Vocational Sacraments are the Sacraments at the service of communion
- Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are the Sacraments of Christian initiation. They make us disciples of Christ and give us the vocation to holiness and the mission to evangelize the world. They are primarily for our own salvation.
- Holy Orders and Marriage are directed towards the salvation of others. They give us a particular mission in the Church and the duty to serve and build up the People of God.
What is Holy Orders
- Holy Orders is the Sacraments by which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church.
- There are three degrees of Holy Orders: deacons, priests, bishops.
- Jesus instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper
- Only baptized and confirmed men are eligible to receive Holy Orders. This tradition comes from the fact that Jesus only appointed men to be his Apostles. It’s not that He didn’t value women, He had other important roles for them.
- Men must be unmarried to be ordained a Bishop or priest. Men in the diaconate are allowed to be married.
How to Sacrament is celebrated
During the ordination Mass, the Bishop will lay his hands on the head of the candidate for ordination and pray the prayer of consecration asking God to grant the candidate the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry.
- Apostolic Succession- We have an unbroken line of ordinations of Bishops that can be traced all the way back to Jesus Himself.
- Just like Baptism, Holy Orders imprints an indelible mark on the priest’s soul. This means, once he is ordained a priest, he is always a priest.
Why Holy Orders is important
- Priests, bishops, and deacons make it possible for us to receive the Sacraments. Without them, we would not be able to receive God’s grace and salvation through the Church.
- The Church asks us to pray for holy men to respond to God’s call to the priesthood and diaconate.
- Marriage is not just a social contract, it is a Sacrament when celebrated between two baptized people. It is a sign of the love of Christ and the Church.
Read Ephesians 5:31-32:
- The Sacrament gives the couple the grace to love each other with the love that Christ had for His Bride, the Church.
- This is a calling of service, just as Holy Orders are. In order for a man and woman to be married lawfully and receive the graces given to them, marriages have to be:
- Free- you cannot be forced or coerced into marriage
- Total- you are called to give yourself completely to the other person
- Fruitful- you are called to accept the gift of children lovingly and raise them in the Church
- Faithful- you belong only to one another
We hear these four components in the marriage vows: “Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your life? Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?” (Rite of Marriage)
The family is often called “the domestic church”
- The family is where we first hear the Gospel message and learn about our faith.
- We must pray for strong and holy marriages