SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
The Three Sacraments of Initiation
into the Catholic Church
The first three sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion are collectively known as the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church, “whose unity must be safeguarded” according to the Catholic Catechism. The easiest way to understand why there are three Sacraments of Initiation (and not just one) is by viewing them in the light of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is the Christian doctrine of God’s nature: the unity of three Divine Persons in one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the Sacraments of Initiation reveals one of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
According to the Catechism, “The sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—lay the foundations of every Christian life. The sharing in the divine nature through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” (CCC 1212)
The Role of Families
Parents & Guardians are the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith, particularly by the witness of their lives. Parents are also the best teachers of their children and they are the ones who shape the attitudes and values of their children and their involvement in sacramental preparation can never be replaced (cf; the Rite of Baptism for Children).
At Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish, we are here to assist you as you do your best as Christian parents. The keyword is “assist”, we are not taking over your responsibility as parents.
As such, it is compulsory that at least one parent/ guardian accompany their child to each of the sessions of the sacramental preparation process.
The Role of Parish
A Christian family lives within a wider parish community, which also has a responsibility to share and nurture the faith within the family. Part of our responsibility is to assist families who are involved in the sacramental preparation process. The parish is responsible for coordinating sacramental preparation and providing faith education for both adults and children
Who is eligible to receive the Sacraments?
As first teachers in faith you as parents are in the best place to judge when your child is ready to participate in the sacramental life of the parish community. The following however may be a useful guide to assist you in this respect:
First Reconciliation: Year 3 & above
First Holy Communion: Year 4 & above
Confirmation: Year 6 & above