Church of St Francis of Assisi

What is a Sacrament?

A Sacrament is a sign of God's presence on earth. In a sense, the world, flowers and many others are all signs of God's presence but the Church has narrowed them down to 7 major Sacraments.

There are certain signs that need to be present for the Sacrament to be valid: matter and form. 

What is matter?

Matter is a tangible material sign which can be seen.

In simpler terms, matter can also be seen as as a symbol. A symbol is a "snapshot of meaning". When you see this symbol, you are reminded of God's presence. A wedding ring can remind us of fidelity and responsibility. A picture of Blessed Mother Teresa could remind us of charity. A book can remind us of the knowledge it possess or to some students, stress. 

What is form?

Form is the words that accompanies the visible signs of the Sacrament.

The Sacraments

Christ himself instituted the 7 Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Reconciliation, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. These sacraments touch all the stages and important moments of our lives.

The Sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. These Sacraments bring us into the life of Christ and the Church. They lay the foundation of all Christian life.

The Sacraments of Healing are Reconciliation (Confession) and the Anointing of the Sick. These Sacraments bring healing, comfort and strength when people need forgiveness or when they are ill.

The Sacraments at the Service of Communion are Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. They are directed towards the salvation of others as well as personal salvation. Their vocations serve to build up the Church.