* Baptism and Confirmation
* Holy Communion
* Authority for and Meaning of Absolution
* Anoint the sick
* The Last Rites
* Holy Communion
* Authority for and Meaning of Absolution
* Anoint the sick
* The Last Rites
This COICC-E Diocese celebrates the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. According to the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church.
A person (whether an infant or an adult) enters the life of the church through the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism and Confirmation.
This parish is available to administer both of these sacraments and does so freely without the difficulties often seen in our neighboring Roman Catholic parishes. Since our pastor was ordained by a bishop is direct line with Roman Catholic bishops, the sacraments celebrated are viewed as authentic and valid sacraments by the Roman Catholic Church, although celebrated illicitly (that is to say, without the permission of the local Roman Catholic bishop).
Infant Baptism is celebrated at a time which is convenient to the family involved. We do offer baptism to infants of single parent families, and of those families in which parents are not presently married. We do not require classes before the celebration of the sacrament. The god parents are of your own choosing. We do require that they would have been already themselves baptized and be people you are comfortable with as living moral lives which give a good example to the child. Baptisms are celebrated individually and are personalized.
Adult Baptism occurs at this parish following a time of inquiry, worship with the community and demonstration of a basic knowledge of what it means to be a Christian within the Catholic tradition. This can be accomplished quickly and slowly, depending upon the individual. You will need god parents who will act as your sponsors for the sacrament who are themselves baptized and setting a good example of their lives. Adult baptisms are individualized. Confirmation occurs at adult baptisms so that the recipient would have celebrated two of the three sacraments of initiation, and would be welcomed to receive Communion at the next Mass they attended.
Confirmation (that is to say, for older children and adults who have not been confirmed or who were confirmed within other non-Catholic faith traditions) is celebrated once a year on Pentecost Sunday. It is necessary that you have a sponsor for this sacrament who would have themselves already been confirmed within a Catholic church.
Celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation should never be within a vacuum. You are joining a new soul to Christ in a unique way and becoming part of a community of believers. The first step towards these sacraments is for you to attend Mass with us as a visitor and if you are comfortable with the community, then approach for the sacraments.
Holy Communion and taking communion is so important. In it, the passover is remembered, what God did throughout history is remembered, with Jesus taking a cup and a piece of bread, and saying this is how I want you to remember me. Communion really is vital. It is by the the taking of bread and wine we remember him not by what he looked like but what he did. He shed his blood and his body was crucified. That is why there are no statues of him or paintings from his day.
We do not remember him that way. There is no reason that he should have been extremely good looking or not in an earthly sense. Although we don't know what he looked like and he could have passed though a crowd unnoticed, Isaiah 53 where it says, 'He had nothing that would attract men to him.' He might have been short or tall, I don't know. Who knows what he looked like, we don't know. Because he didn't want people to be attracted like that, he wanted to be attracted by who he was and what he said and what he did. remember him through bread and wine.
Why bread and wine? Well, it's because, very simply, bread and wine represent his body broken on the cross, and his blood shed for you. Blood is the purchase of life. That is why the Jews eat Kosher food: blood must be poured onto the ground and not consumed. Blood is the life in you: if you drain the blood, you die.
Be a blood donor and you save someone's life because that is what it is all about.
By the way, if you look at the unleavened bread that they used at the passover, it has a slight greenish tinge to it: it's the colour of dead flesh which is quite remarkable. Those of you who have seen dead bodies know that they do have a slight green tinge. And, of course, the red wine just looks like blood.
But why did he choose these symbols? Well, it's something deeper than just what they look like: it was more than picture language because he told them to eat it, to consume it. Look how you make wine and bread, in there you will find the purpose of God and when you look at them and you take them, remember what made wine. I will tell you what made wine. It took the crushing of grapes, the trampling: they used to trample on the grapes: and Jesus was trampled on. They mocked him, they spat at him, they beat him, they trampled him into the ground. And Jesus said, take these grapes, take this wine and drink it.
