The Catholic Church is a Sacramental Church. Sacrament means ‘Sign of the Sacred’ and there are seven Sacraments instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church to bring us closer to God. The Sacraments are arranged into three areas: Sacraments of Christian Initiation, Sacraments of Healing, and Sacraments of Service.
Sacraments of Initiation
Through Baptism we become sons and daughters of God and are incorporated into the Church as members of Christ. In the Catholic Church, infants are baptised soon after birth to welcome them into the Catholic faith.
Baptism is a joyful occasion which leaves a spiritual mark of belonging to Christ on our soul and marks the gateway to the other Sacraments.
First Holy Communion
First Holy Communion continues the faith journey begun at baptism. Receiving the Eucharist for the first time is a deeply profound moment.
We offer annual short courses to help children in the Parish to prepare for this important Sacrament.
The third Sacrament of Initiation is Confirmation which confirms our relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation normally takes place when a child is around 14 years of age, but practising Catholic adults may be confirmed at any age following some preparation tailored to the individual’s particular needs.
Sacraments of Healing
This sacrament releases us from the burden of our sins. Through confidential confession to a priest, we receive forgiveness from Christ and are reconciled with God and the Church.
The Cathedral has a daily rota which ensures that at least one priest is available to hear Confession during advertised hours.
Anointing of the Sick
This healing sacrament is intended to strengthen those tried by illness or facing hospital treatment or surgery.
Anointing is often received in hospital but Chaplains will also give it to those in need in the Cathedral or during a home visit.
Sacraments of Service
The Sacrament of Marriage is a sacrament of service which provides a bedrock for faith and family life.
Many couples in the parish wish to marry at the Cathedral, with the beautiful and intimate Lady Chapel especially popular as a wedding venue.
Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church to the end of time. It is a commitment for life, both to God and to the Catholic Church.
This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit to serve as Christ’s instrument for His Holy Church.
‘The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God.’
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1123