The Sacraments

It is important that you know whether you have Sanctifying Grace in your soul or not.  It is something you cannot afford to be uncertain about.  Grace, however, is absolutely spiritual.  You cannot feel it or experience it with any of the five senses.  A religious feeling does not indicate that presence of Sanctifying Grace in the soul.  Therefore, Jesus Christ had to give us some signs which would indicate that Grace is going into the soul.  He had to give us signs that we could see, feel, hear or experience with some of the five senses. As a matter of fact, He gave us seven such signs by which we could know that we are receiving Grace. These signs are the seven Sacraments.

The Sacraments are another indication of how much God loves you and how interested He is in you.  In studying the Sacraments, you will realize keenly how much non-Catholics have missed in life, as the wonders of God's loving care are unfolded before your eyes.

Baptism of Christ, by Carracci

The Sacrament of Baptism

"And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  This man came to Jesus by night, and said to Him:  Rabbi, we know that Thou are come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which Thou dost, unless God be with him.  Jesus answered, and said to him:  Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, He cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith to Him:  How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born again?  Jesus answered:  Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."  (John 3:1-5)

bulletWhat is Baptism? Baptism is the Sacrament which makes you a Christian and a member of the Catholic Church and gives you the right to receive the other Sacraments.

bulletWhat does Baptism do to your soul?

  1. It takes away all sin:  Original Sin, plus mortal and venial sins. "Do penance and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins."    (Acts 2:38)
  2. It puts Sanctifying grace into your soul for the first time.
  3. It brings the Holy Ghost to dwell in your soul.
  4. It makes you a member of the Catholic Church.
  5. It enables you to receive the other Sacraments.

bulletWhy do you have to be baptized?  Because Jesus Christ said: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."    (John 3:5)

bulletWhat kind of sin is it to delay your Baptism? A serious (mortal) sin. "Why tarriest thou?  Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins."    (Acts 22:16)

bulletWhat do you have to do to be baptized?

  1. You have to take a full course of instructions in the Catholic religion;
  2. Give up all seriously sinful habits;
  3. Have the right intention. The "right intention" means that you wish to become a Catholic because the Catholic Church is the only true Church.

bulletWho gives Baptism? Ordinarily, the priest, but anyone can baptize in an emergency. 

bulletHow is Baptism given? It is given by pouring water over the forehead of the person to be baptized and, while pouring the water, saying, "I baptize thee in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"  (Matthew 28:19), while having at least the minimum intention to do what the Church wants you to do by performing this sacramental act.

        Baptism can also be given by immersion or sprinkling, but in all cases the water has to flow over the head or forehead (not just the hair).

bulletWhat are sponsors (Godparents) for? Sponsors at Baptism are supposed to see that their godchildren stay faithful to their religious duties.

bulletWhy do you take the name of a Saint at Baptism? You take a Saint's name to have that Saint watch over you and to have someone to imitate.

bulletDo babies have to be baptized? Yes, because they have Original Sin on their souls, which means they have no Sanctifying Grace.

bulletHow soon should a baby be baptized? Within two or three weeks of its birth. It is a mortal sin to delay the Baptism of a baby for a long time.



bulletMake arrangements with your priest a week before the baby's Baptism.  The baby's godfather and godmother should be good Catholics.

bulletAn expectant mother in a hospital should tell the doctors and nurses that she is a Catholic and that, if there is any danger to the life of the baby, they should send for a priest right away.  In case of real emergency, somebody should baptize the baby.

bulletIf your were baptized in a Protestant church, you will probably still have to go through the Catholic ceremony of Baptism.  This is called conditional Baptism.  The reason for this is to make sure that you are really baptized.  It is practically impossible to find out if your Protestant Baptism was done according to the intention of Christ, since many Protestant ministers consider Baptism merely a sort of initiation ritual or symbol that produced no effect in the soul.