Similarly with the bread: bread is wheat crushed and put into an oven and heated to a very high temperature.
And the body of Christ bore all the heat of God's anger against sin, Jesus is saying, I suffered all this for you, but when you take bread and wine, you are taking the two elements of death and you are putting them into yourself and you are joining them and you are receiving the resurrected Christ.
He says that when you take bread, you should remember that Christ died for you, and when you take wine, remember that his blood was shed for you. Don't take it unworthily, don't take it willy nilly, take it and remember. Paul says that people have taken this unworthily, and do you know some people have suffered because of it, some people have been ill, some people die because they have just mocked the whole thing. That shows how seriously we must take it.
So if God can see that happening, then what more can God see if you take it worthily. There is life, there is health, a sense of peace and purpose and the presence of Christ, all in communion.
THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
Foretold by Malachias the prophet
"For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation: for My name is great among the Gentiles, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachias 1:11)
THE SACRIFICE OF THE CROSS
"And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said: Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.' And saying this, He gave up his Spirit. (Luke 23:44-46)
THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke, and said: Take you, and eat: this is My Body, Which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of Me.' In like manner also the chalice, after He had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in My Blood: this do you, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me.' For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until He come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
1. What is the Mass? The unbloody re-enactment of the sacrifice which Christ offered to God on Calvary - but which He now offers through the priest under the appearances of bread and wine.
2. What is a sacrifice? A sacrifice is the offering of a gift to God by a priest, and the destruction of the gift.
3. Can there be true religion without sacrifice? No, because true religion has to have some external, public act by which men can demonstrate their worship of God.
4. Were there sacrifices before the coming of Jesus Christ? Yes, God made Aaron and his sons priests and commanded them to offer sacrifices to Him.
"But you and your sons look you to the priesthood: and all things that pertain to the service of the altar, and that are within the veil, shall be executed by the priests. (Numbers 18:7)
5. How were the sacrifices of the Old Testament offered? Usually the priest would take an animal, offer it to God, kill it and then burn it on an altar.
6. Why were the sacrifices of the Old Testament imperfect? They were imperfect because...
"It is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away. (Hebrews 10:4)
7. What was the perfect sacrifice? Jesus Christ offered the perfect sacrifice when He died on the Cross.
"But this man offering one sacrifice for sins, forever sitteth on the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12)
8. How was the death of Jesus Christ the perfect sacrifice? It was perfect because both the priest and victim were not only man but also God.
"But now once at the end of ages, He hath appeared for the destruction of sin, by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:26)
9. Did Jesus intend that His sacrifice be continued? Yes, because He instituted the Mass, which is the representation of His sacrifice on the Cross.
10. Who offered the first Mass? Jesus offered the first Mass at the Last Supper when He changed bread and wine into His Body and Blood.
"And taking bread, He gave thanks, and broke; and gave to them, saying: This is My Body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of Me.' In like manner the chalice also, after He had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in My Blood, which shall be shed for you.' (Luke 22:19-20)
11. How is the Mass a sacrifice? It is a sacrifice because it contains all the elements of a true sacrifice: Priest and victim are Jesus Christ, and the destruction consists in the separate consecration of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Catholic theology teaches that, "a Sacrament effects (does) what it signifies (symbolizes). Jesus Christ died on the Cross from loss of blood; His blood is the price of our Redemption, according to Scripture and Tradition. In the Mass, the separate Consecration - first of the bread into His Body, then of the wine into His Blood - signifies the separation of Christ's body and blood, which was the cause of His death on the Cross. This signified or symbolized separation of His body and blood, therefore effects in the Mass the re-enactment of His death - though in the Mass, it is in an unbloody manner.
12. Is the sacrifice of the Mass the same as the sacrifice of the Cross?
Yes, they are the same in that the victim and the priest are the same, Jesus Christ.
