The Catholic Church sees baptism as the first and basic sacrament of Christian initiation. In the Western or Latin Church, baptism is usually conferred today by pouring water three times on the recipient’s head, while reciting the baptismal formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (cf. Matthew 28:19). In the Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine Rite immersion or submersion is used, and the formula is: “The servant of God, N., is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Though sprinkling is not normally used, its validity is accepted, provided that the water flows over the skin, since otherwise it is not a washing.
The Sacrament of Penance is the first of two sacraments of healing. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions in the following order and capitalization different names of the sacrament, calling it the sacrament of conversion, Penance, confession, forgiveness and Reconciliation. It is the sacrament of spiritual healing of a baptized person from the distancing from God resulting from sins committed. When people sin after baptism, they cannot have baptism as a remedy; Baptism, which is a spiritual regeneration, cannot be given a second time.
The sacrament involves four elements: (1) Contrition (the penitent’s sincere remorse for wrongdoing or sin, repentance, without which the rite has no effect); (2) Confession to a priest who has the faculty to hear confessions (Canon 966.1) – while it may be spiritually helpful to confess to another, only a priest has the power to administer the sacrament; (3) Absolution by the priest; and, (4) Satisfaction or penance.
“Many sins wrong our neighbour. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbour. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must ‘make satisfaction for’ or ‘expiate’ his sins. This satisfaction is also called ‘penance'”. In early Christian centuries, this element of satisfaction was quite onerous and generally preceded absolution, but now it usually involves a simple task for the penitent to perform later, in order to make some reparation and as a medicinal means of strengthening against further temptation.
The priest is bound by the “seal of confession”, which is inviolable. “Accordingly, it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion.” A confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal incurs an automatic excommunication whose lifting is reserved to the Holy See.
In some dioceses, certain sins are “reserved” which means only certain confessors can absolve them. Some sins, such as violation of the sacramental seal, consecration of bishops without authorization by the Holy See, direct physical attacks on the Pope, and intentional desecration of the Eucharist are reserved to the Holy See. A special case-by-case faculty from the Sacred Penitentiary is normally required to absolve these sins.
The Eucharist, also called the Blessed Sacrament, is the sacrament (the third of Christian initiation, the one that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says “completes Christian initiation”) by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in his one sacrifice. The first of these two aspects of the sacrament is also called Holy Communion. The bread (which must be wheaten, and which is unleavened in the Latin, Armenian and Ethiopic Rites, but is leavened in most Eastern Rites) and wine (which must be from grapes) used in the Eucharistic rite are, in Catholic faith, transformed in its inner reality, though not in appearance, into the Body and Blood of Christ, a change that is called transubstantiation. “The minister who is able to confect the sacrament of the Eucharist in the person of Christ is a validly ordained priest alone.” The word “priest” here (in Latin sacerdos) includes both bishops and those priests who are also called presbyters. Deacons as well as priests (sacerdotes) are ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and lay people may be authorized in limited circumstances to act as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
The Eucharist is seen as “the source and summit” of Christian living, the high point of God’s sanctifying action on the faithful and of their worship of God, the point of contact between them and the liturgy of heaven. So important is it that participation in the Eucharistic celebration (see Mass) is seen as obligatory on every Sunday and holy day of obligation and is recommended on other days. Also recommended for those who participate in the Mass is reception, with the proper dispositions, of Holy Communion. This is seen as obligatory at least once a year, during Eastertide.
Confirmation or Chrismation is the second sacrament of Christian initiation. “It is called Chrismation (in the Eastern Churches: anointing with holy myron or chrism) because the essential rite of the sacrament is anointing with chrism. It is called Confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace.” It is conferred by “the anointing with Sacred Chrism (oil mixed with balsam and consecrated by the bishop), which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite.” These words, in both their Western and Eastern variants, refer to a gift of the Holy Spirit that marks the recipient as with a seal. Through the sacrament the grace given in baptism is “strengthened and deepened.” Like baptism, confirmation may be received only once, and the recipient must be in a state of grace (meaning free from any known unconfessed mortal sin) in order to receive its effects. The “originating” minister of the sacrament is a validly consecrated bishop; if a priest (a “presbyter”) confers the sacrament — as is done ordinarily in the Eastern Churches and in special cases (such as the baptism of an adult or in danger of the death of a young child) in the Latin Church — the link with the higher order is indicated by the use of oil (known as “chrism” or “myron”) blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday itself or on a day close to it. In the East, which retains the ancient practice, the sacrament is administered by the parish priest immediately after baptism. In the West, where the sacrament is normally reserved for those who can understand its significance, it came to be postponed until the recipient’s early adulthood; in the 20th century, after Pope Pius X introduced first Communion for children on reaching the age of discretion, the practice of receiving Confirmation later than the Eucharist became widespread; but the traditional order, with Confirmation administered before First Communion, is being increasingly restored.
CELEBRATING THE SACRED SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
Congratulations on your engagement!
We are excited that you have chosen our Church, Christ the Redeemer, to begin your journey into marriage! It is a very special time in your life. Matrimony is a sacrament that is seen as the love uniting Christ and the Church, establishing a permanent bond sealed by God. It is one of the greatest blessings in life and one of the most important decisions you will make.