The Manner in which a Lay Person is to Baptize in Case of Necessity
Pour common water on the head or face of the person to be baptized say while pouring it:
"I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

The Sacrament of Confession

"Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them:  'Peace be to you.'  And when He had said this, he shewed them His hands and His side.  The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.  He said therefore to them again:  'Peace be to you.  As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.'  When He had said this, He breathed on them; and He said to them:  'Receive ye the Holy Ghost.  Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.'"  (John 20:19-23)

bulletWhy did God the Father send His Son into the world?  To save man from his sins. "Thou shalt call His name Jesus.  For He shall save His people from their sins."    (Matthew 1:21)

bulletDoes Jesus Christ have the power to forgive sins? Yes, Jesus has the power to forgive sin because He is God.

bulletDid Jesus Christ forgive sins while on earth? Yes, He forgave the sins of the paralyzed man (Luke 5:18-26), the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11), the sinful woman (Luke 7:39-50) and the good thief (Luke 23:39-43).

bulletDid Jesus Christ give anyone the power to forgive sin? Yes, to His Apostles on Easter Sunday night.

"Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."    (John 20:23)

bulletDid Jesus want His Apostles to hand down this power to others? Yes, because He died to save all men from their sins.

"This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who will have all men to be saved."    (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

bulletHow did the Apostles hand down this power to others? By making other men bishops and priests. After the Apostles died, the bishops have continued to hand down the power of forgiving sin, during the past 2,000 years, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

bulletWho has the power to forgive sin today? All bishops and priests of the Catholic Church can forgive sin.

bulletWhat is the Sacrament of Penance? Penance is the Sacrament by which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven.

bulletWhat do you have to do to have your sins forgiven?  You have to be truly sorry for them and confess them to a Catholic priest.

"He that hideth his sins, shall not prosper:  but he that shall confess, and forsake them, shall obtain mercy."    (Proverbs 28:13)

bulletWhy do you have to confess your sins to a priest? This is the way Jesus Christ wants sin to be forgiven.  Otherwise, Christ would not have given His priests the power to forgive sin.

bulletWhy does the priest have to know what sins you have committed? He has to know whether he is to forgive your sins or "retain" them. If you are truly sorry, he will grant you forgiveness (called "absolution"); if not, he must retain them (that is, refuse to give you absolution).

bulletDoes the priests only pray that your sins will be forgiven? No, the priest, by the power given him, actually takes the sins off your soul (called "absolution"). "For what I have pardoned...  I have done it in the person of Christ."    (2 Corinthians 2:10)

bulletCan you be sure that your sins are forgiven in Confession? Yes, if you have properly confessed them and are sorry for them.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity."    (1 John 1:9)

bulletWhat does Confession do for your soul? Besides taking sin off your soul, Confession also--

  1. Puts Sanctifying Grace back into your soul, if you were in mortal sin, absolution of sin
  2. Makes the grace grow in you, extra strength to stay away from the same or similar sins in the future.
  3. Gives you an exorcism, to keep evil spirits away from you

bulletCan all sins be forgiven in Confession? Yes, if you are truly sorry for them.

bulletWhat is meant by "being sorry for your sins"? "Being sorry" means--

  1. that you wish you had not committed the sins
  2. that you sincerely promise not to commit those sins again
  3. that you promise to stay way from any person, place, or thing that easily leads you into sin.

bulletWhat kind of sorrow do you have to have to be forgiven? Religious sorrow, that is, you must be sorry because you dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell (imperfect sorrow), and/or because you have offended the infinitely good God (perfect sorrow). Therefore, to have your sins forgiven, it is not enough to be sorry because your sins have caused you to lose your job or some money.  The sorrow has to be religious.  Sorrow for sin is called contrition.  You do not have to feel the sorrow with your emotions.

bulletWhy do you not have to be afraid of Confession? You do not have to be afraid because--

  1. you may go to any priest you want
  2. in the confessional, a screen hides you from the priest
  3. the priest is never allowed to tell anyone any sin he has ever heard in Confession.  This secrecy is called the "Seal of Confession."

bulletWhat sins do you have to confess? All your mortal sins.

bulletWhat kind of sin is it deliberately to omit telling a mortal sin in Confession? A mortal sin of sacrilege.  This is called making a bad Confession. To undo a bad Confession, you have to confess that you made a bad Confession, confess the omitted mortal sin (s), and confess any other mortal sins you have committed since then (including Communions received in the state of mortal sin).

bulletWhat should you do if you forget to confess a mortal sin? You must tell it in your next Confession and tell the priest that you forgot it. But the sin is forgiven and you may receive Communion in the meantime.

bulletWhat do you do if you have no mortal sins to confess? Tell your venial sins and/or mention some sin already told in a previous Confession.

bulletHow often do you have to go to Confession? At least once a year during Lent.