"For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until He come. (1 Corinthians 11:26)
13. What is the difference between the two sacrifices? The difference is that the Sacrifice of the Cross was a bloody sacrifice; whereas, the Sacrifice of the Mass is an unbloody one.
14. Did Jesus Christ give anyone the power to offer Mass? Yes. He gave it to His twelve Apostles when He said,
"Do this for a commemoration of me (Luke 22:19)
15. Did the Apostles say Mass? Yes, they and their successors said Mass.
"We have an altar, whereof they have no power to eat who serve the [Jewish] tabernacle. (Hebrews 13:10)
"And they were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
16. Are there men today who can offer the Sacrifice of the Mass? Yes, the power of offering Mass has been handed down during the past two thousand years through the Bishops of the Catholic Church, by the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
17. Who is the principal priest in every Mass? Jesus Christ is the principal priest; whereas, the human priest stands in the place of Jesus and speaks the words.
The priest we see at the altar shares in the priesthood of Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
18. At what part of the Mass does the sacrifice itself take place? At the Consecration, when the priest says, This is My Body. "This is the chalice of My Blood...
19. How can you offer God the perfect sacrifice? By uniting yourself with the priest at the altar, such as by reading the Mass prayers in a missal or prayer book.
1. Catholics are expected to attend Mass every Sunday and on the six Holy Days of Obligation. To miss Mass deliberately on Sunday or a Holy Day is a mortal sin.
2. The Church urges her members to attend Mass every day, especially during Advent and Lent.
3. The priest may also say Mass for the intentions of the living, for example, for a couple on their wedding anniversary, for the intentions of someone on his birthday, to pray for the sick, to ask for other favour, to thank God for favours received.
4. An offering of money, called a stipend, is made to the priest who says the Mass. This is not payment for the Mass but is for the support of the priest.
"Know you not, that they who work in the holy place, eat the things that are of the holy place; and they that serve the altar, partake with the altar? So also the Lord ordained that they who preach the gospel, should live by the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)
THE ROLE OF THE PRIEST
As a Bishop I am sure that it is necessary for our clergy to have a deep sacramental understanding of the Sacraments. In the main, the Eucharistic Mass and the format and way in which the Mass should be made at Altar and why we carry out things in the way we should as a Catholic Church. But not only this but an understanding of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic (each priest should say a daily Mass this being his rock of foundation) sacrifice and the sacraments.
The purpose of the sacraments is to make people holy, to build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God; but being signs, they also have a teaching function. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and object, they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called "sacraments of faith. The sacraments impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them disposes the faithful most effectively to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God rightly, and to practice charity.
Our lives are given to the Sacraments which our clergy should carry out on most days. Celebrating a Mass with or without any other person present just the Priests and our Lord. It is not a requirement as a Priest within the Catholic Church but an obligation. We envisage that on going training of our clergy will take place teaching on the Sacraments and the Scriptures.
Today, the world's view of marriage is alarming because, basically it has separated itself from God's ordained order, which tells clearly that husband and wife should be joined together until death parts them. Statistics show this very clearly, 40% of marriages now, in the western world, end in divorce. There are 175,000 divorces in the Uk every year. The world's view is that marriage is a convenience and a contract, couples are saying by this, 'Let's combine forces, let's eat, sleep and live together, because it's far more convenient than trailing round from my house to your house. The world thinks of marriage in terms of a contract between two people who agree to do certain things together as long as they wish to, and at any time, when they feel they've had enough of each other, the contract can be cancelled and they can walk out of it.
Not just one flesh, although their bodies will become united, but they become one person and if two people become one, then each person has become one half and is incomplete without the other.