It is our hope that the following information will assist you in preparing for the sacred sacrament of Matrimony. The staff and clergy of Christ the Redeemer wish you every blessing as you begin your lives together!
SCHEDULING THE CEREMONY
If you are considering a wedding at Christ the Redeemer Church, please contact our Parish Office (706-265-1361) AT LEAST 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE of your wedding, The Office will immediately connect you with a Wedding Director to assist you in preparation for the special day! The WEDDING RESERVATION FORM should be received at this time.
Saturday – 11:00 AM & 1:30 PM
Friday – 6:00 PM
Rehearsal for a Friday evening wedding will be on Thursday at 4:00 P.M.
Rehearsal for a Saturday wedding will be on Friday at 4:00 P.M.
A wedding fee is required for usage of the church facility, providing of wedding services and church maintenance. An additional fee will be required for our music coordinator, to be established when you meet with her. Basic fees are determined based upon parishioner status. To qualify for the Active Registered Parishioner rate, you or your parents must be registered and active at Christ the Redeemer for at least 6 months before reserving wedding date. An “active” parishioner is defined by regular attendance at Mass, participation in the parish, and financial contributions on record at our parish.
ACTIVE REGISTERED PARISHIONER FEE – $500
NON-PARISHIONERS OR NON-ACTIVE – $1,000
Your wedding date is confirmed upon receipt of the Wedding Reservation Form and payment of fees (payment plan available – deposit required)
Make checks payable to Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church.
Marriage Preparation in the Catholic Church also requires a marriage preparation program, important to the success and happiness of your future life together. You are able to set up a marriage preparation course through the Archdiocese by clicking HERE
Your engagement is also a good time to reflect on the practices of your faith, your prayer life, Sunday Mass attendance and reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation.
All these will give you a solid foundation on which to build your married and family life.
- BAPTISM CERTIFICATE – may be obtained by requesting a “newly issued” copy of the certificate from the parish where you were baptized.
- AFFIDAVITES OF FREEDOM TO MARRY – both the Bride and Groom, whether Catholic or not, will each be asked to provide two affidavits testifying to their Freedom to Marry. This document can be obtained at this Church.
- MARRIAGE LICENSE – YOU MUST OBTAIN A MARRIAGE LICENSE! The license for a wedding in Georgia can be obtained at any Probate Court in the State of Georgia and is valid anywhere in the state. The Marriage License and return envelope furnished by the county should be turned in to the Parish Office at least one week prior to your wedding. The wedding license will be kept in your file for safekeeping until the day of your wedding. It is illegal in Georgia for a clergy member to officiate at a wedding unless a license is in hand and the rehearsal will not take place if the license has not been turned into Parish office.
- MAIN CHURCH – Our Church can seat approximately 500 guests (100 during pandemic). We recommend no more than 5 attendants each for Bride and Groom in the wedding party.
- BRIDE’S ROOM – Our Bride’s Room is available to the Bride and her attendants only. Food and drink (non-alcoholic) may be brought in. The room will be locked during ceremony but please gather belongings after ceremony. Christ the Redeemer will not be responsible your property.
- AN ELEVATOR is also available.
- A NUPTIAL MASS is a wedding that includes both the Sacrament of Marriage and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Marriage between two Catholics is most often celebrated during a Nuptial Mass. A Priest is required for a Nuptial Mass.
- A WEDDING CEREMONY includes only the Readings (Liturgy of the Word) and exchange of vows. This is often the choice for a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic.
Living together outside the sacrament of marriage is a mortal sin, and thus, in good conscience a Nuptial Mass will not be performed. It is strongly encouraged, for the future sake of the marriage, that you do not cohabitate during your engagement and it is important to speak to the clergy about performing your matrimonial sacrament.
All ceremonies will take place in the Church: no outside vendors, barns, gardens, grotto, etc,
The wedding director will provide the couple with a booklet of various options for the readings and prayers within the ceremony. Reading Selections must be finalized TWO MONTHS before rehearsal and must be read by someone 18 or older.
A wedding program of your celebration is suggested as a helpful tool to guide your guests through the ceremony.
Visiting priests or deacons from other parishes are welcome to celebrate weddings at Christ the Redeemer. The Bride and Groom must personally contact him so he can be notified of our wedding procedures. Please have him contact Christ the Redeemer to ascertain his acceptance of the responsibility of preparing the Bride and Groom for all facets involved in their preparation for the sacrament of marriage.
If you are registered at another parish, you will need to invite a priest from your parish to come to Christ the Redeemer to celebrate your wedding.
INTERFAITH MARRIAGE – in marrying someone of a different faith the Catholic party promises to maintain his/her own faith and raise the children in the Catholic faith. In all cases, a Catholic Priest or Deacon is required to celebrate the wedding.
Stipend for Clergy – Many couples make a personal gift for the Priest or Deacon who celebrates their wedding at their wedding. This amount is up to your discretion. Altar Servers, if any, may also receive a stipend of about $10 each.
