God created us in God’s own image. We are made for relationship and community. The greatest commandment is to love – God, self and neighbour.
In the life of Christ we see and hear about love being poured out for the other. It is in giving that we receive and become our best selves.
So at the heart of the Church’s life are two sacraments that celebrate the priority of love given in service of others: The Sacrament of Marriage and The Sacrament of Holy Orders.
May your abundant blessing Lord come down upon this man and woman.
In happiness may they praise you
In sorrow may they seek you out;
May they have the joy of your presence to assist them in their toil,
And know that you are near to comfort them in their need;
And after a happy old age,
Together with the circle of friends that surrounds them,
May they come to the kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
(Order of Marriage)
In the sacrament of marriage (matrimony) a man and woman publicly commit to give themselves to each other in a loving, faithful and life-long relationship. Unlike other sacraments, the couple ministers this sacrament to each other. The priest is present as a witness, in the name of God and of the community.
Rings are exchanged as signs of the permanence of this loving relationship and are a constant reminder of the daily, life-giving graces which married couples receive through their sacrament.
The sacrament of marriage is important for the wider community because it reminds us of the faithful, never-ending love that God has for humanity and highlights the giving-unto-death love that was so much a part of Jesus' living and dying.
When children are born within the marriage relationship, the whole community rejoices because this particular family community, the domestic church, is contributing to the ongoing life and continuity of the faith community.
If you are interested in marrying within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, please contact your parish. Visit our marriage information page for further information and contact details for Marriage and Relationship Education.
Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practise what you teach. (Diaconal ordination)
Receive the oblation of the holy people, to be offered to God. Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross. (Priestly ordination)
May God, who has made you a sharer of the High Priesthood of Christ, himself pour out upon you the oil of mystical anointing and make you fruitful with an abundance of spiritual blessings. (Episcopal ordination)
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is received by deacons, priests and bishops who are called to the ministry of loving service in the Catholic Church.
Their ministry is modelled on the person of Jesus Christ, who was:
Priest– offering himself in praise of and thanks to God and mediating the love of God, liturgically and in every day opportunities;
Prophet– proclaiming the Word of God and promoting justice, liturgically and in everyday life
Servant-king– the servant leader who washed the feet of the disciples both at the last supper and in his everyday life.
Deacons are called to the service of charity which is expressed through some form of service to society as directed by the bishop. This ministry becomes the context for their liturgical ministry within a parish.
Priests and bishops are called to the service of leadership within the Catholic community.
For more information about holy orders, please visit the Vocations section of the site.