Jesus touches our lives through the sacraments. Our celebrations of the sacraments are signs of Jesus’ presence in our lives and a means for receiving his grace. The Church celebrates seven sacraments, which are divided into three categories – Initiation, Healing and at the Service of Communion
Sacraments of Initiation
These initiation sacraments lay the foundation of every Christian life.
In Baptism we receive new life in Christ. Baptism takes away original sin and gives us a new birth in the Holy Spirit. Its sign is the pouring of water.
Confirmation seals our life of faith in Jesus. Its signs are the laying on of hands on a person’s head, most often by a bishop and the anointing with oil. Like Baptism, Confirmation is received only once.
The Eucharist nourishes our life of faith. Its signs are the bread and wine we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
Sacraments of Healing
These sacraments celebrate the healing power of Jesus.
Through Penance we receive God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness requires being sorry for our sins. In Penance, we receive Jesus’ healing grace through absolution by the priest. The signs of this sacrament are our confession of sins and the words of absolution.
Anointing of the Sick
This sacrament unites a sick person’s suffering with that of Jesus and brings forgiveness of sins. Oil, a symbol of strength, is the sign of this sacrament. A person is anointed with oil and receives the laying on of hands from a priest.
Sacraments at the Service of Communion
These sacraments help members serve the community.
In Marriage baptised man and woman are united with each other as a sign of the unity between Jesus and his Church. Marriage requires the consent of the couple, as expressed in the marriage promises. The couple and their wedding rings are the signs of this sacrament.
In Holy Orders men are ordained as priests, deacons, or bishops. Priests serve as spiritual leaders of their communities, and deacons serve to remind us of our baptismal call to help others. Bishops carry on the teachings of the apostles. The signs of this sacrament are the laying on of hands and anointing with oil by the bishop.
The sacramental programme is the means by which baptised children can complete their journey into full membership of the Catholic Church. Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation. The gift of God’s Holy Spirit which the children received in Baptism is strengthened later on in the sacrament of Confirmation and after this, they complete their journey with the reception of first Holy Communion – a public declaration that they are now fully a part of this community – this ‘Communion’ of God’s family. The programme itself strives to help them grow into this community and feel a real sense of belonging to the wider Family of God. This can only happen if we all recognise the importance of being a part of that family, at worship, on Sundays or Saturday evenings. It is, therefore, essential that children on the programme attend Mass regularly and members of the Children’s Liturgy Team are ready to help families achieve this in any way they can.
The programme involves a close partnership between the parish, the home and the Catholic school – but if your child does not attend a Catholic school, we will do all we can to prevent them from missing out on anything. Each part of the programme is important as it forms a part of the child’s experience of God which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We hope this will be a very positive experience and we trust that parents will support them at every step of the journey. Catholic parents make a commitment when they bring their children for Baptism, to support them and help them make sense of what is being given as they grow old enough to understand more. It is always wonderful at sacramental programme time to witness parents taking that commitment so seriously.
If your circumstances make it impossible to attend one of the sessions, please let us know and we will make every effort to ensure your child does not miss out. It is our wish to work with you and help in any way we can, so that the children will genuinely be ready for the sacraments.
The Church of Saint Peter in Chains is a Catholic Church in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland. Saint Peter in Chains belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galloway. It is a relatively young Church having been opened in 1938. Most Churches in the surrounding towns are well over a hundred years old. The Parish hopes to re-energise the local Church through authentic witness that can inspire people to rediscover the message of Catholicism.
We hope to play an active part in the New Evangelisation by striving to be “missionary disciples”. This website exists for two reasons. Firstly, it informs the community of Church services and other events and secondly, it records the history of the parish. These aims form our mission statement.