SACRAMENTS

We know God is always present to us and always loving us unconditionally. At significant moments of our lives, through rituals using words, actions, elements, and symbols, the Church offers us the Sacraments that lead us into the heart of the mystery of God.

The Sacraments are more than symbolic gestures, but as an action of Christ in the Church, they both signify and effect the very action that Christ seeks to impart through the ministry of the Church. Sacraments are a visible sign of an invisible grace, instituted by Christ. Visibly the Church uses various elements in these rituals (i.e. water, oil, bread/wine, candles, etc.) to symbolize and signify the work of Christ in the life of the person receiving these sacraments.

There are 3 key areas of the sacramental life of the Church: Initiation, Healing and Commitment.

The Sacraments of Initiation are:

Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (1st Holy Communion). These Sacraments are offered to and celebrated by people at 3 key stages of life.

Firstly they are offered to younger children (primary school aged) at various stages after formation and preparation using a small group model (with a number of children gathered with their parent/s and led by a facilitator). Secondly, they are offered to older children/young people (high school aged) after formation and preparation in a group setting, together with their sponsor or parent, through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Youth. Finally, they are offered to adults after formation and preparation with their sponsors in a group format, through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

BAPTISM

“Holy 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. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word’.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1213) Baptism is the primary and preeminent sacrament of the Church, instituted by Christ, that precedes all others. Here a person becomes a Christian.

CONFIRMATION

Following baptism, once a child has reached an age of sufficient maturity (or as an adult), “they are more perfectly bound to the Church by the sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ.” (Lumen Gentium #11) As such Confirmation “is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1285) being a personal acceptance and renewal of their baptismal faith, the fullest reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and a commissioning for Discipleship in the ways of the Lord as a member of the Church.

EUCHARIST

First Holy Communion and the ongoing participation in the celebration of the Eucharist (especially on Sunday) is integral to the beating heart of the life of the Church and to the spiritual life of its people. “The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1322) Following the example of Jesus at the Last Supper, and in fidelity to his instruction to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19) we are called to regularly partake of the Eucharistic sacrifice, “which is the fount and apex of the whole Christian life” (Lumen Gentium #11). Catholics believe that the bread and wine that is offered and consecrated at Mass becomes sacramentally the real presence of Jesus’ body and blood (i.e. transubstantiation).

EUCHARIST

The Sacraments of Healing are:

Reconciliation (or Penance) provided through confession, and Anointing of the Sick. These sacraments can be offered to a baptised person at any stage, and multiple times (especially Reconciliation), as the need arises.

Both the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick symbolise and effect a healing and peace in those who have received them. Reconciliation brings about a healing from sin and broken relationships with God, self, and others. It offers an opportunity for counsel and encouragement to the penitent. The Anointing of the Sick also may bring about the forgiveness of sins if the person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Reconciliation. However it is primarily about offering the sick or dying person strength, peace, and courage from the Holy Spirit.

In the preparation for the sacrament of First Eucharist (Holy Communion) children are generally gently guided through a simplified form of Reconciliation that is sensitive to the vulnerability of the children and is conducted openly within the sight of parents and the community and involves individual confession and absolution.  This constitutes what is known as a 2nd Rite of Reconciliation. Reconciliation for adults and older children who have received all their sacraments of initiation is obtained through a more formal confession. In this 1st Rite of Reconciliation, individuals separately meet with and confess their sins to a priest (either face to face or anonymously behind a screen) and seek absolution (forgiveness) from God through the priest.

RECONCILIATION

This sacrament has different names for different reasons. “It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and communal steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction. It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament.
It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and peace.”6
It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.”7 He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1423-24)

Reconciliation Times

Please note the following regular times for Confession:

Mondays: 9am in the Hinterland church for that week’s Mass. (See Mass schedule)
Tuesdays: 5pm in Tewantin church.
All other times by appointment – please call parish office.

