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06/12/2019 01:51 PM 

Catholic Church Holy Rituals
Category: Blogging
Current mood:  cheerful

Rituals of The Catholic Church

By:Constantine Adams

6/12/2019

                Overall, the Catholic believers consist of 1 billion members worldwide. There are also a total of

at least 30 branches of Roman Catholic denominations in the world today.(www.bible.ca) All have their

own individual way of conducting certain rituals, but ultimately; they all keep within the same original

traditions of the Faith and Church. Now, with each ritual comes the blessings and responsibilities that

come along with it. Each ritual has its own significance and specific importance to the individuals who

are receiving the blessing, and the congregation as a whole.

(http://www.bible.ca/catholic-church-hierarchy-organization.htm)

                The spiritual journey of a Catholic believer starts out with what the Church calls “The

Sacraments of Initiation.”  The first step in the process is called the “Rite of Initiation.” Usually

believers are immediately baptized right after their very own birth, and the Confirmation and Eucharist

are preformed much later. It is explained that through the sacraments, a believer is then freed from the

power of darkness. Along with The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they too die, are buried, and through

Him; triumph and rise again. (McBrien pg.805-806) Through this initiation method, the believer then

receives the Spirit of Adoption. This then transforms them into God’s Children, and as God’s people;

they together celebrate the memorial of the Lord’s death and resurrection. Another important point to

note, is that through the motions of baptism, believers are then officially incorporated into Christ.

(McBrien pg.806) By then being thoroughly transformed into God’s people, they then receive full

forgiveness of all of their faults and sins. This realization signifies the believers being thus; further raised

from their old natural human condition and being molded into the new dignity of Christ’s adopted

children. The result is the transformation into a new creation brought about by the Holy Water and the

Holy Spirit. After all of this is completed, they take upon the title and honor of being able to be called

Christ’s Children!(McBrien pg.806)

                The Holy Rite of Baptism goes as follows. First, it is usually celebrated during the Easter Vigil, but

if that is not possible during that certain time; then the whole Ceremony would then have to be done in

a rather celebratory way as if the parties involved were in fact celebrating with the Spirit of Easter. The

process then commences with instruction from the celebrant, then it is followed with a litany. (McBrien

pg.815) The Holy Baptizing Water is then thoroughly prayed over and lucifer is then renunciated in the

Mighty Name Of Jesus Christ! Next, the anointing with the oil of catechumens, and the profession of

Faith. The pouring of the Holy Water is then preformed followed closely by the invocation of the Holy

Trinity regarding the name of the person who is officially being Baptized. The individual is then called

out by name and is Baptized by The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. This is also known as the

Trinitarian Formula. Anointing, the clothing with the white garment, and the presentation of the lighted

candle then come next to conclude the Divine process.(McBrien pg.815)

                The next step that a Catholic believer must follow through with, is the ritual of the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is very important because it deals with one of the three situations concerning Christ’s Holy

Body and Blood. It symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice using the Consecration of the Mass, Holy Communion,

and the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist is also considered the most important of all seven Sacraments

to the Catholic people.(Brighenti and Trigilio pg.105) Catholics firmly believe that during the ritual, the

bread and wine are not only the body and blood of Jesus Christ; but are actually the soul and divinity of

the Messiah. “Real Presence” is the term used during this very sacred time, because it symbolizes the

Catholic believers as being able to really sense Christ’s presence in the room with them.(Brighenti and

Trigilio pg.105) M. Basil Pennington’s book “The Eucharist: Wine of Faith, Bread of Wine,” states that

“The creed makes us aware of our dependence: God is the Maker, we are the made; God is the Savior,

we are the saved. It makes us aware, too, of how much we are loved: “for us and our salvation.” It

makes us aware of what has been promised to us, and so we can confidently pray.”(Pennington pg.35)

                The term “Eucharist” is a derivative from the Greek pronunciation “Eucharistein,” which

translates in modern day English as “Thanks Giving.” In this particular instance, the Catholic folks are

taking this specific time to give thanks to Jesus for providing them with the bread from Heaven. This

bread from Heaven is the Holy Eucharist, and is necessary to feed, uplift, and nourish their

souls!(Brighenti and Trigilio pg.105)

