“The Seven Sacraments continue the saving work of Jesus until he comes again and form the center of the celebration of the Christian mystery. Through the ministry of the Church, all are invited to hear the Good News, follow Christ and share in these saving mysteries: mysteries that symbolize, make possible, realize and nurture the grace of the sacraments in the baptized.”
–Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis
The Seven Sacraments are visible signs instituted by Jesus Christ to confer grace (see the scripture references under the Sacrament titles below). In the Catholic Church, each of the Sacraments fall under one of 3 categories: Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments of Healing and Sacraments at the Service of Communion.
Sacraments of Initiation
“The sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life. ‘The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity’ (Pope Paul VI).”
– CCC 1212
Just as life begins with conception, spiritual life begins with the sacrament of Baptism. In Baptism, we each experience the “death” of original sin, along with corresponding “resurrection” to life with Christ. At various times throughout the year, Baptismal preparation programs are conducted; baptisms may be scheduled with the Pastor. Baptism Preparation
Celebration of the Eucharist consecrates us to oneness with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. A defining moment in the spiritual life of each Catholic is First Eucharist, celebrated in second grade, or upon entering the church through the RCIA process. Preparation for this special experience occurs on an academic-year calendar, from September through May. RCIA | First Communion
Confirmation, the sacrament of the Holy Spirit, is the defining point of spiritual maturity for Catholics. This special sacrament, sometimes conducted on a full diocesan basis, is celebrated during eighth grade or as part of the RCIA process. RCIA | Eighth Grade Confirmation
Sacraments of Healing
“The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health,3 has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.”
– CCC 1421
Spiritual renewal through confession and sincere contrition is fundamental to Catholic life. Weekly confessions are heard on Saturday afternoons in the reconciliation rooms in the Worship Center or by special appointment. Special communal penance services are also held during the spiritual seasons of lent and Advent. Guide to Confession | Examination of Conscience
Anointing of the Sick
The healing Christ touches His people during serious sickness through Anointing of the Sick. Through this sacrament, God helps his people to endure suffering during times of illness and provides for their reconciliation. Ministry to the sick involves visits to hospitals or homebound parishioners. Contact the office or one of the priests to arrange for home visit; Special ministers are also available to bring communion on a regular basis.
Sacraments at the Service of Communion
“…Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God..”
– CCC 1534
Spirit and flesh; individuals become a family as they become joined in holy matrimony. Because of the seriousness of this Sacrament, St. Philip has firm requirements for preparation and planning. Before any plans can be made, the prospective spouses must meet with one of the priests and reserve the Church at least four months before marriage. Couples must participate in a Diocesan Engaged Couples Retreat or other approved marriage prepatory program and attend pastoral counseling sessions.
As couples become married to each other, so too, do priests become married to the Church through Holy Orders. Priests act in the person of Christ in the sacraments.
Praying for vocations is a responsibility inherent to the Catholic experience and lifestyle. Those who feel drawn to serve God and the Church in this way may seek pastoral counseling for guidance.
“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.”
– CCC 1131
Do you want to baptize your child? First, schedule an appointment with Fr. Bala at 615-550-2832, then, you must attend a Baptism Preparation Class. Our classes are held monthly throughout the year. Families do not need to register for the class, just come in on the day of the class.
- Baptism Preparation Classes in English are held the first Sunday of the month after the 11:00am Mass in the Parish Conference Room (off the Kitchen). For more information, contact Mike Quillin, moc.nilknarFpilihPtS@perPmsitpaB.
- Baptism Preparation Classes in Spanish are held on the third Sunday of the month, after the 1:00pm Mass in Meeting Room 105. For more information, contact Ana Bougrat, (615) 719-6893.
Reconciliation (Confession) Times
English: Saturday, 4:00-5:00 pm, or other times by calling Father Bala or Father Eric.
Spanish: Thursday, 6:00-7:00pm, or other times by calling Father Ramon.
First Reconciliation occurs during the second grade for children, or in conjunction with RCIA.
Appropriate Sacramental Formation is critical to the proper reception and life-long practice of the Sacraments. To that end, all students wishing to receive any sacrament must attend Religious Education Faith Formation classes for the two years prior to the sacrament being received with a minimum of 75% attendance. During the first and second year, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Level II students prepare for and celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time. Parents have an important role in the preparation for these sacraments; and are asked to attend the 6 mandatory Meditation Series evenings with their child. All meetings will be hosted by Melissa Doyle, CGS Coordinator, and are held for the purpose of presenting talks on the respective Sacraments, and all details related to the Sacraments. Parents are also encouraged to attend Adult Faith Formation as they continue their own faith formation journey.
