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What is a Sacrament?

The Latin word Sacramentum means “a sacred sign.” Sacraments are signs of sacred things. According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Sacraments, understood as coming from Jesus the Saviour, are not just signs or signify Divine grace, they also engender that grace in our souls. The widely held definition of a sacrament was the one given by Peter Lombard in the Twelfth century: A sacrament is in such a manner an outward sign of inward grace. When one receives any sacrament, it is a special occasion for experiencing divine presence because that sacrament causes grace in one’s soul.

Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life:1 they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1210


When we approach the Sacraments we are approaching an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ, which is why we ask that when you are considering any of the Sacraments for yourself or for your children, please introduce yourselves to Fr Etienne or Fr Chapple, after one of our weekend Masses. At Mass the Christian people gather to encounter together the Risen Christ, who comes to us most beautifully in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Of course for the Anointing of the Sick, please ring the Presbytery so the one of our Priests can respond as soon as possible. It is a vital part of our faith that the priest accompanies the sick and dying with the peace and serenity of Christ.


Any other questions or enquiries can be directed to the Presbytery.

01772 796053

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