The Seven Sacraments of the Liberal Catholic Church
Baptism is the sacrament of officially bringing one into the Christian faith. In Catholicism the baptism of infants is common however unbaptized children and adults who wish to join the faith must also receive this sacrament. Baptism is intended to be administered only once and the Liberal Catholic Church recognizes baptisms done by most other Christian denominations as valid when done in the name of the Holy Trinity with the words, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost.” Baptism is not a “magical act” of salvation. It is rather an entry into the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. It is expected that parents and Godparents of children being brought for baptism and those adults seeking baptism understand that life in Christ is a process of growth that needs to be supported, fostered, and developed through continued active life in the Church.
The Eucharist or Holy Communion, also known as the Mass, is the central rite of Catholic worship initiated by Jesus Christ at His Last Supper with His disciples. In this sacrament those who reverently commune receive the Mystical Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The consecrated elements may also be distributed to those who are hospitalized, homebound, or in nursing or rehabilitation facilities.
Confirmation in the Liberal Catholic Church is conferred by a bishop. This occurs usually around age 7 for baptized children. This sacrament serves to “confirm” a baptized person in the Christian faith.
Individual Confession with a priest is not required prior to receiving Holy Communion. It is however available with the intent of correcting any distortions and opening channels which have been to a large extent closed by inner feelings of guilt and by actions stemming from personal evil intents. The priest should be seen as the agent of healing and not as a judge. All confessional material is strictly confidential.
Unction, also known as the Service of Healing, is a sacrament during which there is anointing and the laying on of hands. This is a sacrament that can be repeated as needed throughout one’s life. It can be administered as a communal service in the Church or as an individual service in the Church, the hospital, a nursing facility or in one’s home. Extreme Unction, also known as Last Rites, is administered to prepare a person for death.
Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a sacrament in the Catholic Church. Christ did not institute marriage, but the sacrament blessing such a marriage. This is intended to aid living together in a state of mutual love and support and development and evolution in Christ. The Liberal Catholic Church respects all committed relationships but does not perform same sex sacramental marital unions.
Ordination in the Liberal Catholic Church follows the Apostolic Tradition of ordaining only men as deacons, priests and bishops. Women may be admitted to the lay office of deaconess and are active in various aspects of the Church’s ministry.