Sacraments

Sacraments

In the Catholic Church, the Sacraments are the major “hinges” of our common life. They mark the most important points in our lives: the birth of a child and coming to faith, joining the family of the Church to receive the Body and Blood Christ, the acceptance of God’s call as a plan for one’s life, the onset of age and illness. We recognize that at these particular times and situations, God gives His people grace in a unique and powerful way. The Church holds that there are seven sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Confession, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick. Information about these sacraments can be found under the appropriate sections below.  

Please contact the church office with any questions about any of the Sacraments at (607) 754-1266. 

Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation, and the first Sacrament every Catholic receives. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following the witness of Sacred Scripture, teaches that Baptism is “the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC 1213). The sacrament is celebrated according to the Rite of Baptism, in which water is poured over the head of the person being baptized, and the minister recites the appropriate Trinitarian formula. It has long been the practice of the Catholic Church to baptize infants as soon as possible after birth. If you are interested in having your child baptized Church of the Holy Family, we ask you to contact the parish office. First-time parents are asked to attend a pre-baptismal class. Parents are also asked to select godparents who are baptized Catholics. Adults who have not yet been baptized may participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process. Again, for more information, we encourage you to contact the parish office.

We hold that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday is the defining act of the Church as the People of God, when we gather to worship God and give Him thanks by celebrating anew the Paschal mystery. 

Some helpful resources

Confession “Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason forgiveness entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.” (CCC 1440) We offer the sacrament of Reconciliation Saturday at 3 PM. Fr. Clarence will also hear confessions by appointment. 

Some helpful resources

In Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church, and are enriched with a special strength of the Hoy Spirit. Hence, they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” (CCC 1285)

Confirmation at Church of the Holy Family typically takes place as part of our Faith Formation program. Preparation to receive this Sacrament begins in ninth grade and culminates with the reception of Confirmation at the hands of the Bishop of Syracuse in the fall of the students’ sophomore year. Adults who have not yet received Confirmation may do so through the RCIA. For more information, see our Faith Formation tab.

Matrimony  The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws…. God himself is the author of marriage.” The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity,88 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.” (CCC 1603) 

Engaged couples who wish to be married at Church of the Holy Family are asked to contact us at least 6 months in advance. Please feel free to contact us by email or by phone. Couples will participate in a pre-marital interview, the Pre-Cana education program, and planning of the Wedding Liturgy.               

The Sacrament of Holy Orders constitutes one of the Sacraments of vocation, along with Matrimony.  In Holy Orders, a man is ordained a deacon, priest, or bishop.  If you think you may be hearing a call from God to serve him as a priest or deacon, we encourage you to visit our Diocesan Vocations site and to contact one of the Vocations team members. 

Visit: https://vocations-syracuse.org

Anointing of the Sick  “Is anyone among you suffering?  He should pray.  Is anyone among you in good spirits?  He should sing praise.  Is anyone among you sick?  He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will raise him up.  If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:13-15) 

Catholics who are in danger due to ill health, advanced age, or serious medical needs including surgery should contact the parish as soon as possible to receive the Anointing of the Sick.  It is important to contact us sooner rather than later, so that a priest may be sent to the sick person as quickly as possible.  During the coronavirus pandemic, our access to hospitals and nursing homes has been very limited, so we may not be able to visit parishioners in those environments as regularly.