The only thing which restores wholeness to such a 'half person' is death, that's why in every marriage service, we have the words 'till death do us part.' The Christian view of marriage is therefore a life-long commitment. Read Eph. 5 v 31 & Gen 2 v 24
Today there is such a feeling that love comes from the heart and so it is interpreted in terms of feelings, but if it is just feelings and no more, there's something wrong with it. For you see, the trouble with the world's view of 'love' is that it stops as soon as you lose feelings for your partner. The Bible's view says that the heart of love is not what you think or feel about a person but in the way you act towards that person, it's centred in the will. The message of the Gospel is that Jesus loved his own until the end, in spite of what they did. John 3 v 16. Look up too 1 John 4 v 7-12. Note the word for used for love is agape which means sacrificial love. Jesus' kind of life is one which says 'I will, for better or worse.' When feelings wane, love can still go on if you have a Biblical view of love. Cf Mark 14 v 32-42. Discuss Jesus's obedience. The world says love is something you cannot control, it happens to you, it's something you fall into of fall out of, and if you do fall out of it, you can't help it any more than you can help falling into it, so therefore, when you fall out of it, that's the end of the relationship, but the Bible tells us that love is to be under our control and not over it.
Therefore couples have to be loyal to each other until death do them part. In other words we have to add loyalty to the attraction we feel and turn it into a different kind of love. Holy Matrimony is this, you cannot be holy so long as love controls you, but when you control love, then you can be. Read John 15 v 17; it is a command to love.
i) The fact that one of the fruits of the Spirit is Self Control (Gal 5v 22) and how important that is in loving a person.
ii) Fact number 2- That no where in the NT it says a woman must love her husband although it says several times that a man must love his wife.
Basically, the Bible says we should marry for three main reasons:
1) To grow together and share one's life with each other. Gen 2 v 18
2) For the procreation of children. Gen 1 v 28
3) To show that God is a family and therefore is love. Gen 1 v 22; note the plural 'let us make man in our image'.
One of the problems we have today is that people reject that marriage is for the procreation of children, because contraceptives have taken that option away, so we need to spell out that God is love, and that marriage is a channel and that love in marriage has three characteristics, its sustaining, its healing, and its growth.
Marriage is sustained in two ways, materially and emotionally. Materially by setting up a home together, by mutual hobbies and interests, holidays, activities and so on, and by emotional experiences. There are two major emotional experiences which married couples share, first, that between parents and children, secondly between husband and wife. As children we learn from our parents the rudiments of love, trust, understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation and as couples we relive these rudiments and add to them, therefore, as talking and sharing are important to the parent/child relationship, so it is important to the husband/wife relationship. Couples need to share each other's weaknesses and hurts which stem from two areas, the genetic and the experiences of childhood, and just as people look like their parents, so they inherit some of the parents temperament and in normal family life will suffer from negative attitudes, such as favouritism and lack of care.
These things need to be shared openly so that one can bring healing into them.
The trouble is that men are very bad at this and 70% of divorce petitions are filed by women (apart from adultery) because of the husband's lack of sharing.
Men need to learn to overcome this and share with their wives. Men need to lay their lives down as Christ laid his down for us.
Although we share our weaknesses we are also to share our strengths and in marriage we have the opportunity of giving security and confidence to our partners. We need to give to each other so that healing can take place and healing can or will lead to growth.
In marriage we must enable each others growth by monitoring each other, to evaluate each other, and thus learn to share and care, for the Bible tells us to submit to each other. Eph 5 v21
Men must learn the sacrificial role (look up Eph 5 v 25-30 and discuss how you can do that. and as Christ loved his church and died for it says Paul. A man must die to self and live for his wife.
He mustn't lord it over her but be a servant to her. Women must learn to submit to their husbands as to the Lord (look up Eph 5 v 22 and discuss how you can do that too), in other words, we are to learn to bring out the best in each other.
The Christian marriage has much to offer the world regarding loyalty and commitment. I believe that if we get our Christian marriages right, they will become the most important bridge between God and Man for they are the chief vehicle of God's presence and blessing.
What the Christian believes about the right to remarry?