Jesus Christ also gave thanks at The Last Supper as stated in (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24;

Mark 14:23; Matthew 26:27). In the time of Christ, meals shared with people symbolized concepts like

peace, trust, and communality.(McBrien pg.820) This next quotation straight out of Richard P. McBrien’s

book “Catholicism,” further sums up the true ancient essence of preforming the Eucharist. “But Jesus

identified the bread and wine with his own body and blood. And sensing his own impending death, he

speaks of himself as a sacrifice. Just as the unleavened bread is broken, so will his body be broken. And

just as the wine is poured out, so will his blood. All four texts agree that Jesus’ death is an atonement

and establishes a new Covenant. The Jews, in fact, regarded every death of an innocent person as an

atoning death, and Jesus saw his own death in this light.” (McBrien pg.821)

                The concept of Conformation is another big step that a Catholic believer must take in according

to the fulfillment of the overall rite of passage . This serves as a sort of “coming of age” moment for a

Catholic believer as they become more fully and thoroughly molded into the Body of Jesus Christ. The

whole and primary objective of the art of Conformation, is to further strengthen, grow, and mature the

soul of the believer. It is rather properly explained in Brighenti and Trigilio’s book “Catholicism for

Dummies,” where it states “It builds on what was begun in Baptism and what was nourished in Holy

Eucharist. It completes the process of initiation into the Christian community, and it matures the soul for

the work ahead.”(Brighenti and Trigilio pg.109)

                Brighenti and Trigilio also state that “The Byzantine Church confirms (chrismates) at Baptism

and gives Holy Eucharist as well, thus initiating the new Christian all at the same time.”(Brighenti and

Trigilio pg.109) When a Catholic believer is just a baby, the Church holds a great ceremony where the

child’s parents and new God Parents all unite before a Bishop to dedicate the young one to the safety

and glory of Jesus Christ. The soul of the child is then dedicated to the fellowship of God. Yet, at

Confirmation, the same vow to The Savior is then being renewed by the child at an older age. This way,

it shows the child as taking the responsibility, honor, and initiative in means of upholding this Holy creed

and vow for themselves; without the influence or meddling of their parents or God Parents.(Brighenti

and Trigilio pg.109) Still, it is required that a new Catholic believer must commence in the completion of

CCD or (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) before this whole process can be followed through with.

“Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” are just a set of prerequisite religious educational classes that are

used to prepare the new believer for their spiritual journey that is at hand.

                It is known in the Catholic community that the Holy Spirit is first bestowed upon a new believer

the very first moment that they are baptized in the Holy Water. In the midst of the ceremony, the Holy

Trinity is set upon them, thus symbolizing The Father, Son, and The Holy Ghost. Now, at Confirmation,

all three entities once again are set on the new believer at the same time as a reflection of

Pentecost.(Brighenti and Trigilio pg.109)

                (Acts 2:1-4) thus, references “The Feast of Pentecost” where the Holy Spirit descended out of

Heaven to earth where it’s power was bestowed upon the 12 apostles and Jesus Christ’s mother, the

Virgin Mary. The occasion took place for 50 days after Easter and exactly 10 days after Jesus Christ

commenced in His Ascension.(Brighenti and Trigilio pg.109) The 12 apostles were then given certain

special gifts from Christ and the Holy Spirit at this time. These gifts or “fruits of the Spirit,” were charity,

joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and

chastity. (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.110) These gifts are then further strengthened by the Holy Ghost. The

Holy Spirit also granted the apostles the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge,

piety, and the fear of the Lord. These final seven gifts are known as supernatural graces that are

bestowed generously upon the soul of the believer. (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.110)

                There are a total of four major steps when completing the Sacrament of Conformation. First off,

the Confirmation ceremony takes place within the Mass itself, or can take place outside of it. In either

instance, the Bishop will traditionally come dressed in his red vestments to symbolize the red tongues of

fire that were seen hovering over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost. (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.110)

Next, the believer that is going to be Confirmed steps forth accompanied by their sponsor.

