Sacraments

The seven sacraments—Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Confession, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick—are the life of the Catholic Church. Each sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace. When we participate in them worthily, each provides us with graces, with the life of God in our soul. In worship, we give to God that which we owe Him; in the sacraments, He gives us the graces necessary to live a truly human life.

The Baptism Window
From a shell comes living (moving) water. In the maritime world, shells were known to bring forth life and so early Christians used shells to perform the Sacrament of Baptism.

 

The symbol for the Sacrament of Confirmation is a seven-flamed fire coming from a lighted lamp. The fire with seven tips of flame symbolizes the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. The lamp from which the fire emanates is an ancient symbol for the Jewish people of the divine presence.

The Marriage Window
A cross entwined with two rings rooted in the human heart. The heart is a traditional sign of human love while the rings are linked as a sign that "the two shall become one." The rings surround the cross to symbolize the sacrifice that Christ has made for his bride, the Church .

The Eucharist Window
The customary symbols of wheat and grapes are used to represent the bread and wine that become the Body and Blood of Christ. This window is at the center of the sacramental windows to show that the Eucharist is the center of our lives as Christians. The letters "IHC" in the host are the first three letters of the name of Jesus in a romanized Greek script.

The Holy Orders Window
The open book symbolizes the Bible and is opened so that the Word of Life may be proclaimed. It is covered with a priest’s stole and a pastoral staff. The candle reminds the ordained that they are to bear the light of Christ in their ministry. The letters "V-D-M-A" stand for the Latin phrase "Verbum Dei manet (in) aeternum" – "The Word of God is eternal."

The Penance Window
The crossed keys are the traditional sign of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. The "ministry of the keys" was entrusted to Peter by Jesus (see Mt 16:19). The sprig of hyssop is an ancient Jewish symbol used in the Old Testament to sprinkle blood or water upon people as a sign of being cleansed from all impurities in the sight of God.

 

The Anointing Window
Symbolized by a vessel which holds olive oil. Olive branches also are employed as signs of peace. The Sacrament conveys the grace of peace and healing to the sick. The candle emphasizes the presence of Christ in the lives of the sick.