The word ‘Sacrament’ derives from a Latin word meaning ‘Oath’ or ‘Pledge’.There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
For most Christians, faith is rooted in a family experience. Most learn about Jesus not in a classroom, but in the words and deeds of parents and other believing adults. From them, children learn that God exists, what it means to be a Christian and what God has done through the long history of our human family. The first and most important teacher of the word of God is not the parish priest, the bishop or the pope, but parents who believe. Faith is a family affair, not in its ultimate acceptance, which is essentially personal, but in its beginnings. It is this family centeredness of faith that the Church celebrates in each child’s baptism, first communion and confirmation – the sacraments of initiation.
Children are introduced to Jesus not only by their parents, but also by observing kindly people who love them. They learn prayer by watching people praying at Church as well as at home. They learn what it means to serve others by listening to the stories of those who have spent their lives serving other people in simple – and sometimes heroic – ways. They learn the traditions of the Church and the wonders expressed in the Bible both from their parents and from those in the Church who teach them.
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