Three weeks, three sacraments
The seven sacraments are a big deal in the Catholic faith. We believe sacraments are outward signs of God’s grace. Those who are born Catholic typically receive more than half of them, four to be exact, by the time they graduate high school.
It all starts with baptism, which is received as an infant. Next comes reconciliation (formerly known as confession), then first communion and then confirmation, in which young adults profess their faith and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Most Catholics will also partake in holy matrimony and many will receive annointing of the sick. The one that most of us – indeed none of us who are female – will ever receive is holy orders, in which a man is ordained a priest.
Our family recently had the unique opportunity to participate in three sacraments within a three-week period.
It started with Hays receiving his first communion on April 17. Yes, I had tears in my eyes when he walked up to receive the body and blood of Christ for the very first time. I remembered when his youngest cousin, Sydney, made her first communion, eight years earlier. Hays was just 6 months old. We were sitting on the side Sydney turned to after drinking from the chalice and I will never forget the face she made as she tasted it. She even stuck out her tongue!
It was Sydney who received the next sacrament, confirmation, the following Sunday. It was held at the huge new St. Mary of the Knobs church with several parishes present. I just love Archbishop Tobin, who confers the sacrament. He is so down-to-earth and his sermons make so much sense. It was neat to see our little Sydney so grown up. A big change from her first communion, no doubt!
The next Saturday, April 30, Sydney’s big sister, Kayla, and her fiance, Donnie, were united in holy matrimony at St. Anthony’s in Clarksville. It was, of course, a very long day, but such a special one. I could hardly believe the little girl who was Sylvia’s age when I started dating her Uncle D was getting married. Wow. How time does fly.
Kayla asked me to be a bridesmaid, Sylvia the flower girl and Warner the ring bearer. Hays had double duty as junior groomsman and doing the readings. It was extra-special for us all to be so involved in the ceremony. A day we will never forget, that’s for sure.
And that’s the thing about sacraments. They are times you will recall far into the future, memories that never fade, highlights of your life. Sacraments are life-changing events and it was very special to take part in three in three weeks. None of us will ever forget those three days.