Sacraments

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Baptism

Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to all the other sacraments.  Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become brothers and sisters of Christ, are incorporated into the Body of Christ, the Church, and made sharers in Christ ministry of reconciliation.

For parents whose own active life of faith moves them to want their children Baptized the first step is to contact the Parish Office - 207-797-7026.  (further info see parish guidelines?) Older youth or adults seeking Baptism or those already Baptized as Christians but who wish to join the Catholic Church are prepared and guided through the parish RCIA program (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). 

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Confirmation

Confirmation is celebrated after a person is Baptized.  The church in Maine is following this ancient order. Baptism completes what has begun in Baptism and more perfectly binds a person to the Church in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Along with Baptism and the Eucharist, Confirmation is a “sacrament of initiation.�?Our parish faith formation program helps prepare parents and their children for Confirmation and Eucharist in grades 2-3.  Faith Formation Office - 207-358-7576.  Older youth or adults would prepare for Confirmation and Eucharist through the RCIA program.

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Holy Eucharist

The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation and is a participation in the ongoing Passion and Resurrection of Christ.  Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and when we celebrate Eucharist we participate in the Easter mystery of Christ’s on-going Passion and Resurrection. Each Sunday, then, is a reminder of Easter, and it is important that we “keep holy the Lord’s day�?each Sunday, joining with the community to celebrate Jesus�?gift of life and offering our own lives toward the advance of God’s purposes in the world.

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Reconciliation

Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we ask for and receive the Lord’s forgiveness. The  sacrament of reconciliation (sometimes also called Penance or Confession) is a time to speak with a priest about the state of your relationship with God, with other people and with yourself and to invite God’s healing mercy and to be reconciled to the community. Reconciliation is celebrated each week at our churches (St. Joseph Church - Saturday - 2:30 to 3:00 PM // St. Pius X Church - Saturday - 3:30 to 4:00 PM) and at special times during the year and can be arranging by speaking to one of the parish priests.

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Anointing of the Sick

The tradition of the Church back to St. James invites us send for the priests so that the sick might be anointed with oil blessed for this purpose. The grace of the sacrament is one of healing and comfort for the person who is sick and often for family members as well. It is also a sacrament of the forgiveness of sin.  Anyone who is advanced age  is invited to receive this sacrament.  Those anticipating a hospital procedure are urged to receive the sacrament prior to going to the hospital. Formerly called “Last Rites,�? (because in the normal course of life it is the third time a person is anointed: baptism, confirmation, and sacrament of the sick), it is not the sacrament of the dying. There are special prayers and blessings for a person who is dying.  This sacrament is best celebrated while the ill person is able to be alert and participate in the blessing him or her- self.  The sacrament of the sick can be arranged by contacting the Parish Office - 207-797-7026 or speaking to one of the priests.


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Matrimony

Catholics consider matrimony a sacrament, a promise by the Risen Christ to be with the couple in their lives together. In this sacrament a man and a woman establish a covenanted partnership of the whole of their lives for their own well-being and for their children. The sacrament of matrimony is distinct from the legal status of marriage, regulated by the State. In this country (though not all), the State recognizes marriages celebrated by authorized clergy as legal. Our Lady of Hope has prepared a
wedding guide
to help couples as they prepare to celebrate this sacrament. Couples should contact the Parish Office - 207-797-7026 at least six months in advance of a planned wedding date, prior to making other arrangements.

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Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to the apostles and Church continues to be exercised by those called by God and the Church. It includes three degrees: episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests), and diaconcate. Those who are seeking to determine if they are being drawn by God to ordained ministry are invited to speak with one of the parish priests. The diocese of Portland also has resources available to assist you.  (Contact info)






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Funeral Planning

There is great spiritual and psychological wisdom in the Church’s traditional funeral customs.

Following a death, when a family or funeral director contacts the parish, there is an opportunity for the family to meet with the priest who will celebrate the funeral. This is a time to select Scripture readings, choose music and other parts of the service and to share cherished thoughts about the person who has died, or perhaps begin the process of healing of hurts that may be there.  The staff of Our Lady of Hope urges families to have this meeting.

A wake or visitation, often omitted today, is helpful for several reasons.  It gives the immediate family and friends the time needed to adjust to the reality of the death that has occurred and to respond to that death. A wake provides an opportunity for friends and community members to express their love and concern, to fulfill a basic human need to do something at such a time. Very often seeing the love others have for your loved one and hearing stories about how that person touched them and made a difference in their lives is a source of healing and consolation for those who are grieving. The wake, is, also, a time for the church community to offer its prayers for the deceased person and his or her family.

The funeral Mass is the next step in offering up the loved one to God and giving thanks for his or her life. At the Mass we pray for God’s blessing on the person and on those who remain, and we are reminded of and reflect on the power of Christ’s promise of eternal life. While telling stories about the deceased is important at the wake, at the funeral Mass the homily is centered on our Christian faith and hope.

A final step in the celebration is the prayer of committal at the cemetery. As a person’s body or ashes are laid to rest we again commend that one to the love of God, ask God’s blessing on their place of rest, and seek the graces of consolation for one another.

Note:   A full funeral Mass may be celebrated in the presence of the cremains (ashes). Out of respect for the dignity of the human body, the Church asks that the ashes be buried in a blessed place.

Our Lady of Hope parish has prepared a guide for families planning a funeral.  (Contact: Parish Office - 207-797-7026)