Wednesday 18th July 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Basic Elements Of The Sacraments

November 12, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 2

We have started to study the seven sacraments instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation. In every sacrament, we receive divine grace, sanctifying grace. And each sacrament confers also a specific grace of its own, called the sacramental grace. So, when the priest says, “I absolve you” to us, we are receiving the specific grace of the Sacrament of Confession, that is, the forgiveness of our sins.
When the priest, who ordinarily baptizes people, says, “I baptize you,” we receive the specific grace of the Sacrament of Baptism — that is, cleansing of original sin. And so forth. So, a sacrament signifies, or indicates, the grace it gives. The very words used by the minister indicate which grace is being received by the person.
Also, the ceremony used in the sacrament enforces the meaning of the grace received. In Baptism, the washing away of original sin is indicated by the pouring of water over the person being baptized. In Confirmation, the anointing signifies strength, confirming the person in the faith; in Extreme Unction, the anointing signifies healing. In Holy Orders, the imposition of hands signifies the giving of the Holy Spirit.
In the Blessed Eucharist, the bread and wine, over which the priest utters the words of consecration, indicate the spiritual food into which they are changed. In Penance, the whole ceremony has the appearance of an act of reconciliation; the sorrowful confession of guilt at the tribunal of mercy presaging and pointing to the absolution that is to follow.
Every sacrament has three basic elements: matter, form, and minister. The matter is the action which signifies the effect produced; for instance, in Baptism, the pouring of water; in Confirmation, the anointing with oil; etc. The form is the words used to confer the sacrament, for instance, “I baptize you”; or, “I absolve you from your sins”; or, “This is my Body,” etc. The minister is the person who confers the sacrament.
In more detail, let us begin with the minister. The minister is the one who performs the sacramental rite. The minister must be qualified for his office. Thus, for all the sacraments except Baptism and Matrimony, he must be in Holy Orders. A lay man or woman cannot celebrate Mass, hear Confessions, or administer Extreme Unction to the dying. Only a properly ordained priest can do it.
But Baptism, in case of necessity, may be administered by a lay man or woman, and even an unbaptized person, as long as he does what the Church prescribes him to do. Matrimony is not conferred by the priest present at the altar facing the couple: Matrimony is conferred by the bride and bridegroom themselves, in front of a minister of the Church who witnesses to their sacrament. The priest never “marries” any couple: The couple “marry each other,” so to speak; they confer the sacrament on one another.
In simple terms, the form of the sacrament is the words used by the minister when the sacrament is being conferred. The minister must employ the proper form of words and perform the prescribed action; he must use the prescribed thing (e.g., water in the case of Baptism; oil in the case of Extreme Unction; bread and wine in the Eucharist, etc.).
Another most important aspect of the minister’s work is that he must intend to do what the Church does. This is so because the real minister of all sacraments is our Lord Jesus Christ, who instituted them. Christ is the principal minister of all the sacraments — that is, He works through the voice and hands of the earthly minister.
Such a doctrine is a consolation to us lay folks who can, therefore, have perfect confidence in the rites of the Church without the need to know the personal state of the minister.
Apart from the matter, form, and minister, there is also a fourth element in every sacrament: the subject, that is, the person who receives the sacrament. The subject of a sacrament is the one who receives it. One can receive a sacrament validly or invalidly. To receive a sacrament validly is to receive it really or truly. To receive a sacrament invalidly is to receive it merely in appearance, but not in reality.
Let us get into some detail here, because it is important to know: to receive a sacrament validly, the subject must be capable of receiving it. Thus, an infant is incapable of receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony or Penance; a woman is incapable of receiving Holy Orders. Those who have not received Baptism are incapable of receiving the other sacraments. Even the Blessed Eucharist produces no effect whatever on the souls of the unbaptized. One must be baptized to receive Holy Communion. Also, people in mortal sin cannot receive any sacrament; one must go to Confession first.
For adults to receive any sacrament validly, they must have the intention or the will to receive it. The only ones for whom no intention to receive the sacrament is required are infants and those who do not have the use of reason. For them, no intention is required for the valid reception of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Blessed Eucharist.
There is a division among the sacraments, according to the people who can receive them: five of them are called the Sacraments of the Living, that is, that are given to those who are in the state of grace, in whom God’s grace lives. They get their name from their presupposing the presence of sanctifying grace in the soul, which they augment or intensify. And then there are the Sacraments of the Dead, that is, for those who are not in the state of grace. They are so called, because they raise the soul from spiritual death (absence of sanctifying grace) to spiritual life (presence of sanctifying grace).
The Sacraments of the Living are: Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, also known today as the Anointing of the Sick. The Sacraments of the Dead are Baptism and Confession.
For the worthy reception of the Sacraments of the Dead, adults require faith, hope, and at least contrition for grave sin committed. For the worthy reception of the Sacraments of the Living, they must be in the state of grace.
St. Paul (1 Cor. 11:27-30) is adamant about the danger of receiving the Holy Eucharist in state of sin:
“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the Body and Blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the Body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have died.”
May God have mercy on the bishops of Malta for allowing people in adultery to receive the Eucharist!