ANOINTING

Anointing of the Sick is a source of healing and comfort for the sick more so than the final act of the church for the dying, even though it forms a part of the ‘Last Rites’.   Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Church for those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. It is a source of comfort and strength for the sick. The Sacrament enables the sick or aged person to be anointed with specially blessed oil, to experience the peace and strength of Jesus Christ, and to be supported by a praying community. Anointing of the Sick is conducted by a priest, who firstly usually lays hands on the head of the person and then anoints their forehead and hands.

Anointings occur by appointment with the priest or during visits by the priests to homes and or hospitals and aged care facilities as required. The sick and their families and friends are encouraged to notify a priest as soon as possible and ask for the sacrament at the onset of serious illness.

The Sacraments of Commitment are:

Marriage (or Matrimony), which is administered by the couple getting married to each other with a priest or deacon assisting at the celebration of a marriage, who receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church; and Holy Orders, which is administered by a bishop, in the ordination of Deacons and Priests as ministers in the Church. These sacraments are often referred to as Sacraments of Commitment or Service.

MARRIAGE

The Rite of Marriage celebrates the distinctive way in which Christian couples experience Christ’s saving love. The sacrament of marriage immerses a couple into the mystery of Christ’s saving love, which touches and transforms their lives.  The rite, through the rich texts, the words of Scripture, and the symbolic gestures, draws them together as a couple and enables the faith community to be strengthened and nourished and renewed.

Marriage in the Church is not the private celebration of the couple or their families and friends. As liturgy of the Church it is the celebration of the whole faith community. In it, the couple publicly give witness to their love for each other and express their hope-filled desire to share their lives as husband and wife, but it also speaks to the gathered people of Christian love and the relationship of Christ and the Church. As marriage is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church at least one party to the marriage (either the bride or groom) must be a baptised Catholic. It’s not necessary for them both to be Catholic. When you get married in a Catholic church you have the option of a ‘Wedding Service’ or a ‘Nuptial Mass’. A Wedding Service celebrates the Liturgy of the Word and includes gospel readings (which you select with your priest) and the Liturgy of Marriage, where you exchange vows and rings and the priest will pray a nuptial blessing over you. A full Nuptial Mass includes the above celebrations and is incorporated into the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

The parish will discuss these options with you and help you choose what’s best for you and your family. We ask that you allow for 6 months prior to your desired wedding day to begin planning and preparing with us for your marriage ceremony. Resources to assist you with pre-preparing your marriage liturgy is available at the following site:   https://shop.liturgybrisbane.net.au/collections/weddings .

Before your wedding day you’ll have the opportunity to complete a pre-marriage education course. It will be an opportunity for you and your partner to discuss your goals for the future, your roles in the relationship, how you’ll deal with conflict, parenting and many other critical things in the lead up to your marriage.  There are a few different options available for couples including private one on one courses or group sessions with other couples. There is even an online course we recommend. All courses are delivered by trained facilitators or professional relationship educators. A link to the Centacare ‘in person’ pre-Marriage preparation course is provided here: https://centacarebrisbane.net.au/marriage-and-relationship/pre-marriage-education/

A priest from the parish will also meet with you as part of your preparations for your marriage.  At that meeting relevant civil and church paperwork will also be completed in preparation for the wedding day, as well as discussion about your choices for the ceremony itself.

HOLY ORDERS

Holy Orders or Ordination gives the ordained person a sacred power in the name and authority of Christ and through the Holy Spirit, to serve the people of God. There are three different orders or dimensions of ordination in the Catholic Church: bishop, priest and deacon. In the Roman Catholic Church, bishops and priests are obliged to celibacy, that is, to remain unmarried. Married men may be ordained as deacons.

After an extensive time of formation, discernment and preparation candidates are presented for ordination to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. In the ordination ceremony, the bishop places his hands on the head of the one being ordained and prays that God will give him the special gifts of the Holy Spirit needed to carry out his ministry.

