by Alice Ann Pfeifer, CSA
People all over Palestine knew Jesus as a powerful healer and preacher. He eventually empowered his Apostles and their successors to continue his saving work. The Seven Sacraments we celebrate today are, at their core, ways in which Christ continues to heal and save his people.
This prayer is structured around seven New Testament readings, one for each Sacrament. If the group is large enough, consider recruiting seven readers. Otherwise, ask two readers to take turns proclaiming the selections.
If the group wishes, take time at the end of the prayer to share any new insights reached or connections made between the Sacraments we celebrate today and the life of service Jesus lived during his time on earth.
Leader: According to John 14:1, Jesus tells his Apostles at the Last Supper, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Later he adds, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (v. 18). Ever since, Christians who believe in his word have held him to his promise. They welcome him anew every time he returns to them in one of his Sacraments.
Reader 1: In thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Baptism, let’s listen to Matthew 28:18-20. (Read the Scripture.)
All: Baptism unites all of us—members of many different nations—into a single, global faith community. In this community you live among us, O Lord, until the end of time. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Reader 2: For insight into the Sacrament of Eucharist, let’s listen to John 6:53-57. (Read the Scripture.)
All: In the bread and wine of Holy Eucharist, we receive from you, O Lord, a share in the same life that you enjoy with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Through you, O Lord, we have fullness of life. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Reader 3: For insight into the Sacrament of Confirmation, let’s listen to Acts 1:3-8. (Read the Scripture.)
All: In Confirmation, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and strengthened by the Spirit’s many gifts. This Sacrament helps us accomplish all that you ask of us, O Lord. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Reader 4: For insight into the Sacrament of Penance, let’s listen to John 20:19-23. (Read the Scripture.)
All: Whenever we feel burdened by our sins, we know where we can go to seek your forgiveness, O Lord. The Sacrament of Penance helps us break with our sinful past and make a fresh start in our life of faith. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Reader 5: For insight into the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, let’s listen to Mark 1:38-41. (Read the Scripture.)
All: Whenever we feel pain, we do not have to suffer alone. Through the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, you reach out and touch us, O Lord, in our moment of need. Sometimes you cure our afflictions; sometimes you simply give us the strength to bear them. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Reader 6: For insight into the Sacrament of Matrimony, let’s listen to Matthew 19:3-6. (Read the Scripture.)
All: In the Sacrament of Matrimony, O Lord, you bless the married love of man and woman. You help them stay together in good times and in bad, so that their love may witness to God’s own unending love. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Reader 7: For insight into the Sacrament of Holy Orders, let’s listen to Mark 3:10-15. (Read the Scripture.)
All: Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, O Lord, you extend over time and space the priestly ministry you began in first-century Palestine. Through your chosen priests, you teach, feed, heal, and console us at every stage of our lives. We praise and thank you for this Sacrament.
Leader: Let us conclude our prayer with the words our Savior taught us.
All: Our Father . . .
Sister Alice Ann Pfeifer, CSA, has worked in religious education as a teacher and writer for the past 25 years. She holds a master’s degree in pastoral studies from St. Joseph’s College of Maine and presently resides in Fond du Lac, WI.
Permission is granted to copy for community prayer.
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This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, May 2014.
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