In Christian tradition, liturgy is understood as the participation of the people of God in “the work of God.” Through the liturgy, Christ continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church. At its best, liturgy engages the faithful in the life of the community and involves the “conscious, active, and fruitful participation” of everyone.
At St. Ignatius Parish, we are committed to creating an environment in which liturgy draws together a diverse community of the faithful. Nourished by Word and Sacrament, we are empowered to live the Eucharist in the world through our interactions with others and through our work for justice.
The word sacrament means sign. "Outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace” – celebrated at particular times in our lives. Sacramental grace supports us in responding to Christ’s invitation to follow him as disciples. The sacraments can be grouped together under various headings to show the connections between them. The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are called Sacraments of Initiation, as receiving them “initiates” one into the life of the Church.
The Parish offers many opportunities for preparation and reception of the church’s sacraments.
Baptism marks one's entrance into the Church. Through Baptism, a person is freed from original sin: the old self dies, and the person is reborn in Christ. The Gospel itself makes mention of Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and the apostle St. Paul developed the theology of Baptism. In order to receive all the other sacraments, one must first be baptized.
The Sacrament of Confirmation takes root in the experience of the first disciples of Jesus, on the Pentecost following Jesus’ death and resurrection. Through Confirmation, Christians receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, like the disciples did on Pentecost.
Christian marriage is a sacrament when a baptized man and a baptized woman join together in a community of love with the possibility of becoming a family. In the love which binds two into one, the Christian community finds an expression of the great love God has for us, a love which binds us to God and to each other as well.
Meeting a priest to ask for forgiveness of one’s sins allows the Christian to both express sorrow and receive counsel in one’s faith life and desire to live as a follower of Christ. The Church calls this process the Sacrament of Reconciliation (formerly referred to as “confession” or “penance”), since through it the Christian is able to ask, and receive, reconciliation with the always-loving God.
Caring for the sick and the dying is a very important part of the love we share and show one another as a community, and in the way we value life as Christians. In this, we take example first and foremost in the life and ministry of Jesus, who healed many, and always took time to visit the sick and the dying.