Confirmation Preparation is a 2 year process at St. Philip. All middle school students age 12 and over must complete both years of Confirmation preparation at St. Philip, regardless of their grade. Confirmation 1 and Confirmation 2 students are asked to attend weekly Faith Formation sessions on Sunday at 9:30am or 11:15am (in Spanish) or Wednesdays at 5:00pm with a minimum of 75% of attendance. During these sessions, first year, Confirmation 1, students and parents explore the beauty of Theology of the Body for Middle Schoolers; second year, Confirmation 2, students and parents delve into the Sacrament of Confirmation and what it means to be Catholic.
- Confirmation 1 students are also required to complete 10 service hours (5 for the community and 5 for the church) and attend the diocesan Sealed retreat.
- Confirmation 2 students are required to complete 20 service hours (10 for the community and 10 for church), attend Sealed Retreat and Youth 2000.
Teens who have not yet received the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, or Confirmation should contact Julianne Staley Youth / Catechesis Coordinator, 615-550-2838, to assess what additional formation may be required. Parents are also encouraged to attend Adult Faith Formation as they continue their own faith formation journey.
Must be scheduled with Father Bala, 615-870-2171. Four months notice required. Couple must attend the Diocesan preparation program. To talk with someone about the program, call the Engaged Couple Formation office at 615-383-6393.
Communion for the Sick
Provided by Ministers of Care in homes, hospitals, and nursing homes. To make arrangements, contact Jim Britz: moc.nilknarFpilihPtS@eraCfOsretsiniM.
Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance [Confession], one should prepare themselves with an examination of conscience. An examination of conscience is a “prayerful self-reflection on our words and deeds in the light of the Gospel to determine how we may have sinned against God” (— Glossary, The Catechism of the Catholic Church.)
Begin with these 3 questions…
1. Do I approach the sacrament of Penance with a sincere desire for purification, conversion, renewal of life, and a more intimate friendship with God? Or do I consider it rather as a burden, which I am only rarely willing to bear?
2. Have I purposefully forgotten or kept silent regarding grave sins in my most recent confession, or earlier confessions?
3. Have I fulfilled the penance that was imposed on me? Have I made reparation for the damage that I’ve done? Have I sought to put into practice my resolutions to amend my life according to the Gospel?
Then focus on these 3 main areas…
I. The Lord says: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart”
- Is my heart truly oriented toward God? Can I say that I love him truly above all else, with filial love, in faithful observance of his commandments? Do I allow myself to get too absorbed by worldly things? Do I always act with the correct intention?
- Do I have firm faith in God, who has given us his Word in his Son? Do I adhere fully to the doctrine of the Church? Do I concern myself with my Christian formation, listening to the word of God, participating in catechesis, and avoiding whatever could be a threat to my faith? Have I always professed my faith in God and in the Church courageously and fearlessly? Have I given proof of my Christianity through my actions in private and public life?
- Have I prayed in the morning and at night? Is my prayer a true heart-to-heart conversation with God, or is it only an empty exterior practice? Have I remembered to offer to God my activities, my joys, and my sorrows? Do I also turn to him confidently for help when I am tempted?
- Do I revere and love the holy name of God, or have I offended him with blasphemy, with false oaths, or by using his name in vain? Have I been irreverent regarding the Virgin Mary and the saints?
- Do I keep holy the Lord’s day and the Church’s holy days of obligation, taking part in liturgical celebrations and especially Holy Mass with active, attentive, and pious participation? Have I avoided doing unnecessary work on Sundays? Have I observed the precept of confession at least once a year and Communion during the Easter season?
- Do I have “other gods”—namely, things I am more interested in, or in which I put more confidence, than in God, such as: wealth, superstition, Spiritism, or other forms of magic?
II. The Lord says: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
- Do I truly love my neighbors, or do I treat them badly, using them for my own interests and treating them in a way that I would not want to be treated? Have I caused scandal with my words and my actions?
- In my family life, have I contributed with patience and true love for the good and tranquility of others?