If you ever commit a mortal sin, say the Act of Contrition right away and go to Confession as soon as possible.  If you have  perfect contrition for the mortal sin and intend to confess it in Confession, God forgives you and takes away the sin right away,  but you may not receive Holy Communion until you confess it in Confession.

bulletHow often does a good Catholic go to Confession? Once a week, if possible, but at least once a month. Remember that in Confession you receive grace from the Sacrament of Penance.  Besides, in Confession you receive special helps to overcome the temptations that bother you most.



bulletIn Confession the eternal punishment (Hell) is taken away, but all of the temporal punishment due to your sins is not always taken away.  "Temporal punishment" means that, even though all your sins are forgiven through the Sacrament of Penance, God still requires that you be punished for your sins, either in this life or in Purgatory.  So, Confession does not make sinning easier.  One of the chief ways by which you can make up for your sins is by gaining indulgences.

bulletIf you are in danger of death and cannot go to Confession right away, be sure to make an act of perfect contrition; say the Act of Contrition, or simply tell God you are sorry for all your sins because they offend Him, Who is all good, and beg His mercy.  If somebody else (whether Catholic or not) is in danger of death, it is a great act of charity to help him to be sorry for offending God and to beg God's mercy.

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion)

"I am the bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead.  This is the bread which cometh down from Heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.  I am the living bread which came down from Heaven.  If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, is My flesh, for the life of the world."

   "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying:  How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"

   "Then Jesus said to them:  Amen, amen I say unto you:  Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.  He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath everlasting life:  and I will raise Him up in the last day."

   "For My flesh is meat indeed:  and My blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me.  This is the bread that came down from Heaven.  Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead.  He that eateth this bread, shall live forever.  These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum." 
(John 6:48-60)



"And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke:  and gave to His disciples, and said:  Take ye, and eat.  This is My body.  And taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying:  Drink ye all of this.  For this is My blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto the remission of sins."  (Matthew 26:26-28)
bulletWhat is the Holy Eucharist? The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament in which Jesus Christ is really and physically present under the appearances of bread and wine.

"The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?"    (1 Corinthians 10:16)


bulletWhy is it also called "the Blessed Sacrament"? Because it is the most blessed of all the Sacraments, since it is Jesus Christ Himself.


bulletWhen did Jesus make this Sacrament? At the Last Supper, on the night before He died.


bulletHow could Jesus change bread and wine into His Body and Blood? Jesus Christ is God and therefore can do anything. He told the Apostles that this was His Body and Blood. It also shows God's example of humility, by using bread and wine for our consumption as a way to come directly to his children.


bulletDid the bread and wine change their appearance? No, the appearances of the bread and wine (taste, smell, color, size, shape, weight) did not change, even though the bread and wine were actually changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The entire substance of the bread and wine are changed into the substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus; thus the bread and wine no longer exist.  This change is called Transubstantiation.


bulletAre both the Body and Blood of Christ present under the appearances of bread alone? Yes, it is the living Christ who is present; that is, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are present both under the appearance of bread and under the appearance of wine.


bulletDid Jesus give anyone the power of changing bread and wine into His body and Blood?  Yes, to His twelve Apostles at the Last Supper, when He told them, "Do this for a commemoration of me."


bulletDid Jesus ordain that His Apostles hand this power down to others? Yes, because He wanted all men to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood.

"Amen, amen, I say to you:  Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you."    (John 6:54)  (Here, "Life" means Sanctifying Grace.)


bulletHow did the Apostles hand down this power? They handed it down by making other men priests and bishops through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. 


bulletWhen does the priest change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?
   At Mass, when he says, "This is My Body," and "This is the chalice of My Blood..."


bulletWhere is the Blessed Sacrament kept? In a little safe (called a tabernacle) on the altar.

