Our Lady Help of Christians and St. Oswald, Oswestry


The wonderful gift of the Sacraments

In the Catholic Church we celebrate the Seven Sacraments.

These are also linked to important events in our lives.

The Seven Sacraments


Holy Communion




Anointing of the sick

Holy Orders

For the Church, the Sacraments are an essential part of its life. It is understood that, because of the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus who walked the earth and has risen to new life shares with us the life of the Blessed Trinity.

This means that every time we receive the sacraments in faith, we encounter the Risen Lord. He comes to meet us and we share in His Divine life.

The Sacraments are signs of the New Creation brought forth by Christ, achieved through His Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection.

The more we enter into these great mysteries of faith, the more we receive.  But in saying this, we always remember that the Sacraments are pure gifts from the God who loves us and invites us to call Him Abba, Father.

The Sacraments of initiation (i.e. Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation) can be received at any age and are for all who wish to follow Christ in the Catholic Church.


Baptism often takes place shortly after birth where the child is brought into the life of Christ and named in a wonderful ceremony; with God’s grace the child is brought into the family of God in the Church. The godparents have a special duty to pray for and help the parents in nurturing the faith development of the child.

Holy Communion

For those who are being brought up as Catholic, this Sacrament is usually first received as children. It is the receiving of the Body of Christ. This takes place during the celebration of Mass, after what is called the Consecration, when the Bread and Wine is changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. At Mass, Holy Communion is received by the community gathered together around the table of the Lord.


In some places, Confirmation takes place when the child becomes a teenager, celebrating and acknowledging the movement from childhood to becoming an adult. Confirmation, through the Holy Spirit, empowers and strengthens the young person to embrace their maturing faith and become a fully active member of the Church, the people of God


Marriage, in the Catholic Church, is seen as having a beautiful capacity for witnessing to the presence of Christ and is a call to holiness for the couple. Marriage is seen as a vocation, a calling by God.

This is why, for those who wish to get married in the Church, a pre-marriage course is requested by our Diocese, to prepare the couple to receive the full benefit of this wonderful sacrament.


For those growing up in the faith, our first confession would often take place before First Holy Communion. It is a sacrament in which we receive the grace of forgiveness and it enables us to come to know, in life, the Love and Mercy of God. Frequent confession helps us on our path of conversion to Christ, which is an ongoing journey coming to know the depth and breadth of the Love of Christ.

Anointing of the Sick

This sacrament is offered by the Church to those who suffer serious illness or whose life may be in any danger of death, for example when about to have a serious operation. It may also restore the person to full health. The sacrament may be received more than once.

For those who have entered an end-of-life stage, this sacrament enables the person to experience the peace of Christ and receive the graces necessary to strengthen faith.

In both cases this sacrament includes confession of sins because the human person is seen as a whole, so life’s hurts, past resentments and sins all need the healing touch of our Gentle Saviour, in order to calm the inner storms we can so often struggle with.

Holy Orders

This Sacrament is for those who are called to be a Priest or a Deacon. It is the gift of ordination; the person receives the laying on of hands by the local Bishop usually after a period of study and preparation. It is a call to serve in a public office in the Church and to serve the community, the Body of Christ.