The Sacraments

In our faith tradition, there are seven Sacraments. Below you will find descriptions of each of them. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us or send us a message via our Contact Us page.

Baptism


"In Baptism," the Prayer Book teaches us, "I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven." 

 

We became Christians at our baptism, through the sacramental action of the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Eucharist

The Eucharist, commonly called the Mass, is the Sacrament of God's Presence with His people and their continual participation in His sacrifice. On the cross, Christ offered Himself to the Father for us. In the Holy Eucharist, the Church continues to hold up before God that same offering. The Body and Blood of Christ, the fullness of His humanity united to His divinity, are sacramentally present in the transfigured elements of bread and wine of the Holy Eucharist. The Mass is the continual offering of Christ's one Sacrifice and we participate most fully in this sacrifice when we receive the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion.

We welcome all baptized and practicing Christians to join us in the reception of Holy Communion. Catholic tradition teaches us that baptism and confirmation by a bishop in succession to the apostles are among the requirements for a regular and frequent reception of Holy Communion. We should not only be free from serious sin (the remedy for serious sin is a sincere confession--see Penance, below), but be "in love and charity with our neighbor."

Penance (Confession)

The sacrament of Penance, commonly called Confession, is one of Christ's greatest gifts to His Church. Though it, we receive complete forgiveness of our sins, and the gifts of grace to help us grown more deeply in our spiritual lives. Therefore, the sacrament of Penance is open to any baptized person. Breathing His Spirit on His apostles, Christ said, "Receive the Holy Ghost; whatsoever sins you forgive, they are forgiven." This power he left to His Priests. 

 

Participants in the sacrament of Penance are protected by what is called the seal of the confessional. This means that what passes between the priest and penitent is confidential and may not, under any circumstances, be divulged to another person.
 

We benefit more from Penance when we prayerfully prepare our confession beforehand and participate in the sacrament regularly.

Marriage

The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is given by God as the basis for the Christian family.  In the sacrament, God joins a man and a woman as "one flesh," and from their loving union a family is born. Marriage is intended as a lifelong, indissoluble bond and, with this in mind, the Church requires that her children enter into the sacrament "reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God."  

 

The Church's sacrament is open to all baptized persons who have not yet contracted a valid marriage. Upon application of both priest and an active communicant to the bishop, it is possible that a dispensation may be granted when one of the contracting persons is not baptized. 
 

A divorced person not sacramentally married may seek an annulment to allow for a marriage by the Church. Petitions for both dispensations and annulments must be presented to the bishop for his decision and neither should ever be taken for granted.  Canon law requires preparation for marriage before the sacrament may be licitly ministered. This takes the form of instruction with a priest over a period of several months. 

Because of the sacramental character of Christian marriage, only those desirous of entering into a lifelong, sacramental union will be married in our congregation.

Holy Unction (Anointing of the Sick)

The sacrament of Holy Unction is the sacrament of God's healing presence and power among us when we are sick or dying. 
The sacrament is not the sacrament of death, but of health, and any baptized person may receive it.

 

An illness serious enough to cause us to stay home in bed and miss Mass on a Sunday or take time off from work is serious enough to summon a priest and request Holy Unction.  

Requiem Masses

It is customary to offer a cycle of Requiem Masses for the repose of the souls of our beloved dead on the day of their death or burial, as well as three, seven, and thirty days afterwards. A requiem is traditionally offered also on each anniversary of their death. This monthly cycle is offered for each member of our congregation at their deaths. 

If you'd like a memorial or anniversary Mass to be said for anyone else, please contact us to add your loved ones into our prayers. You may do so using by using the Contact Us page of our site. 

Holy Orders


"It is evident unto all men, diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient authors," begins the preface to the ordinal at the back of the Book of Common Prayer, "that from the Apostles' time there have been these orders of ministers in Christ's Church: bishops, priests, and deacons." Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the priesthood of Christ is present and active in His Church. 

In common with other Catholic Christians, we hold the doctrine of apostolic succession: that the authority, presence, and practice of Christ's priesthood is transmitted thorough the continuous line of bishops who trace their ordinations back to the apostles themselves. The doctrine denotes not simply a succession of ordinations but a succession of Faith and Practice. Apostolic succession is a guarantee that our faith is a continuation of the Faith and Practice of the apostles, the Faith "once delivered to the saints."

Years of preparation are required before ordination. The process is one of discernment, wherein the Church examines the candidate and the candidate examines himself, to see if he does indeed have a "vocation," a calling, from God.

© Claire Plauzoles

for St. Mary of the Angels Anglo-Roman Church

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