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Tuesday, 25 August 2015 04:57

Lake Kopiago - Part 4 - Sacraments

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 The main purpose for our pastoral visit to St Rupert Parish, Lake Kopiago was for the blessing of the new church building... however, we soon discovered that there were many other inspiring aspects to our visit.

 One of those was celebrated on Sunday as several children were welcomed into the church through the Sacrament of Baptism and over thirty people received the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

I have often said that buidling A church is relatively easy when compared with the task of building THE Church.  The first is a project that has a beginning and end.  The second is ongoing and will never be finished in our day.

The beautiful part for our pastoral visit to Lake Kopiago is that we were able to witness both of these important endeavors before our eyes: Firstly, the beautiful new church building was blessed and we have already written about it in another article; Secondly, in the celebration of the Sacraments, we had wonderful evidence of the growth of THE Church.

Seven children were baptized in the inspiring and enthusiastic celebration.  Parents and Godparents had been prepared by Father Jerome and catechists.  They had to pass an 'exam' before they would be permitted to baptize their children at this time.  Father Jerome follows faithfully the practice of the Church that people should be well prepared before receiving the Sacraments.

The introductory rites were then performed.

The water, the rich sacramental sign of baptism, was then blessed by the bishop.

Next, the parents and Godparents were questioned by the bishop regarding the renunciation of sin and the profession of faith.  These 'baptismal promises' were also renewed in person, but the candidtates who were to later receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Then, one by one, the families approached the font and presented their children for baptism.  The joy of the families and of the entire parish family was palpable.  And, miraculously, none of the children cried!

After the baptisms, the Sacred Chrism used to anoint the altar and walls of the church just a few days earlier was now used to anoint the newly baptised expressing how the children are now incorporated into Christ, Priest, Prophet and King.  The families were also provided with a lighted candle symbolizing the light of Christ now shining in the hearts of the newly baptised.  Parents and God parents are to keep that light burning.

After the baptisms, the young people and some adults were called forward for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  It is a part of these Sacraments that people are called by their name.  Even though there many be many to be baptized or confirmed, God calls us by name and knows each of us and our joys and sorrows.

After the prayer of invocation of the Holy Spirit - hands extended over those to be confirmed, the bishop then sat down, was presented with the Sacred Chrism once again and, one by one those to be confirmed came forward.  "By this Holy Anointing, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!"  The choir sang a beautiful hymn calling on the Holy Spirit as the bishop conferred this meaningful Sacrament on the young people.

After the conferral of Baptism and Confirmation, the Holy Mass continued.  Theologically and sacramentally, the Eucharist itself is considered the completion of Christian Initiation.  Baptism brings the cleansing water of new life.  Confirmation confers the fire of the Holy Spirit for the building up of the Church. And the Eucharist is true food which strengthens us for mission.  All the Sacraments help to conform us to the Person of Jesus Christ.

Coming to Lake Kopiago, we were blessed to see the building of A church as well as the building up of THE Church!

Read 1027 times Last modified on Friday, 11 September 2015 09:30

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