Sacraments of Initiation
and Children

The Sacraments of Initiation are
Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist

When adults ask to become members of the Church, when parents ask for their infant to become members of the Church, and when children of catechetical age ask to become members of the Church, they are all asked the same question:

“What do you ask of the Church?”

In the formal ritual of the Church asking this question, a suggested response for children (of catechetical age) is:

“To be a friend of Jesus Christ.”

This response speaks to the heart of what it means to become a member of the Church, to be initiated into the Church. Through the sacraments of Initiation, we enter a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Through baptism we move beyond being merely friends of Jesus Christ to becoming his sisters and brothers, and children of the Father.

This relationship with God underpins the process and preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation in relation to children at All Saints, Liverpool.

In Baptism we become members of the Church, the Body of Christ. We become children of God through the Sonship of Christ. In baptism we enter into a relationship with God.

Confirmation roots the recipient more deeply in divine sonship, binds us more firmly to Christ and to the Church and reinvigorates the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Eucharist received as Holy Communion increases our union with Christ and with his Church. It preserves and renews the life of grace received at Baptism and Confirmation and makes us grow in love for our neighbour. It strengthens us in charity, wipes away venial sins and preserves us from mortal sin in the future.

For centuries in the Western (Latin) Church this was the order in which these sacraments were celebrated and received.

This is still the order the sacraments are celebrated in the Eastern Catholic Churches, often being celebrated all at same time, even with infants.

In the Latin Church the three sacraments are generally celebrated separately. Some Latin diocese now celebrate Confirmation before Eucharist. In the Archdiocese of Sydney, and therefore at St Thérèse, Eucharist (Holy Communion) is celebrated first followed by Confirmation.

The new life received in Baptism has not abolished the frailty and weakness of human nature, which remains in the baptised such that with the help of the grace of Christ they may prove themselves in the struggle of Christian life.

Reconciliation restores us to the state of grace we possessed after Baptism. We are fully open to the gifts God offers us in the the other sacraments, namely Eucharist (Holy Communion) and Confirmation.

Therefore, preparation for, and celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation is required before preparing for and participating in Holy Communion (Eucharist).