sharing his life with us through relationships and material things. Water, olive oil, bread, wine and the touch of another’s hands are all ways in which we as individuals and a community experience God’s saving power in our midst.
The celebration of each and every sacrament at the Church of the Good Shepherd is a joyous occasion. Whether that joy is experienced in a baptism, confirmation or wedding with family and friends around us and a party afterwards, or in ordination at the cathedral with the faithful of the whole archdiocese, or in the quiet consolation of anointing of the sick or reconciliation, or each Sunday in the reception of Holy Communion, we feel the touch of God in the midst of community.
Before the reception of any sacrament, we take time to prepare. Parents and godparents are asked to gather for an evening before the baptism of their child; couples preparing for marriage attend sessions to help them deal with married life; Adult catechumens preparing for baptism participate in RCIA; Children or teens preparing for the first reception of the Eucharist or confirmation attend our religious education programs. Even when we receive the Eucharist on Sunday, or when we are sick and need anointing, or when we avail ourselves of reconciliation, we are asked to take some time to prepare ourselves.
With faith, with time set aside before the celebration of a sacrament, with the community gathered around us, and with a willingness to allow God to move us, we can be assured of a fruitful and grace-filled sacramental experience.