Catholic theology has determined seven sacraments for its Christian followers. Churches in Detroit, however, have a total of ten rites, which have different purposes and meanings.
Seven or Ten Christian Sacraments?
Catholic churches have seven sacraments, but a church in Detroit or other places may have a total of ten. The seven fundamental Christian rites are baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, confession, anointing of the sick, Holy Orders, and matrimony. A church in Detroit includes three more, specifically initiation of adults, funerals, and dedication of churches.
Ten Christian Sacraments
Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian initiation. It includes the pouring of water on the recipient’s head. Babies are baptized to welcome them into the faith and to cleanse them of the original sin.
The Eucharist, or the Blessed Sacrament, completes the initiation into Christianity, as followers participate in consuming the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist refers to the source and peak of Christian living, as it binds Christians under one God and one Church.
Confirmation completes baptism for it confirms and strengthens the baptismal grace. During this time, a bishop or priest lays his hands on the follower. The rite intends to deepen bonds with God.
Confession, or penance and reconciliation, happens when sinners privately confess their sins to a priest and receive absolution from guilt. It serves to help sinners spiritually heal. It can also help them feel closer to God after being sorry for their sins.
The anointing of the sick takes place as a priest anoints the ill with oil that is specifically blessed for this purpose. This sacrament seeks to improve spiritual strength, which can result in physical strength as well. It is a way of channeling God’s healing power for comfort and healing.
The Holy Orders pertains to the sacrament wherein a person is ordained as a priest, bishop, or deacon. They seek to symbolize commitment to the image of Christ. The recipients of the Holy Orders subsequently serve the different spiritual aspirations of the Church.
Matrimony or marriage builds up the Church too. It signifies love which unites Christ and the Church, thereby binding spouses to a lasting and exclusive relationship, blessed and sealed by God. This sacrament provides grace and reminds the married couple of their spousal and parental responsibilities.
The initiation of adults is baptism for older followers. They are typically converts to Catholicism. Candidates study Catholic beliefs and practices, in order to fully appreciate the meaning and purpose of Christianity.
A funeral stresses victory over death. It signifies hope in resurrection, as the Christian embarks on the journey towards a permanent union with God in heaven. Conducting this rite means death is not the end, but the beginning of everlasting life.
The dedication of churches refers to consecrating a church or altar. It makes the church/altar suitable for subsequent holy rites. It underlines the solemnity of the place for God and His believers.
These ten rites or sacraments are conducted in churches in Detroit and other places. They affect different stages of the circle of life and death and support Christians in living a full spiritual existence.
“Marriage & Family,” Archdiocese of Detroit
“Prayer and Worship,” Archdiocese of Detroit