Those seeking to discern whether they have a calling to be ordained can first contact the parish priest or the Vocations Director of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

EXPLANATORY VIDEOS ON SACRAMENTS

Click on links below for more information on the sacraments…

BAPTISM
CONFIRMATION
EUCHARIST
RECONCILIATION
MARRIAGE
ANNOINTING OF THE SICK
HOLY ORDERS

2022 Sacramental Program

The 2022 Sacramental preparation programs for Reconciliation, 1st Holy Communion and Confirmation have now concluded. Please register your interest with the parish if you or your children wish to participate in the 2023 preparation programs.

MAKE AN ENQUIRY

SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION IN OUR PARISH FOR CHILDREN

By far the most common way we all begin our Christian journey in faith is through our initiation into the Catholic faith as children, guided by our parents, godparents, family, friends, and the community of faith. The sacraments of initiation are about bringing people into a community of faith and are not normally administered in private. As such, these ceremonies are administered at or after Masses or other liturgies held in the churches of the parish.

Our Parish, as a part of the Brisbane Archdiocese, administers the sacraments of initiation in the following order: Baptism, followed by Confirmation, followed by Eucharist (First Holy Communion), followed by Penance (First Reconciliation).

For children the timing of preparation and conferring of these sacraments in the parish in the calendar year is set out below.

NOTE: Pre-booking and registration with the parish office is required in advance.

SACRAMENT
Pre-requisites
When preparation sessions are heldLength of sessions
& ceremony location
BAPTISM
Parent(s) undertake a parish preparation session.  
Preparation sessions held every 1st Saturday of the month at 10am in Tewantin.  About one hour preparation.
Baptism is during a scheduled parish Mass at Tewantin or Sunshine Beach
CONFIRMATION
Child is Baptised.
Child undertakes parish preparation with parent(s).
Generally provided by parish in School Term 3 of the Calendar Year  Introductory session for parent(s) of about one hour.
Four one hour facilitated group sessions for parent(s) and child.
One practice session for parent(s) and child. Confirmation liturgy normally conducted on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon at Sunshine Beach.
 FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Child is Baptised and Confirmed.
Child undertakes parish preparation with parent(s).  
Generally provided by parish in School Term 2 of the Calendar YearIntroductory session for parent(s) of about one hour.
Four one hour facilitated group sessions for parent(s) and child.
One practice session for parent(s) and child.
First Holy Communion provided at a subsequent weekend Masses in the parish.
 FIRST RECONCILIATON
Child is Baptised, Confirmed, and has received First Holy Communion.
Child undertakes parish preparation with parent(s).
Generally provided by parish in School Term 1 of the Calendar YearIntroductory session for parent(s) of about one hour.
Four one hour facilitated group sessions for parent(s) and child.
Reconciliation session conducted at parish church locations at separate times.

SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION IN OUR PARISH FOR ADULTS & YOUTHS

The process by which people who are not young children are brought into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Youths (RCIY).  There are different initiation programs for older youths (RCIY – Rite of Christian Initiation of Youth) and adults (RCIA) to respect the unique formation needs of each group.

The RCIA and RCIY is best described as a journey of faith which passes through a number of different phases, and focuses on conversion of heart and mind to Christ. It is a gradual journey tailored to the needs of the individual – not ‘one-size-fits-all’.

Our parish holds enquiry sessions for those who want to know more about the Catholic Church or who may be interested in becoming a Catholic. After this period of enquiry, some people choose to embark on the RCIA or RCIY journey and become a ‘catechumen’. From the moment someone is received into the ‘catechumenate’ as it is called, a person has been accepted on the journey to becoming a full member of the Christian community. This journey is also open to people who have already been baptised in another mainstream Christian denomination, but who wish to become Catholic – they are known as Candidates.

The RCIA and RCIY processes involves catechumens and candidates meeting regularly with a group of people from the parish to learn about Catholic belief and practice. Various rituals are held in the church at important points along the journey.  The RCIA and RCIY processes are usually timed to ensure that Candidates are fully received into the Catholic Church at either the beginning (Easter Vigil) or end (Pentecost) of the Easter Season. 

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Catholic, the first step is to make contact with the parish office and ask to speak to the Parish Priest. You may also consider attending an ALPHA program with the parish which would be an excellent way to commence your journey of formation. This strongly recommended.