St. Edward the Confessor
33926 Calle La Primavera
Dana Point, CA 92629
Phone: (949) 496-1307
San Felipe de Jesus Chapel
26010 Domingo Ave.
Capistrano Beach, CA 92624
Phone: (949) 493-8918
Each of the great mysteries or sacraments of the Church consists of a ritual celebration involving a complex of gestures and words that together form the mystery being celebrated. Yet the various gestures and words can also be mysteries in themselves, even thought they are building blocks from which is formed the structure of the larger celebration. Often these foundational mysteries are common, every day gestures or words that receive added meaning because of the context in which they are used.
Jesus recognized the extraordinary significance of ordinary things: a simple touch, a gentle word, a shared meal. Throughout his ministry great significance was given to what may at first have seemed to most ordinary of gestures, objects, or words - and this transfiguration of the ordinary fills us with awe.
The foundational mysteries common to nearly all the sacraments - such as placing a hand on a person's head, standing in reverence, walking in procession, greeting and responding, sensing the fragrance of incense or chrism - draw us deeper into the great sacramental mysteries we gather to celebrate. Since these gestures and words are so common in our ritual celebrations, we may tend to overlook their significance. Yet without them, the great mysteries evaporate into nothingness.
Paul reminds us: "all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (GAL 3:27). Being clothed in Christ should mean that others can recognize God's loving presence in our words and deeds, as they were seen in the words and deeds of Christ. Participation in the mystery of baptism is a sharing in the mystery that is Christ. Care must be taken that those who are baptized (or their parents and godparents) understand the implications of the great mystery in which they have been immersed.
The mystery of confirmation is the mystery of Pentecost, the mystery of the presence of God's life-giving Spirit empowering Christians to witness to Christ. It is the mystery of being able to call upon God as Jesus did, using the intimate, endearing word: "Abba, Father" (GAL 4:6, ROM 8:15).
The mystery of reconciliation and the sacrament through which the Church makes present forgiveness to Christians is the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection, the mystery of the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of sins. It is the mystery of the God who so loved the world that Jesus, the only Son of God, was sent so that those who believe might have life and avoid condemnation (cf. JN 3:16, 18).
The mystery of the eucharist is the central liturgical mystery of our faith since it is the mystery of God's love and of Christ's abiding presence. It is the mystery of a God who nourishes us and promises to be with us always. It is the paschal mystery of Christ's death and resurrection, for "each time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes" (1COR 11:26).
Anointing the Sick & Funerals
Death is the great unknown, yet for a Christian, the death of Jesus is the source of our hope, since it was through death that Jesus gained eternal life. The mystery of death is one of the greatest mysteries that a Christian can participate in, for it completes his or her union with Christ that was begun in baptism, a baptism into Christ's death, as St. Paul proclaims.
The intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws... Christ our Lord has abundantly blessed this love, which is rich in its various features, coming as it does from the spring of divine love and modeled on Christ's own union with the Church... Spouses, therefore, are fortifies and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament.
- VATICAN COUNCIL II, THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD, N. 48
Each in their own way, bishops, presbyters, and deacons, have accepted the task to preach the gospel, to teach the faithful, and to care for the less fortunate. Though the ministry of each order has evolved over the centuries, what remains the same is service of the Church both in society and at worship.
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