"And my tabernacle shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."    (Ezechiel 37:27)


bulletWhat is Holy Communion? Receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.


bulletWhat is necessary to receive Holy Communion worthily?
  1. You have to be a baptized Catholic...
  2. have no mortal sin on your soul...
  3. be fasting.


bulletDo you have to go to Confession first every time you receive Communion?  No, unless you have mortal sin on your soul.


bulletWhat kind of sin is it to receive Communion unworthily? To do so knowingly and willingly is a mortal sin called a sacrilege.


bullet What does "fasting" mean? "Fasting" means that, for three hours before receiving Communion, you have to stop eating solid food and drinking all liquids except water. You may take water, and if sick, medicine any time before receiving.  You must stop chewing gum at least one hour before.  Until the 1950s, the Church required fasting from midnight before Communion; this rule was later shortened to three hours for food and one hour for liquids (with water being allowed at any time). It is very praiseworthy to continue observing the traditional fast from midnight.


bulletHow often do you have to receive Communion?  At least once a year, during the Easter Season, that is, any time from the 6th Sunday before Easter to the 8th Sunday after Easter.  This is called your Easter Duty.

The 6th Sunday before Easter is called the First Sunday of Lent; the 8th Sunday after Easter is called Trinity Sunday.


bulletWhat kind of sin is it to miss your Easter Duty? A mortal sin.


bulletHow often does a good Catholic receive Communion?   A good Catholic receives Communion every Sunday, or every day, if possible, but only once on the same day.


bulletWhat does Holy Communion do for your soul? It makes the Sanctifying Grace in your soul grow.

"Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you."    (John 6:54)


bulletWhat else does Communion do for you?
  1. Communion unites you with Jesus. "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me and I in him."    (John 6:57)
  2. It is food for your soul, to help you love God and obey His laws. "Give us this day our daily bread."    (Luke 11:3)
  3. It is a promise of your resurrection and future glory in Heaven. "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood hath everlasting life:  and I will raise him up in the last day."    (John 6:55)
  4. It weakens your sinful inclinations.





Ordinarily, you receive Communion during Mass. However, the priest may bring you Communion when you are sick at home or in the hospital.




Communion is called Viaticum when received when a person is in danger of death.




After receiving Communion, you should spend some time praying to Our Lord, adoring Him, thanking Him, loving Him, and asking His help.




You are not forbidden to receive Communion with venial sins on your soul, but you are advised to recite the Confiteor or the Act of Contrition before receiving.

Confirmation, by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, 1712
The Sacrament of Confirmation
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"Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.  Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.  For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost."  (Acts 8:14-17)

bulletWhat is Confirmation? Confirmation is the Sacrament which gives you the strength to be a good Catholic. This Sacrament completes and perfects the Christian life you begin at Baptism.


bulletWho comes into your soul when you are confirmed? The Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.

"Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost?"    (I Corinthians 6:19)


bulletWhat does Confirmation do to your soul?
  1. Confirmation gives you more Sanctifying Grace...
  2. It gives you more strength to stay away from sin and lead a Christian life...
  3. It helps you to be a loyal and faithful follower of Jesus Christ...
  4. It gives you the strength to profess your Catholic Faith openly and not to hide it.


bulletCan you get to Heaven without Confirmation? Yes, but it is more difficult.


bulletIs it a sin to neglect Confirmation? Yes, it is a sin to neglect Confirmation.


bulletWho gives Confirmation?  Usually a bishop.


bulletWhat do you have to do to receive Confirmation worthily?
  1. You have to be a baptized Catholic, and...
  2. have no mortal sin on your soul.
You should also be well instructed in the Catholic religion.


bulletDo you have to have a sponsor for Confirmation? Yes, but usually not the same one you had for Baptism.


bulletHow many times can you be confirmed? Only once.


bulletWhat is expected of a confirmed Catholic? A confirmed Catholic, by his prayers and words and good example, should try to lead others to the True Church.


bulletHow is Confirmation given? In the traditional rite, the Bishop, holding his hands over those to be confirmed, prays for them and then makes the Sign of the Cross on the forehead of each one with the holy oil of Chrism.  He then taps each person lightly on the cheek.


bulletWhat words does the Bishop say while confirming? He says:  "I sign thee with the Sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the Chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."


bulletWhat is Holy Chrism? A mixture of olive oil and balm, consecrated by the Bishop on Holy Thursday; it is a symbol of the strength received in Confirmation.


bulletWhy does the Bishop tap each one on the cheek? The tap on the cheek is to remind those confirmed that they must be ready to suffer all things, even death, for the sake of Jesus Christ.

"Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake."    (Matthew 5:11)




Choose a good Catholic for your sponsor.  You also have to select the name of another Saint for Confirmation (not the one you had for Baptism).




The Holy Ghost comes into your soul more fully when you are confirmed.  He brings to your soul His Seven Gifts, which are:  Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.




A dying parishioner may receive Confirmation from his pastor if the Bishop cannot be reached in time.


The Sacrament of Extreme Unction & Last Rites

"Is any man sick among you?  Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man:  and the Lord shall raise him up:  and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him."  (James 5:14-15)



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bulletWhat is the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?  Extreme Unction is the Sacrament which gives health and strength to the soul and sometimes to the body to persons who are in danger of death. The words "Extreme Unction" mean "last anointing."  In Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, the body is anointed with holy oil.  In the Sacrament of Extreme Unction the body is anointed for the last time.  Hence the name.


bulletHow is Extreme Unction given? After praying over the sick person, the priest anoints (makes the Sign of the Cross with the Holy Oil) on the person's eyes, ears, nostrils, lips, hands, and feet.


bulletWhat does the priest say while anointing the sick person? He says:  "Through this holy anointing, and by His most tender mercy, may the Lord pardon you what sins you have committed by sight (hearing, speech, and so on)."


bulletWhat does Extreme Unction do for your soul? The Sacrament of Extreme Unction --
  1. Gives you more Sanctifying Grace;
  2. Helps you to bear your sufferings;
  3. Strengthens you against the temptations of the devil;
  4. Sometimes gives back your health;
  5. Takes away temporal punishment due to sin;
  6. Prepares you for immediate entry into Heaven.


bulletDoes Extreme Unction take away sin? Extreme Unction takes away --
  1. All your venial sins
  2. even your mortal sins if you are unable to confess them but are truly sorry for them.


bulletWho can give Extreme Unction? Only a Catholic priest.


bulletWho can receive Extreme Unction? Any Catholic in danger of death from sickness, old age or accident not only can, but should receive Extreme Unction. However, it may not be given to infants or to anyone who has never had the use of reason.


bulletWhen should you receive Extreme Unction? Whenever the sickness or accident is so serious that it could cause death.

Examples:  Pneumonia, heart attack, a serious car accident.


bulletHow often can you receive Extreme Unction? Only once in the same danger of death. However, if a new danger arises, you can receive it again.


bulletWhat should be done in case of sudden death? Send for a priest right away, because Extreme Unction may be given even after a person is apparently dead. Even when a person displays all the usual manifestations of death, the soul may still not have departed from the body.  Therefore, the Church allows Extreme Unction to be administered for a time after "death" has occurred.


bulletWhy is it wrong to wait until the sick person is unconscious before sending for the priest?  Because the sick person must be conscious in order to benefit the most from the Sacrament.


bulletWhat kind of sin is it to deprive a sick person of Extreme Unction? A mortal sin. It often happens that a convert is the only Catholic in a family.  If this is your case, therefore, you should tell your relatives to send for the priest if you are ever in danger of death.


bulletWhat should be done before the priest comes to anoint the sick person? Spread a white cloth on a table beside the bed.  Then put a crucifix, two blessed candles, a bottle of holy water, a glass of drinking water, a spoon and some cotton on the table.

A member of the family, carrying a lighted candle, should meet the priest at the door and lead him to the sickroom.  No one should talk to the priest, for he probably has the Holy Eucharist with him.  Everyone should kneel down when he enters.  If you do not have the above items, call the priest anyway.


bulletWhat does the priest do when he enters the sickroom? First, he says some prayers, sprinkles the sick person with holy water and hears his Confession.  Then he gives him Holy Communion and Extreme Unction, and finally, the Last Blessing.

All of these together are called the Last Sacraments or Last Rites of the Church.  (Everyone else leaves the room while the priest hears the sick person's Confession.)




Do not worry that a sick person will be frightened by the priest, because Catholics should always be glad to see the priest in order to receive the comforts that only the Sacraments can bring.