- For each member of the family:
- For children: Have I obeyed my parents? Have I respected and honored them? Have I helped them in their spiritual and material needs? Have I worked hard at school? Have I respected people in authority? Have I given a good example in every situation?
- For parents: Have I looked out for my children’s Christian education? Have I given them a good example? Have I supported them and guided them with my authority?
- For spouses: Have I always been faithful in my heart and actions? Have I been understanding during moments of stress or anxiety?
- Do I know how to give from what is mine, without petty selfishness, to those who are poorer than me? To the extent that it depends on me, do I defend the oppressed and help the needy? Or do I treat my neighbor with pride or harshness, especially the poor, the weak, the old, the marginalized, and immigrants?
- Am I aware of the mission that has been entrusted to me? Have I participated in works of apostolate and charity of the Church, and in my parish life and initiatives? Have I prayed and contributed to meeting the needs of the Church and of the world, for example: for the unity of the Church, for the evangelization of peoples, and for the establishment of justice and peace?
- Do I have at heart the well-being and prosperity of the community in which I live, or do I care only for my personal interests? Do I participate, as much as I can, in initiatives that promote justice, public morality, peace, and works of charity? Do I fulfill my civic duties? Have I paid my taxes regularly?
- Am I just, committed, honest at work, and willing to lend my services to the common good? Have I given fair pay to all those who work for me in any capacity? Have I been faithful to contracts and promises?
- Have I been obedient and respectful to legitimate authorities?
- If I have a responsibility or have management duties, do I seek only my own interests, or do I strive for the good of the others, with a spirit of service?
- Have I practiced truthfulness and loyalty, or have I done harm to others with lies, slander, slurs, reckless judgments, and the revelation of secrets?
- Have I attempted violence against the life and physical integrity of others? Have I offended their honor, or denied them what is rightfully theirs? Have I procured abortion or counseled a woman to abort? Have I remained silent in situations where I could have encouraged people to do good? In my married life, am I respectful of the teachings of the Church regarding openness to and respect for life? Have I done anything against my own physical integrity (for example, by sterilization)? Have I always been faithful with my mind as well as my body? Have I held on to hatred? Have I been conflictive? Have I used insults and offensive words, thus encouraging disagreements and rancor? Have I omitted to witness to the innocence of others, in a guilty and selfish way? While driving, have I put my life or that of others at risk?
- Have I stolen? Have I been so unjust as to wish to steal from others? Have I damaged my neighbor’s belongings? Have I given back anything I might have taken, and made reparation for the damage done?
- If people have done me harm, have I expressed my willingness to be reconciled and to forgive, out of love of Christ? Or have I harbored hatred and desire for revenge in my heart?
Christ the Lord says: “Be perfect, as the Father is perfect”
- What is the fundamental orientation of my life? Am I encouraged by the hope of eternal life? Have I sought to rekindle my spiritual life through prayer, reading and meditation on the word of God, and participation in the sacraments? Have I practiced self-denial? Have I been ready and willing to abandon my vices, and keep my passions and perverse inclinations under control? Have I overcome my tendency to envy? Have I controlled my gluttony? Have I been presumptuous and proud, looking down on others and always putting myself first? Have I imposed my will on others, violating their freedom and disregarding their rights?
- What have I done with my time, my energy, and the other gifts I have received from God as the “talents” mentioned in the Gospel? Do I make use of all these means to grow every day towards perfection in my spiritual life and in service to others? Have I been passive and idle? How do I use the internet and other means of communication?
- Have I endured, with patience and with faith, the sorrows and the trials of life? How have I sought to practice self-denial, to complete what is missing to the passion of Christ? Have I observed the law of fasting and abstinence?
- Have I kept my body pure and chaste, according to my state of life, knowing that it is a temple of the Holy Spirit, destined for the resurrection and glory? Have I guarded my senses and avoided contaminating my spirit and body with perverse desires and thoughts, or with unworthy words and actions? Have I allowed myself to indulge in readings, presentations, entertainment, or other forms of amusement in contrast with human and Christian honesty? Have I scandalized others with my behavior?
- Have I acted against my conscience out of fear or hypocrisy?
- Have I sought to act always and everywhere with the true freedom of the children of God, and according to the laws of the Spirit? Or have I allowed myself to be dominated by my passions?
- Have I omitted a good deed that I could have done?