Sacraments of Initiation

Sacraments of Initiation

The initiative is always with God. God created us in God’s image and breathed the breath of the divine life into us.  God loves us as we are and invites us to share in the divine life: to be one with God; immersed in God; held by God; encircled by a love that knows no bounds.

Those who choose to accept this invitation to live in relationship with God within the Catholic faith do so by participating in the process of Christian Initiation.  This is how we express our YES to God.

This process has three key steps: baptism, confirmation, eucharist.

In the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle the Sacraments of Initiation for children are administered according to the diocesan policy ‘Becoming Disciples’.

For more information about baptism, and to begin the process of Christian Initiation for babies, children or adults, contact your local parish. If you are not sure which is your parish contact the Office of Life and Faith.

Adults can research the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults on the Becoming a Catholic page.

Baptism

I baptise you – in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

You have clothed yourself in Christ.

You have been enlightened by Christ.

(Rite of Baptism)

Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian Initiation.  In baptism we are made one with Christ and a member of the Church.  We are claimed by Christ when we are marked with the sign of the cross and joined to Christ as we are baptised with water – in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

We are anointed with oil, clothed in our baptismal garment and given our baptismal candle.  All these actions are signs that we have committed ourselves to the life-long journey of putting on Christ and making the mind of Christ our own.  

As we take our places as new members of the Catholic Church, we know that the community, its liturgy and prayer, and the mission of God it pursues, will sustain us on this journey.

The sacrament of baptism is received only once. Since Vatican II, the Catholic Church recognises the validity of baptism in the other Christian churches which baptise with water using the Trinitarian formula.  

To receive a copy of your baptism certificate, please contact the parish where the baptism took place.

Confirmation

Pour out the Holy Spirit upon them
to confirm them with his abundant gifts,
and through his anointing
conform them more fully to Christ, the son of God.

Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Peace be with you.  Amen.

(Order of Confirmation)

Confirmation is the second Sacrament of Christian Initiation. The Bishop, as leader of the diocesan Church community (or his delegate) administers confirmation.  Through the Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Chrism our baptismal commitment is confirmed.  Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom and understanding, counsel and fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord – we are strengthened to live more truly and responsibly as disciples of Jesus and members of the Church committed to pursuing the mission of Jesus today.

Eucharist

The Word of the Lord. Amen
The Body of Christ. Amen

Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
All glory and honour is yours. Amen.

(Roman Missal)

The process of Christian Initiation is completed when the person comes to the table to receive communion for the first time.

We believe eucharist makes the Church. The Church is made:

  • in the gathering of the community, on Sunday – the Lord’s day,
  • in listening to and reflecting on God’s word spoken to us in the scripture
  • in the offering of our lives to God by joining ourselves to Christ’s offering
  • in our personal and communal transformation in this action
  • in our being sent to live as disciples of Jesus, continuing the mission of Jesus in the world.

This is how the Church is made.  This is how I become a disciple, as I return each Sunday to be nourished by the Word of God and the Body of Christ.  This is how we pursue the life-long process of initiating ourselves into the life of God.

When we 'do' eucharist in this way, a wonderful transformation can happen within us and within our families, our society and in our world.