The biblical concept of marriage as a 'passionate covenant' which is morally binding before God for as long as both shall live, and the transgression of which earns his judgement.
It's for this reason that we have to weigh the matter of divorce and remarriage, not simply in terms of its social and emotional consequences, but also in the light of its effect upon our position before a holy God. The issue of 'adultery' is not one of mere legal technicality, but of sin.
The debate in Jesus' day centred around a controversy between two rabbis over the meaning of Deuteronomy 24:1 - 4, which is a passage forbidding divorce, remarriage and then a subsequent return to the former husband. It should be noted at this point that there is no question about divorce permitting remarriage. Of course it does - that`s the whole point of getting a divorce.The issue that troubled the rabbis concerned the grounds for divorce and turned on the words translated 'something indecent about her'. The liberal rabbi, Hillel, argued that this could mean anything even down to the trivia of a wife being a bad cook or losing her looks. Conservative Shammai said it must be restricted to unchastity.
In Matthew 19:3, Jesus is asked to give a ruling on the matter. Effectively Jesus declares both rabbis mistaken. Shammai was nearest the truth of the passage in question, which cannot strictly mean adultery because that was punishable by death, so remarriage was not an issue (see Deuteronomy 22:22). Hillel was in error because he was misusing scripture and failing to understand that God hates all divorce because of the hardness of heart which underlies it, never mind what the reason might be (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:8).
What Jesus proceeds to do is establish, not from Deuteronomy 24, but from Creation itself that the only legitimate ground for divorce (with its implication of remarriage) is sexual immorality - Greek porneia, embracing adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, incest, sexual abuse (some - would stretch this to include violence - Eph 5:29 and 5:31; persistent denial of marital rights; and total desertion), gross flirtation and perversion. In other words, it is not divorce which ends a marriage but a violation of the 'flesh' bond. It immediately follows that any remarriage of a divorcee for reasons less than porneia must by definition be sinful in the sight of God (Matthew 19:9). What ever unbelieving man may say, in God`s eyes the original marriage isn't dead.
It's a Catch 22 situation for the sinner; to end his marriage before God, he has to be sexually immoral, and if he isn't, his subsequent marriage is adulterous anyway! Worse, he makes his new partner an adulteress. Furthermore, if there was no sexual unfaithfulness to his original spouse, any future marriage she may enter, if prior to her ex-husbands remarriage, will also be adulteress (Matthew 5:31-32). (The passage in Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18 need interpreting in the light of this as the applying to the guilty parties. In these references Jesus is not dealing with the innocent and their rights to remarriage.) What Jesus is saying is that marriage is intended to be permanent and any breaking of it has the gravest consequences.
Indeed, the impact of his teaching was sufficient to make the disciples question whether it was wise even to risk getting married! After all, if it went wrong for almost any reason on your part, you were condemned as an adulterer and might and might well implicate others also. There`s only one thing adulterers can do, and that's to repent.
In such cases the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover the sin. And the mercy of God may be found in the rebuilding of lives.Certainly Paul can write to the Corinthians and describe their sinful status, including sexual immorality, in the past tense: 'ed,That is what some of you were. But you were wash you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by our God' (1 Corinthians 6:11).
1. Non-Christians who have divorced for reasons other than sexual immorality are still married in God's sight. Hence remarriage for either party constitutes adultery. When such people come to the Lord this is one of the sins which needs repenting from. Normally, such folk should not separate from their new partners. They are new creatures in Christ and may humbly believe God for grace.
2. Believers may not divorce for reasons other than sexual immorality. If they do separate, they must remain unmarried . Hardness of heart has no place in the kingdom of God. Repentance and reconciliation are the ways of God for us.