If you are going to be a patient in a non-Catholic hospital, tell your parish priest which one you are going to and how long you expect to be there.  Also, tell the doctors and nurses that you are Catholic and that they should send for a priest if you become critical or serious.




Catholics should be buried in Catholic cemeteries.  Tell your relatives to see your parish priest about your funeral.  Or, make the arrangements yourself ahead of time.




Catholics are forbidden to have their bodies cremated, except in case of a serious public necessity.  The Catholic burial service used to be denied to those who give orders to have their bodies cremated. Reason for this is because your body is holy. You have been consuming the Body of Jesus your whole life and this is why you should be buried in blessed soil (Catholic Cemetery) and also the reason you should never consider being cremated unless the state law enforces it on you.

Ordination of St. Stephen the Deacon, by Fra Angelico, 1447-1449
The Sacrament of Holy Orders (Priesthood)

"Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession.  For we have not a high priest, who cannot have compassion on our infirmities:  but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.  Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace in seasonable aid.  For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that He may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins:  Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err:  because He Himself also is compassed with infirmity.  And therefore He ought, as for the people, as also for Himself, to offer for sins.  Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was."  (Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:1-4)


"And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying:  'All power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth.  Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."  (Matthew 28:18-20)

bulletWhat did Jesus do to continue His work on earth? To make sure that His work be continued, Jesus established the Catholic Priesthood, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

"For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us"    (2 Corinthians 5:20)


bulletWhat is the Sacrament of Holy Orders? Holy Orders is the Sacrament which gives a man the powers of the Catholic Priesthood.


bulletIn general, what is a priest? A man who offers sacrifices to God for the sins of the people.

"For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins."    (Hebrews 5:1)


bulletWas Jesus a priest? Yes, Jesus was and is, the Great High Priest.

"Wherefore it behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest before God, that He might be a propitiation for the sins of the people."    (Hebrews 2:17)


bulletWho were the first Catholic priests?  The twelve Apostles, who were ordained to the priesthood by Jesus Christ Himself.


bulletWhen did Jesus make the twelve Apostles priests?  At the Last Supper (Holy Thursday), on the night before He died, when He gave them the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood.

"Do this for a commemoration of me."    (Luke 22:19)


bulletDid the Apostles make other men priests? Yes, for example, Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, and Matthias.

See Acts 13:3, 14:22, 1:24-26, and Titus 1:5.


bulletHow did the Apostles ordain other men priests? By praying for them and imposing hands on them.

"Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away."    (Acts 13:3)


bulletAfter the Apostles died, how were the powers of the priesthood handed down? Before they died, the Apostles made other men bishops, who in turn made other men bishops, and in this way the powers of the priesthood have been handed down during the past 2000 years.


bulletHow are the powers of the priesthood handed down today?  Today the bishops hand down the powers of the priesthood just as the Apostles did - by praying over and imposing hands on the candidates for priesthood.


bulletWhat are the chief powers of the priesthood? They are --
  1. To offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which includes the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and...
  2. To forgive sins.
  3. Other powers of the priesthood are to preach with authority, administer other Sacraments and to bless people and objects.


bulletWhere does the authority of the priesthood come from? From Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

"He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me."    (Luke 10:16)


bulletWho can give the Sacrament of Holy Orders? Only a bishop.

"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee."    (Titus 1:5)


bulletWhat is necessary to become a priest? To become a priest, a man has to study for about 6 years in a special school called a seminary and be approved by his bishop as to his learning, health, morals, and character.

"Impose not hands lightly upon any man."    (1 Timothy 5:22)


bulletHow does a man become a bishop? The Pope chooses a priest who is known for his learning and holiness and appoints other bishops to consecrate him a bishop by imposing hands and saying the proper words.


bulletHow does a man become Pope? The Cardinals elect a successor to the dead Pope.


bulletWhy do priests not get married? They do not marry because --
  1. The single life is a holier life, recommended by Christ;
  2. Being single, they can give themselves entirely to God and the care of the people.

"He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God.  But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife:  and he is divided."    (1 Corinthians 7:32-33)


bulletWhy is the priest called "Father"? Because he gives the life of grace to his spiritual children, just as a father gives physical life to his children.