Canonical requirements concerning God Parents in the Baptism Ceremony also apply to the concept

concerning the ceremony for Conformation. When looking at Baptism, the child’s parents pick out their

God Parents, but for Confirmation; the child picks out their own sponsor for the ceremony. (Brighenti

and Trigilio pg.111) The child can choose their original God Parents again, or they can select someone

new that they would like to also include in their rite of passage.  The only requirement is that the

sponsor has to be a believer themselves, and they have to be older than the age of 16. One sponsor is

chosen for Confirmation, while usually two are chosen at Baptism. (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.111)

Thirdly, the new Catholic believer is then presented with the option of whether or not they want

to choose a new extra name to add on to their original official name. When a child is Baptized, the

parents named them. The child at that point had no say so in the ordeal, but at Confirmation; an

additional name can be chosen by the individual believer for themselves! (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.111)

 This can be exciting for the believer if they choose to add this new name in between their original first

and middle name, or they can just bypass this whole scenario and keep their original name the way it

was. The only stipulation is that if the new believer were to choose a new name, they would have to

only choose a Christian name from the Bible. It could be a Saint or a hero in the Holy Bible. Yet, one

cannot choose a villain from the Bible as their name, like Goliath or Pharaoh for example. Also secular

names are not proper to choose from for such an occasion. (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.111)

                Lastly, the new believer that is now being Confirmed either kneels or stands in front of the

Bishop who is overseeing them. The believer’s sponsor then places a hand on their shoulder. The new

believers Confirmation name is then spoken by the Bishop who then places Chrism Oil onto the new

believer’s forehead. (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.111)  The Bishop then addresses the new believer by their

new name and says to them “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” After the new believer will then

respond with “Amen.” The Bishop will then answer them with “peace be with you.” The new believer

would then respond with “And with your spirit.” (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.111)

                Usually, the process of Conforming new Catholics is the Bishop’s responsibility amongst his

own specific diocese. Although, just normal priests can be given the right to Confirm grown-ups who are

converting to Catholicism from another religion. This happens when the people involved are brought

into the full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil and they’ve attended the

“Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” or (RCIA) program at the Church. Non-believers who are trying to

convert to the Faith are obligated to take these classes.” (Brighenti and Trigilio pg.111)

                In a sit down interview with Reverent Benjamin D. Hoang, he explained to me the various

occupations, programs, and duties of the people within Saint Anthony Claret Church. He told me that

every Church is different, and each one has it’s own customs. Their Church in particular possesses a

Parish Manager, Official Church Secretary, Financial Council, Pastoral Council, Catechists{or those of

which who teach Catechism}, an RCIA Program that is geared to teach classes to new comers of the

Faith, and to teach them what it really means to be Catholic, a house keeper, security, maintenance

crew, youth ministry, Religious Education Program, which is also geared towards children, marriage

preparation, and Confirmation. “The RCIA Programs are very important,” says Reverent Hoang. “We

emphasize these, because it is essential to the new comers of the Faith to properly learn about what it is

to uphold the title if being a Catholic, and how to properly conduct themselves in society after they have

walked that route and transformed their lives.”

                Ultimately, people are all looking for something more in life, they are reaching out for

something from deeper within their hearts, souls, and spirits. People want to get closer to God, to get

closer to the Messiah…Jesus Christ. Catholicism provides people with a clear route, and a rite of passage

to achieve this. The Holy Sacraments of Catholicism are beautiful it the way that it provides people with

a sort of Divine blue print that follows them from birth, to adolescence, to adulthood, to marriage, and

then to their very last breathe. Catholicism’s Sacraments are truly a celebration of Christ’s gift of life. It is

an enduring and heartfelt process that pushes believers physically, mentally, emotionally, and

spiritually. It’s a growth process that is well worth it, for it teaches Catholics that one can triumph over

the hard times in life, and that with a focused sense of determination and discipline; one can resist the

temptations of satan to become a better person. Yet, I think that the main point and purpose of the

Catholic rite of passage is to show that every moment of life can be celebrated as a miracle; and all

things are possible through Jesus Christ! 

 

 

               

               

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited Page

Brighenti, Kenneth and Trigilio, John. “Catholicism For Dummies.” Indiana: Wiley Publishing, 2003.

McBrien , P. Richard. “Catholicism.” New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.

Pennington, M. Basil. “The Eucharist: Wine Of Faith, Bread Of Life.” Missouri: Liguori/ Triumph Publications, 2000.

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