3. A believing partner married to an unbeliever may not divorce on the grounds of faith. But if the unbelieving partner wishes to get divorced, the believer is not bound and remarriage can, therefore be considered (1 Corinthians 7:12-16).Paul says this:To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.(NIV 1 Cor 7:12-17)
4. Sexual infidelity terminates all marriage in God's sight. It gives legitimate grounds for divorce and in such cases the innocent party is always free to remarry without sin. But divorce doesn't have to take place and, given repentance and forgiveness, the marriage may be capable of resurrection. This benefits by being a decisive act. In many cases it isn`t enough just to 'get over it'; vows need to be remade.
5. Those guilty of sexual immorality who then remarry are clearly guilty of sin in the eyes of the Lord. In the case of unbelievers coming to the Lord, the same principles apply as in point one. With believers, all efforts need to be made to bring about repentance and reconciliation. If that fails, it is inappropriate for the church to bless the remarriage of the guilty party. Subsequent repentance, however, will have to be taken at its face value and the marriage accepted.
This is clearly capable of abuse and elders need to act with great discernment to ensure that heart attitudes are truly right.
Marriage is sustained by the grace of God. In an age of widespread marital breakdown we have not only to stop the rot and maintain God's standards without compromise; we also have to preach the power of the gospel to change hearts and lives. In subsequent years, many hurt, broken people will come to the Lord.They must be assured of full acceptance and of the reality of what it means to be a new creation in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Such folk, with our example and help, will raise a new generation who will sing of faithfulness and justice, and will only have to confront the question, 'Is it right to remarry?' in the event of death. The answer is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, 39-40 and 1 Timothy 5:14. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (NIV 1 Cor 7:8-9)
I need to say something at the end about although God hates divorce he is a forgiving God. And if two people get divorced and later on in life find Christ , find forgiveness by repenting openly and with all of their heart about their failures of the past God will forgive them.
Divorce is not the unforgivable sin.
The Bible teaches us that marriage is a gift from God in creation. It tells us to be loyal to each other in marriage and to remain together until death parts us. That marriage is a partnership, a comfort and a basis to bring children up in God's way. Sex is reward for faithfulness and through the joy of bodily union we may be blessed with the love and care of children. It also teaches us that if we have failed by our fault or through no fault of our own that we can turn to God and ask for forgiveness which he readily offers. No matter how bad we've been if we turn to God and repent he will forgive us.
It is by transforming power of the God who says, 'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.... I will save you from all your uncleanness' (Ezekiel 36:26, 29).
Penance or Absolution is commonly regarded as one of the sacraments. Even Luther reckoned it with Baptism and the Eucharist. Our Lord gave to His Apostles the power to forgive sins in the words, Whose so ever sins you forgive, they are forgiven; whose so ever sins you retain, they are retained. (John 20.23).
They were to do this, not in their own name, but in His. They were to be His ambassadors. What He gave to them was not merely the power to say to any sinner, 'If you repent, God will forgive you', for any Christian might do that. It was the POWER to bestow forgiveness in the name of God and the RIGHT to decide whether it was to be given or refused. This power belongs only to the apostolic ministry and is bestowed on every priest at his ordination. It does not, however, mean that God will sanction the misuse of such a power; or that if a priest, who is necessarily liable to make mistakes, forgives someone who ought not to be forgiven or refuses forgiveness to someone who ought to have it, God will not revise his decision. The power of an ambassador is limited by the approval of his Sovereign and the power of the priest by the love and justice of God.
The SUBJECT of this sacrament is any baptized person. The sins of the unbaptized are forgiven when they are baptized. It is not necessary to have been confirmed in order to receive absolution. The OUTWARD SIGN consists of the confession of sins, the absolution given by the priest, and the penance that the sinner must perform as a condition of his forgiveness. Strictly speaking there is no MATTER, nothing corresponding to the water in baptism. The repentance of the sinner is commonly spoken of as the matter; and this consists of contrition (sorrow for sin), confession, and amendment.
The form in use in the Church of England is to be found in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick. Until about the twelfth century it was in the form of a prayer, not a declaration, as it still is in the Eastern churches. The MINISTER of absolution must be a bishop or priest.
