The Seven Sacraments
“We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the water of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.” ~From The Rite of Baptism.
This prayer, used to bless the water of baptism, tells the whole story of why Christians have celebrated this rite from the earliest days of church history. Baptism makes us members of The Body of Christ, unites us with his death and rising, washes away sin and confers God’s abundant grace so that we may lead lives of holiness. No small matter, even for a small child!
Baptism, by its very nature, is available to any person of any age. Adult candidates for baptism are normally prepared for the sacrament through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.), a process which culminates in all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) at the Easter Vigil. Prospective candidates should call the parish office to inquire about this process.
At Christ the King Parish, parents who wish to have a child baptized attend two classes, on the first and second Sunday of the month from 2 to 3 p.m. in the parish hall. Currently these sessions are offered in Spanish. For English baptismal preparation, please call the parish office to make arrangements.
Godparents must be at least 16 years old, baptized, confirmed practicing Catholics. If married, the marriage must be in good standing with the church.
Concerning “Godparents” of Infants:
The Catholic Church asks that a sponsor, together with the child’s parents, present the child for baptism. The sponsor must be a confirmed and practicing Catholic, usually at least 16 years old. The role of the sponsor is to help the child lead a Christian life in keeping with the child’s baptismal dignity.
A baptized person of a non-Catholic Christian community may serve, together with a Catholic sponsor, as a Christian witness of the baptism. A Christian witness of the baptism, like the sponsor, should be a practicing Christian, at least 16 years old, and willing to help the child lead a Christian life.
Sponsors and Christian witnesses are frequently called godparents. Christ the King Parish will record at most two godparents in the baptismal register, at least one of whom must be a sponsor as described in the first paragraph.
“Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” With these words, along with a cross of sacred chrism placed on the forehead of the one being confirmed, one’s initiation into the Church is complete. Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation – these are the three Sacraments of Initiation.
At Christ the King parish, and throughout the Diocese of Kilgore, Confirmation is celebrated at the same time as First Communion. The requirements for receiving both sacraments are substantially the same: that the candidate has reached “the age of reason,” and that he or she is properly instructed in the meaning and significance of the sacrament.
Debate continues as to the proper age for this sacrament. Consider that our brothers and sisters in The Orthodox Church receive all three Sacraments of Initiation at the same time, on the day of Baptism, usually as an infant. Consider as well that every sacrament, as “an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace” (do you remember the old Baltimore Catechism?) is freely available to anyone who seeks it and who has no impediments to doing so.
For more information about preparing your child for these sacraments, or if you are an adult interested in being initiated into the Church, please contact the parish office.
“On the Lord’s own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join you. On the Lord’s own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations. [Mal 1:11,14].”
~~ From the Teachings of the Twelve Apostles, 90 A.D.
Libraries and websites are dedicated to the centrality of The Eucharist. Saint Augustine may have said it best: “Become what you eat, The Body of Christ.” At Mass we not only remember the life-giving sacrifice of Christ, but we make it present today and carry His redeeming grace with us to wherever we go. The ancient practice of frequent reception of this sacrament is the preeminent path to holiness for Catholic and Orthodox Christians, because we do not believe in a symbolic representation of Christ in the bread and wine of The Eucharist, but in His “Real Presence.”
“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Has it been a while since you have experienced the healing grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Are you unsure of how this sacrament is celebrated? The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has provided a rich teaching resource here.
Learn what the Catechism teaches about this sacrament here.
Find a guide on how to go to confession here.
At Christ the King, the sacrament is available every Saturday in English from 4:15-4:45 p.m., or anytime by appointment.
“God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. (Gen 1:27) Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: ‘And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.”(Gen 1:28)” ~Catechism of the Catholic Church – 1604
Weddings at Christ The King
Please make arrangements six months in advance of the proposed wedding date. The Diocesan marriage preparation program will be required. Contact the parish office to learn more.
Anointing of the Sick
“Christ’s compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that ‘God has visited his people’ (Lk 7:16) and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins (Mk 2:5-12); he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. (Mk 2:17) His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: ‘I was sick and you visited me.’ (Mt 25:36) His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them.” ~Catechism of the Catholic Church -1503
Anointing of the Sick is not just for the dying, but for anyone who is seriously ill. This sacrament is available anytime. Contact Fr. Henao through the parish office. In an emergency, call 903-617-8419.
“Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.” ~Catechism of the Catholic Church – 1536
A Definition of the Three Degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders
Bishops (episcopate) are those who have care of multiple congregations and have the task of appointing, ordaining, and disciplining priests and deacons. They are often called ‘evangelists’ in the New Testament. Examples of first century bishops include Timothy and Titus (1 Tim. 5:19-22, 2 Tim. 4:5, Titus 1:5).
Priests (presbyterate) are also known as “presbyters” or “elders.” In fact, the English term “priest” is simply a contraction of the Greek word “presbuteros.” They have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and performing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17, Jas. 5:14-15).
Deacons (diaconate) are the assistants of the bishops and have the task of teaching and administering certain church functions, such as the distribution of food (Acts 6:1-6).
For more information about discerning a vocation to the diaconate, priesthood or consecrated religious life, visit the diocesan vocations site by clicking here.