You may sponsor for flower arrangements for the altar for the weekend of your wedding if you wish and the flowers will then remain at Christ the Redeemer. A florist must be engaged for other floral arrangements (bouquets, etc.)
- If the Bride and Groom would like to purchase flowers, and dedicate them to the Blessed Mother, an opportunity after Communion will be offered.
- No aisle runner or pew decorations are allowed
- Flower girls and ring bearers are all allowed. However, no flower petals may be tossed. For ring bearers, the real rings may NOT be attached to the pillow. The real rings should be placed on a dish on the altar BEFORE the ceremony.
NOTHING CAN BE THROWN INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.
That includes flower petals. rice, bird seed, bubbles, etc.
You will receive information concerning music selections after your wedding is scheduled. You will meet with a music director about TWO MONTHS before your wedding date to discuss the music for your ceremony. All music must be chosen from an approved list and discussed with our music director. Fees will be discussed at that time also.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR MUSIC
- Only live music is allowed- no recorded music
- All music, including vocal selections, must be sacred in nature and taken from suggested and appropriate music selections
- All music will be performed in choir loft
- No music rehearsal will take place during the rehearsal because of time restrictions
The Bride and Groom make their own arrangements for photography. These are wonderful remembrances of your special day and it is important to keep in mind the sacred nature of the occasion.
Some important guidelines to keep in mind:
- The photographer will dress appropriately and arrive at least 30 minutes before ceremony.
- The photographer will stay in back of church and never come up FURTHER THAN 4TH PEW AND NEVER ENTER ALTAR AREA.
- The photographer is allowed to take pictures 30 minutes after ceremony making sure that all pictures taken with clergy are taken first.
- It is a good idea to give your photographer a complete list of your requests a week before wedding to expedite photography time allotted
- Photographer will be asked to sign a required list of Christ the Redeemer photo guidelines.
- Video equipment is allowed in choir loft (3rdfloor) only and should be there at least 30 minutes before ceremony
- Video equipment must be stationary during ceremony. No roving cameras are permitted
- Wireless microphones may be worn by Bride and Groom
- No flood lights or any special lighting may be used during ceremony
- No wires laid across aisles
- Videographer must sign the video outlines of Christ the Redeemer
- No smoking is allowed anywhere
- No alcohol allowed anywhere on Parish grounds, church or Bride’s Room
- Nothing can be thrown on Parish grounds
- Receiving line will take place at Reception, not in the Church
THE BRIDE AND GROOM ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR OF ALL PARTICIPATING IN THEIR WEDDING CEREMONY. YOUR WEDDING IS A SACRED LITURGY AND THE BEHAVIOR OF ALL MUST REFLECT THE SANCTITY OF THE CEREMONY.
COUNTDOWN TO YOUR WEDDING
- 6 MONTHS or sooner – contact Parish Office to begin the Christ the Redeemer reservation process. Fill out Wedding Reservation Form
- Pay fees
- Set up Marriage Prep Course with Archdiocese.
- Obtain necessary documents. Marriage License must be returned to Parish Office ONE WEEK BEFORE WEDDING
- Set up Photographer and Videographer
- 3 MONTHS – Arrange meeting with Church Wedding Director.
- 2 MONTHS –Meet with our Church music director to discuss sacred wedding music
- 2 MONTHS – Choose readings, prayers, and readers for ceremony. Can be discussed with wedding director
- REHEARSAL- Evening before wedding in church. The rehearsal will take place in the Church and only Bride, Groom, wedding party and readers will attend. Rehearsal time allotment is 45 minutes and all present will comply with appropriate behavior guidelines. There will be no music rehearsal at this time.
- WEDDING DAY! Remind all involved with Behavior Guidelines.
The wedding party should arrive one hour before the wedding. A wedding coordinator will greet you to guide you to the Bride’s Room and the Groom/Best Man waiting area and help orchestrate procession. Receiving line, after the ceremony should be held at Bridal reception and not at the Church.
CONGRATULATIONS! We at Christ the Redeemer consider it a privilege to assist you in your preparation for the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony.
“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork, a mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.” -Fawn Weaver
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick is the second sacrament of healing. In this sacrament a priest anoints the sick with oil blessed specifically for that purpose. “The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger by reason of illness or old age”. A new illness or a worsening of health enables a person to receive the sacrament a further time.
When, in the Western Church, the sacrament was conferred only on those in immediate danger of death, it came to be known as “Extreme Unction”, i.e. “Final Anointing”, administered as one of the Last Rites. The other Last Rites are Confession (if the dying person is physically unable to confess, at least absolution, conditional on the existence of contrition, is given), and the Eucharist, which when administered to the dying is known as “Viaticum”, a word whose original meaning in Latin was “provision for a journey”.
The death of one of our sisters and brothers is a significant event for us as the Church. It is a time when we, who loved the deceased person, mourn our loss. It is a time when we as a Church celebrate God’s gift of life and mark, with special rites and gatherings, the return of that life to our loving God. It is a time when the Church earnestly seeks to minister with compassion not only to the deceased but to the living which includes their family, friends, and parishioners as well.