In the Roman Communion absolution given by a priest who has not been licensed to give it, or in a place where he has no jurisdiction (except to someone in danger of death), is held to be invalid. St Alcuin's Catholic Church has no such rule. A priest ought not to give absolution or perform any other ministerial act outside his jurisdiction without leave. Absolution so given is irregular but not invalid.
The INWARD GRACE of absolution is the application of the infinite merits of Christ to sin committed after baptism. It is true that God will always forgive those who truly repent, and therefore sacramental absolution is not necessary for forgiveness. But though not necessary, it is of great value. The sinner is thereby assured, as he could be assured in no other way, that God has really forgiven him. Our Lord would not have given this power to His apostles unless He had meant it to be used, and the experience of multitudes of those who have used it has confirmed its value to those who use it with real repentance and faith. Besides this, the act of confession to a fellow man deepens sorrow and shame for the sins committed, and the absolution gives special power to overcome them in the future. It also helps the sinner to understand that all sin of whatever kind committed by a member of the Church is a sin against the whole Christian community, so that every grave sin ought to be forgiven by the Church through her official representative, the priest. If the priest is an expert spiritual adviser, the penitent has the opportunity of receiving counsel that will enable him to treat his moral failings with the proper remedies. Moral sickness requires to be cured, and the remedy, which will cure one kind of person, will do great harm to another. It is the business of the priest to discover the cause of evil habits and to suggest the best way of curing them.
Jesus imparted healing by the laying on of hands (Lk. 4 v 40, Lk. 13 v 13). Elders are to anoint with oil (with their hands) and pray for healing. (Jms. 5 v 14 - 16) Believers should impart healing with the laying on of hands. (Mk. 16 v 17 - 18, Acts 9-v 17, Acts 28 v 8 - 9)
Also to impart Blessing. Jesus imparted the blessing of God to children (Mt. 19 v 13 - 15; Mk. 10 v 13 - 16). The disciples did it as a normal part of their ministry. Paul laid hands on Timothy to impart spiritual gifts (1 Tim. 4 v 14; 2 Tim. 1 v 6; ROM. 1 v 11).
All believers have the ability to baptize other believers with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, not just leaders. (Acts 8 v 14 - 24; 9 v 10 - 17; 19 v 6). It is also to set people apart for a specific work. Workers for the Lord are anointed and set apart for a specific work by the laying on of hands (Acts 13 v 2 - 3) See also (Acts 6 v 1 - 6) (See 1 Tim. 5 v 22).
Importance in the Church
The basis for Christian ministry is service (Mk. 10 v 43 - 45) and the laying on of Hands can be one of the greatest acts of service we can do for another human being. For Giving When we lay hands on by faith, we minister or give the life of God within us to others, as we do so God promises to give back to us so we can go on giving (Lk. 6 v 38; Acts 3 v 6).
To anoint God's people for work in the Kingdom. (Acts 13 v 1 - 3). The laying on of hands and anointing with oil are part and parcel of a functioning body, drawing life from Jesus and imparting that life via the hand. The power of the risen Christ to heal, minister and bless is resident in the lives of every spirit filled disciple of Jesus.
* The Last Rites
Anointing in a Home or Hospital
1. The rite begins with the Sign of the Cross with blessed water which reminds us of our baptismal promise to die with Christ so that we might rise to new life with him.
2. The readings from Scripture are adapted to the condition of the sick person. The priest prays and assures the sick person of the prayers of the parish and invites the sick person to pray for the needs of his or her fellow parishioners.
3. The priest imposes hands on the head of the one to be anointed, prays over the oil and anoints the forehead and hands of the sick person.
4. The priest prays for the sick person and invites all present to pray The Lord's Prayer.
5. Holy Communion may be received at this time.
6. The priest then blesses the sick person and all present.
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