What are the “Sacraments?“
Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification.
We recognize that the Sacraments have a visible and invisible reality, a reality open to all the human senses but grasped in its God-given depths with the eyes of faith. When parents hug their children, for example, the visible reality we see is the hug. The invisible reality the hug conveys is love. We cannot “see” the love the hug expresses, though sometimes we can see its nurturing effect in the child.
The visible reality we see in the Sacraments is their outward expression, the form they take, and the way in which they are administered and received. The invisible reality we cannot “see” is God’s grace, his gracious initiative in redeeming us through the death and Resurrection of his Son. His initiative is called grace because it is the free and loving gift by which he offers people a share in his life, and shows us his favor and will for our salvation. Our response to the grace of God’s initiative is itself a grace or gift from God by which we can imitate Christ in our daily lives. (From USCCB Website)
Sacraments of Initiation
Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God who first loved us from the moment of our conception. The water of Baptism represents the washing away of life without God, cleansing, growth, and new life. The Baptismal candle symbolizes the “passing of the torch” of Christian commitment to those being Baptized, while the white garment represents the Church’s belief that Baptism sets us free from Original Sin.
- Infant or Adult Baptisms: Please contact the office at (864) 226-8621 or email.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of three Sacraments of Initiation and is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, necessary for the perfection and completion of Baptismal grace. Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist are a unity of sacraments that bring us into the Church. Like Baptism, Confirmation imprints a permanent, indelible mark on the soul, and because of this permanence, Confirmation is only received once.
- Most people receive the Sacrament of Confirmation as a youth.
- At St. Mary of the Angels, Confirmation is generally celebrated by students in the 10th grade.
Confirmation for Adults (RCIA)
- All Catholics (age 18 and older) who have been Baptized, received First Eucharist and are practicing their faith but have not celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation are invited to participate in a preparation program.
- Please contact the office at (864) 226-8621 or email.
Eucharist is one of the sacraments of initiation. “Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ’s Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1275
- Preparing your child for the sacraments is a partnership between family and parish.
- Baptism was the first step in your child’s journey toward full initiation into the Catholic faith.
- Coming to the table of the Lord in the Eucharist is the next sacrament of initiation, followed by the sacrament of Confirmation (celebrated in the teen years in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis).
- First Reconciliation is celebrated prior to First Communion.
- First Communion is generally celebrated in the 2nd grade.
First Communion Preparation for Adults
- The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process established for the universal Church for individuals to become Catholic and receive the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
- For more information, please contact the office at (864) 226-8621 or email.
Communion to the sick and home-bound.
- If you would like to have Communion brought to the ill, home bound, or hospitalized as well as those in assisted living communities and nursing homes. For more information, please contact the office at (864)226-8621 or email.
Sacraments of Service
What is the sacrament of Matrimony?
The sacrament of Matrimony is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and the wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy. –USCCB
Engaged couples are encouraged to contact the Office at (864) 226-8621 as soon as they begin plans for their marriage, at least one year in advance.
Marriage Preparation Program
In order for engaged couples to ready themselves for marriage, they participate in our Catholic Marriage Preparation Program. The couple is assigned a sponsor couple who facilitates the program. The engaged couple and sponsor couple meet several times prior to the “Big Day.” During these sessions, different aspects of Catholic married life are discussed. The sessions focus on the four main areas of Marriage and Faith, Marriage and Communication, Marriage and Sexuality, and Marriage and Stewardship. Church teachings about married life are shared and discussed. In addition to Church teachings, sponsor couples also share their own experiences as man and wife. One of the beautiful things about this program is that as the sponsor couple helps the engaged couple, they find that they strengthen their own marriage. For more information, please contact the Office at (864) 226-8621 or email.
If you were married outside the church and are interested in celebrating the sacrament of marriage, please contact the Office at (864) 226-8621 or email.
What is the sacrament of Holy Orders?
There are three levels of Holy Orders – bishop, priest and deacon. Just as Christ came to “serve and not to be served” these men are called by God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to be servant leaders for the faithful. Their powers and responsibilities are conferred through the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Only a baptized, Catholic man who is called by the Church to be a deacon, priest, or bishop can be validly ordained to that ministry. For further information please contact the Office at (864)226-8621 or email.
Sacraments of Healing
What is it?
The Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Church, instituted by Christ, in which the priest prays, lays hands, and anoints the sick person with blessed oil.
The Anointing of the Sick can be received by any Catholic whose health is in a critical state. If you are experiencing illness, injury, impending surgery or weakness due to age, there is powerful help available for you here in the Church. One can receive the Anointing of the Sick several times in one’s life. As soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly arrived.
Viaticum is also known as the last sacrament of the Christian. It is the last Holy Communion that a person receives before dying.
Please keep us informed so that we might minister to those who are ill at home, in the hospital, or in a nursing home. If you have an emergency situation regarding a matter of grave illness or death which requires a priest, please contact the Office at (864) 226-8621 or email.
Reconciliation (Penance or Confession)
See “Home Page” for current Reconciliation Schedule
There are four steps in the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
- We feel contrition for our sins and a conversion of heart to change our ways.
- We confess our sins and human sinfulness to a priest.
- We receive and accept forgiveness (absolution) and are absolved of our sins.
- We celebrate God’s everlasting love for us and commit to live out a Christian life.
Sin hurts our relationship with God, ourselves and others. As the Catechism states:
The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity…and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for the sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world. (CCC 1487, 1488)
A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems.
Contrition and conversion lead us to seek a forgiveness for our sins so as to repair damaged relationships with God, self, and others. We believe that only ordained priests have the faculty of absolving sins from the authority of the Church in the name of Jesus Christ (CCC 1495). Our sins are forgiven by God, through the priest.
The Spiritual effects of the Sacraments of Reconciliation include:
- reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace
- reconciliation with the Church
- remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins
- remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin
- peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation
- an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle (CCC 1496)
Individual confession with a priest is the principal means of absolution and reconciliation of grave sins within the Church. The Sacrament of Reconciliation frees us from sinful patterns of behavior and calls us to complete conversion to Christ. Reconciliation heals our sins and repairs our relationships.
Please see Examination of Conscience for Adults and Teens for more information concerning making a good confession.