"I write not these things to confound you; but that I admonish you as my dearest children.  For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers.  For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you."    (1 Corinthians 4:14-15)



Pope The bishop of Rome, vicar of Christ on earth, successor of St. Peter, visible head of the whole Catholic Church.
Cardinal An honorary title given to priests or bishops because of their important positions in the Church; Cardinals elect the new Pope.
Bishop Rules over the people and priests of his diocese; can give Confirmation and Holy Orders.
Monsignor A priest gets this honorary title from the Pope because of his important position in the Church.
Pastor Rules over a parish; is subject to the bishop of the diocese.
Priest Diocesan priests work in a diocese; religious priests belong to a religious order - like the Franciscans, Dominicans, etc...
Monk Monks live in a monastery, follow a strict rule under a superior - like the Benedictines and the Trappists; some are priests, others are brothers.
Brother A man dedicated to teaching, hospital work or contemplation; takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but does not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Sister A woman dedicated to teaching, hospital or social work, or contemplation; takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and belongs to a religious order or community.  Cloistered sisters are usually called nuns; loosely speaking, all sisters are often called nuns.


Marriage of the Virgin, by Daddi
The Sacrament of Matrimony

"Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ.  Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord:  Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church.  He is the savior of His body.  Therefore, as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things."

   "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it:  That He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life:  That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.   So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. ; He that loveth his wife, loveth himself.  For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the Church:  Because we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.  for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh.  This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the Church.

   "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself:   and let the wife fear her husband." 
(Ephesians 5:21-33)

bulletWhat is the Sacrament of Matrimony? Matrimony is the Sacrament made by Jesus Christ to sanctify (make holy) the lawful union of a Christian man and a Christian woman.


bulletWas marriage always a Sacrament? No, marriage, although always a sacred union of man and woman, was raised to the dignity of a Sacrament by Jesus Christ.


bulletWhat does this Sacrament do for a couple?
  1. It unites them in an indissoluble (unbreakable) union until death
  2. It makes Sanctifying Grace grow in their souls
  3. It gives them special helps to perform their duties as married people and to overcome the difficulties that may come into their married life.


bulletWho may receive the Sacrament of Matrimony? Only those who have been baptized and are free to marry.


bulletWhat is necessary to receive this Sacrament worthily? You have to be free of mortal sin.


bulletWhat kind of sin is it to receive this Sacrament unworthily? A mortal sin of sacrilege. However, the marriage is valid.


bulletDo Catholics have to be married at Mass? No, but it is certainly fitting that they do so. The special Mass for a Catholic wedding is called the Nuptial Mass.  Traditionally, this Mass was not celebrated for a mixed marriage, nor during Lent or Advent. 


bulletWhat should a Catholic do who wants to marry? Preparations for the wedding should be made with one of the priests in the bride's parish several months in advance. This time requirement varies from diocese to diocese.


bulletWhat is the only way a Catholic can be married? Only in the presence of a Catholic priest and two witnesses. Occasionally other arrangements can be made, but this requires a dispensation in advance from the local bishop and can be done only for a sufficiently grave reason.


bulletWhat happens if a Catholic is not married by a priest?  A Catholic who goes through a marriage ceremony before anyone other than a Catholic priest is not married. Such a couple has to separate or have the marriage made valid.


bulletWhat if a Catholic goes through a marriage ceremony before a Protestant minister? Such a person is not married and is guilty of mortal sin. Traditionally this sin also carried the penalty of automatic excommunication.  This meant that such a person could not receive any of the Sacraments nor have a Catholic funeral, because they are not putting the Love of God first, yet choose to marry outside of the One True Faith. 


bulletMay a Catholic marry a non-Catholic? You should not, except for a very serious reason. A marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic is called a mixed marriage. These marriages are plagued with problems, much to do with the difference on how faith should be implemented.


bulletWhy does the Church forbid mixed marriages? Because of the danger of loss of faith on the part of the Catholic and of the children. The different religious beliefs of the parents cause serious arguments on such important matters as divorce, birth control, Sunday Mass, eating meat on Friday, and the Catholic education of the children.


bulletWere mixed marriages forbidden in the Bible? Yes, mixed marriages were strictly forbidden by God.

