St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Linlithgow
53 Blackness Road, Linlithgow. Telephone: +44(0)1506 842145

Receiving the Sacraments

As Catholic Christians we believe that we are children of God, Our Father. He calls us to a share in His Divine Life, so that one day, we will see Him face to face. This is made possible by the free gift of His’s grace, won for us by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Along with prayer, the principal source of God’s Grace is the Sacraments of the Church, of which there are seven;

Baptism

In Baptism we receive, for the first time, the life of the Trinity-Father , Son and Holy Spirit-into our souls. Catholic parents should present their infants for Baptism in the first few months of life; they, and the child’s God Parents, will be expected to renew their own Baptismal promises and to promise to do everything they can to bring to child up in the Catholic Faith. To arrange a Baptism for your child, Contact Fr Paul.  Non-Baptised Adults who wish to become Catholics will go through a preparation process known as the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults); this usually starts in the autumn, with a view to receiving the Sacraments of Initiation (Reconciliation, Eucharist & Confirmation) at Easter.

Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) we obtain God’s forgiveness for those sins we commit after baptism, and our full friendship with God is restored. Catholics have an obligation to confess all serious sins before receiving communion ( which they are bound to do at least once a year), and are encouraged to confess less serious sins regularly, in order to obtain the special graces made available through this sacrament.  Confession is available every Saturday morning after 10 AM mass, and at any other time on request.

The Eucharist

In The Eucharist, we believe we encounter the real, living, risen Jesus ;  when we receive him in Holy communion, not only are we united to Him, but to one and other in a community of love. Catholics are encouraged to receive Jesus in the Eucharist frequently- daily, if possible. However, we have a serious obligation to be sure that we are in a fit state to receive our Lord into our souls. We should fast for at least one hour before receiving communion, and we should examine our consciences to be sure we are free of all serious sin; if we are not, we should go to confession before receiving communion.

Confirmation

In Confirmation we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which prepares us for the demands of adult Christian life, with all its challenges.
Children normally receive the sacraments of initiation  during Primary 4 and our local Catholic Primary School, St Joseph’s, plays an key role in helping prepare the Children for this. If your Child does not attend a Catholic Primary School, you should contact Fr Paul to ensure that necessary alternative arrangements for sacramental preparation can be made.

Marriage

In Marriage, a man and woman make an exclusive, life long covenant; each makes a complete gift of self to the other, and God blesses them by increasing their love for each other by His gift of children. Couples wishing to be married in the Catholic Church must undergo a period of preparation (usually no less than six months) and so should contact Fr Paul as early as possible.

Weddings take place in the parish church of the bride or bridegroom.

Holy Orders

Through Holy Orders a man is given the power to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, a perpetuation of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, and to forgive sins in Jesus’ name. We should all pray that men and boys in our community are willing to answer God’s call to the priesthood. Women, too, may be called to the religious life as Nuns or Religious Sisters.

The Sacrament of the Sick

Through the Sacrament of the Sick, the seriously ill person receives special graces of healing and forgiveness, of peace and serenity, with increasing Faith and trust in God’s mercy and goodness.