St. James the Apostle Parish

This week's trivia answer

TRIVIA ANSWER: A) Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist

There are three sacraments of initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist (Communion)—by which we become members of the Catholic Christian Church. Although originally joined closely together in the early church, the three sacraments are now celebrated by most children at various distinct steps on their spiritual journey, rather than at the same ceremony.  However, for adults and youth coming into the church, the three are still celebrated together at the Easter Vigil liturgy. And in the Eastern Catholic Church all three sacraments are administered to infants at the same time.

Baptism is the sacrament by which we die to sin and live united to Christ. We are immersed in the life-giving waters and become members of Christ’s Body, the church.

The second sacrament of initiation is Confirmation, when we are sealed with chrism which “confirms” that life of Christ celebrated at Baptism. With the gift of the Holy Spirit, Confirmation helps us live our life committed to following Christ courageously.

The final sacrament of initiation is Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian life.  In this sacrament we are fed and nourished at the Table of the Lord with the Body and Blood of Christ. Just as the bread and wine are transformed into Christ, so too we who “take and eat, take and drink,” are transformed and changed into Christ. We become what we eat, we become what we drink!

Now, if you thought Reconciliation was one of the initiation sacraments, you are probably confused for good reason. At the present time in our church we often celebrate it with children before Confirmation and Eucharist. Yet when we think about it, we realize that Reconciliation does not introduce us or initiate us into the life of Christ. It is the sacrament which restores us to our baptismal innocence if we have lost our way and sinned. It is getting a second chance, as it were, to start again and re-commit to living as a true Christian, just as we did when we were baptized, when we were first initiated.

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