The Basilica of Saint Mary
March 24, 2017
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The Basilica of Saint Mary
We are located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Phone: 612.333.1381
A map, email contact, parking information and mailing address is also available.
Weekly Musings Blog
Our pastor and staff directors share their thoughts, insights and inspirations.
Recent Publications
· Weekly Newsletter
  January 16, 2014
· Parish Bulletin
  December 27, 2013
· BASILICA Magazine
  December 6, 2013
Today's Reading
Thursday of the 3rd week of Lent, (commemoration...

Sacraments

The Sacraments, from the Latin "sacramentum" meaning "oath" or "pledge", are the ritual expressions through which Christians experience the love of God as it has been revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The original meaning of the word sacrament is quite broad, as it refers to any manifestation or revelation of the sacred (sacer). The Greek word "mysterion", which predates the Latin "sacramentum," also refers to the mystery, the hiddeness that is revealed in the sacrament.

The Roman Catholic Church, over the course of time, has added a more specific meaning to the word sacrament by defining certain Christian rituals as sacraments.

Since the twelfth century, we have articulated seven sacraments. These are the seven principal liturgical rites of the church through which participants experience the love and power of God (Grace) that flows from Jesus' Passion, Death and Resurrection. They can be grouped into three categories:

Sacraments of Initiation

The sacraments of initiation usher a person into the life of the Church. Adults who are initiated into the Church receive all of them at once. Children receive them at different times in their lives.

Baptism
The sacrament by which one becomes a Christian.
Eucharist
Those who gather are fed by the Word and by the Body and Blood of Christ.
Confirmation / Adult Confirmation
The sacrament of confirmation complements baptism, while both lead to the Eucharist.

Sacraments of Healing

Reconciliation
A Christian is to be reconciled with God and the community.

Anointing of the Sick
To support and strengthen those who are sick.

Sacraments of Vocation

Marriage
The love between two people is a gift from God.
Holy Orders
Those who are called to ordained ministry.
© The baptismal font »
The baptismal font near the main entrance of the Basilica is of sienna marble varying in color from a rich golden hue at the base to a lighter shade at the top. The hemispherical cover consists of a single piece of hand-forged bronze, bearing the symbols of the Evangelists. – Photo by Michael Jensen. [Close]

Although we most often equate the sacraments with a specific ceremony, it is most helpful to look at them as a process. The Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), for instance, illustrate the preparatory process well. However, even after receiving a sacrament, we are called to continue the process as we come to embody the sacrament more and more.

Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults
Adults and adolescents who are seeking to join the Catholic Church.
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