The first Mystery is an initiation into the Christian Community, the Body of Christ. It unites the believer with Jesus Christ, gives a share in divine life and cleanses the soul of original sin and of any sins committed up to that time. Baptism in water signifies new birth, the beginning of life with God and membership among the people of God.
The gift of the Holy Spirit strengthens the baptismal commitment to Christ. It gives courage and strength to witness Christ in the world, to face challenges and problems in daily life as a Christian, and selflessly serve others. The priest administers this Sacrament immediately after Baptism. He anoints forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ear, breast, back, hands and feet with holy chrism while saying "The Seal of Gift of the Holy Spirit".
Atonement involves sincere sorrow for sins and the desire to be reconciled with God and His community. Sins are confessed to a priest, who grants absolution. Then the priest may assign a penance to make some satisfaction for the sins committed.
This Mystery is Christ's presence in the elements of bread and wine. The Sacrament nourishes the souls of those who receive it. Holy Eucharist is also a SACRIFICE - a renewal of Calvary. The Body and Blood of Christ are offered to God for the living and the dead. Christ becomes present in the lives of the faithful, uniting them with Him and strengthening their Christian faith and commitment. During the main part of the Divine Liturgy, the priest consecrates leavened bread and wine, using the words Christ spoke at the Last Supper, invoking the Holy Spirit. The Eucharist is received under both forms.
The Mystery of the Anointing of the Sick is a prayer of faith, bringing comfort, strength and grace to people who are ill. The priest anoints the person with blessed oil and offers prayers for the healing of soul and body. In some Eastern Catholic Churches, all are anointed before Easter for spiritual healing.
The Mystery of Crowning joins a man and a woman in a holy union to share life, love and Christian faith selflessly with each other and with God. In this Mystery the priest blesses the couple and acts as the Church's witness. The Holy Spirit breathes God's love into the couple, so that each becomes a help to the other.
This Mystery consecrates Christians in service to God and His community. Spiritual power and grace are given to help bishops, priests and deacons teach the Christian faith, administer the Sacraments and govern the Church. The Mystery of Holy Orders is administered by a bishop at a ceremony of ordination. Amid prayers and hymns, the bishop places his hands on the candidate's head and speaks the words of ordination.
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