+ + +

(Raymond de Souza, KM, is a Knight of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta; a delegate for International Missions for Human Life International [HLI]; and an EWTN program host. He is a militant pro-life writer and apologist, addressing live audiences and delivering talks on television, radio, and online. To date he has given over 2,500 presentations in 38 countries of the six continents. He is available to speak at Catholic events, both large and small, anywhere in the Free World, in four languages — English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Website: www.RaymonddeSouza.com.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…Continue Reading

Paradoxes and indicators of Capella’s and McCarrick’s cases

These days we will find out whether Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the former advisor to the Washington nunciature that the Vatican sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for possession and distribution of “large quantities” of child pornography, will present an appeal…Continue Reading

Diocese led by pro-gay bishop says it’s ‘up to each parish’ whether to promote homosexuality

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the heart of Appalachia has attracted media attention for the Gay Pride Month banner stretched across its front lawn. The local ordinary, Bishop John Stowe, has a record of collaborating with a…Continue Reading

Al Gore: Pope Francis a ‘moral force’ for solving climate crisis

(Vatican.news) Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, is one of the world’s most vocal defenders of the environment. His 2007 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, won an Oscar and his Climate Reality Project recently hosted…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops heading to border to tackle family separation issues

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A delegation of Catholic bishops from across the country are heading to the border on Monday. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation in its visit to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality ‘evil’, McAleese says

The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is “evil”, former president Mary McAleese has said. Speaking ahead of her inaugural participation in the Dublin Pride event on Saturday, where she will march with her son Justin and his husband, the former…Continue Reading

Senate Will Vote Before Elections on Replacing Pro-Abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy

The United States Senate will vote before the elections this November on a replacement for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that announcement today shortly after the surprising but welcome announcement that the longtime abortion…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

ROME, June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice…Continue Reading

German Bishops Publish Intercommunion Handout with a Rhetorical Trick

Today, the German bishops have published their very controversial pastoral handout which allows Protestant spouses of Catholics, in certain cases, to receive Holy Communion. Since Pope Francis, on 21 June, objected to a national bishops’ conference publishing such an official text, the…Continue Reading

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

British pro-lifers say abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ harm women and children

London, England, Jul 12, 2018 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a decision from the United Kingdom’s High Court, two women are attempting to overturn a ban on prayer and public discussion of abortion near a British abortion clinic. On July 2, the High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, inc

Calligraphers face jail time for not promoting same-sex ‘weddings’

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Arizona calligraphy artists faced with fines and jail time for declining to take part in promoting gay “weddings” are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the city of Phoenix’s law that compels them create artwork that violates their religious beliefs. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three

Bishop Paprocki disagrees with US bishops’ support for unions that fund abortion, LGBT

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 11, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Hailed by free speech and religious liberty advocates alike, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions which promote causes and political activities – including abortion – to which they are opposed. The ruling has also exposed a significant rift among the nation’s Catholic bishops. Despite public sector unions’ unabashe

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night. Trump praised Kavanaugh’s committment to “equal justice under the law” and called him a “brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style.” He is “universally regarded as…one of the finest legal minds of our time.” Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy. “Justice Kennedy devoted his career to…Continue Reading

Prof fired by Catholic university for defending marriage has huge court win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The professor forced out by a Jesuit-run Catholic university for blogging about an undergrad student being assailed by his teacher for his having voiced defense of marriage has won in court. In a landmark decision Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Marquette University violated John McAdams’ right to free speech when it suspended him for writing the blog post, and it ordered the University to restore McAdams immediately with his full rank,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic … Old And New Tyrannies Borne Of Lust

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review… What Man Does Not Reverence, He Will Profane

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Society and Sanity, by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2013), 261 pp. $17.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or at 1-800-651-1531. This new edition of Sheed’s 1953 classic work of apologetics brings to mind the famous myth of Procrustes’ bed. The wicked king captures his victims then tortures them if their legs do…Continue Reading

How Vice Can Absorb Virtue

By DONALD DeMARCO Just as the Devil is at war with God, so too, vices are at war with virtue. The Devil wants people to believe that God does not exist. He also wants people to believe that neither does virtue exist. He would like to demolish virtue. One way of achieving this is to…Continue Reading

Henan, China… New Limits Imposed On The Religious Freedom Of Catholics

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — The Chinese government is approving increasingly restrictive measures against Catholics in the central province of Henan. As Eglises d’Asie reports, five new rules have been imposed which include the requirement of religious working in the province to collect data and information on their faithful. A priest from the Diocese of Zhengzhou reports…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Solzhenitsyn Remembered

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Congdon, Lee. Solzhenitsyn: The Historical-Spiritual Destinies of Russia and the West. DeKalb, Ill.: NIV Press, 2017; 163 pp. This book is descriptive of the prophetic voice of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), who was convinced that the West has set out on a road similar to that which “led Russia into the abyss.” Solzhenitsyn…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Sheep Without A Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 23:1-6 Eph. 2:13-18 Mark 6:30-34 In the first reading today, God speaks a word of woe through the Prophet Jeremiah to the shepherds who mislead the Lord’s flock entrusted to their care. God says that these shepherds scattered the flock and drove them away and did not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . In Death The Church Gives Everything

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Funerals, as many priests have learned, can often be pastorally challenging and problematic episodes. Grieving family members who are not dealing with death on a regular basis by practicing their faith are suddenly confronted with its reality upon the passing of a parent or other family member. Parents who have to bury a child sometimes…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + In the last article, I quoted from…Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Moral Act

By DON FIER Last week, as we considered the role that human freedom plays in the economy of salvation, it was immediately acknowledged that “man’s freedom is limited and fallible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1739). Free will, so wondrously bestowed upon man as an essential element of his great dignity of being created “in the image and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What can one say to a teenage daughter or granddaughter who wears skimpy bathing suits? I know that is the “style” these days, but it seems wrong for many reasons. — M.M., Virginia. A. When our five daughters were teens, my wife and I ruled out the wearing of skimpy bathing suits, as well as skin-tight jeans or shorts…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of…Continue Reading