"Neither shalt thou make marriages with them.  Thou shalt not give thy daughter to his son, nor take his daughter for thy son:  For she will turn away thy son from following Me, that he may rather serve strange gods, and the wrath of the Lord will be kindled, and will quickly destroy thee."    (Deuteronomy 7:3-4)


bulletWho is the only one who can allow a mixed marriage? Only the bishop, and he can give permission only for a serious reason.


bulletIn a mixed marriage, what must the Catholic promise? The Catholic must sign promises:
  1. To remain a Catholic.
  2. To see to it that the children are baptized and are brought up as Catholics.
Also, the Catholic party must inform the non-Catholic of these promises.


bulletAre the marriages of non-Catholics valid? Yes, provided all the laws of God concerning marriage are observed, the marriages of non-Catholics among themselves are valid and therefore cannot be broken.



It is not the priest who gives the Sacrament of Matrimony; he is only the chief witness.  The bride and groom give it to each other.  The first gift they give one another is an increase of God's life -- Sanctifying Grace.  It is fitting indeed that this giving be done at Mass.




Couples should remember that, through the Sacrament of Matrimony, they have the right to special helps to aid them in their problems.  God gives them, as it were, a spiritual bank account on which they may draw in times of difficulty.




In a mixed marriage, the non-Catholic should be encouraged to take a course of instructions, so that he or she may learn something about the Catholic religion, since the children have to be reared in the Catholic religion.  So, if you intend to marry a non-Catholic, bring him or her to the priest to begin instructions three or four months before the wedding.




Under normal circumstances, a mixed marriage should only  take place only in the presence of a Catholic priest and two witnesses.



The Four Creeds of the Catholic Church


The Apostles Creed

While the present form of the Apostles' Creed first appeared in the 6th century in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542), it can be traced in one form or another back to Apostolic times. Rufinus' Commentary on the Apostle's Creed (ca 407) contains the prayer in a form very close to what we have today. The Creed can also be found in a letter to Pope Julius I (340 AD) and even earlier in a circa 200 document containing the Roman baptismal liturgy. It appears that originally this Creed was a baptismal creed summarizing the teachings of the Apostles and was given to the catechumens when they were baptized. Sacred Tradition tell us that it was written by the apostles at the first council of  the Church: the Council of Jerusalem. Instead of the continuous prayer as we have it today, each line was rather in the form of a question to which the catechumen gave assent indicating he both understood and believed. This form is similar to the form found in the Easter Liturgy for the renewal of the Baptismal promises. Eventually this question and answer style was modified into the prayer form as we have it today. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite the Symbolum Apostolorum.


Apostles Creed Symbolum Apostolorum
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God,the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem cæli et terræ. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad cælos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem et vitam æternam. Amen.

The Tridentine Creed

The "Professio fidei Tridentina", also known as the "Creed of Pope Pius IV", is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. It was issued on November 13, 1565 by Pope Pius IV in his bull "Iniunctum nobis" under the auspices of the Council of Trent (1545 - 1563). It was subsequently modified slightly after the First Vatican Council (1869 - 1870) to bring it inline with the dogmatic definitions of the Council. The major intent of the Creed was to clearly define the Catholic faith against Protestantism. At one time it was used by Theologians as an oath of loyalty to the Church and to reconcile converts to the Church.


Tridentine Creed Professio fidei Tridentinae
I, N, with a firm faith believe and profess each and everything which is contained in the Creed which the Holy Roman Church maketh use of. To wit: Ego N. firma fide credo et profiteor omnia et singula, quae continentur in Symbolo, quo Sancta Romana ecclesia utitur, videlicet:
I believe in one God, The Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary: and was made man. He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets. And one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
I most steadfastly admit and embrace Apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the Church. Apostolicas et ecclesiasticas traditiones reliquasque eiusdem ecclesiae observationes et consitutiones firmissime admitto et amplector.
I also admit the Holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, to whom it belongeth to judge of the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. Item sacram Scripturam iuxta sensum eum, quem tenuit et tenet sancta mater Ecclesia, cuius et iudicare de vero sensu et interpretatione sacrarum Scripturarum, admitto, nec eam umquam nisi iuxta unanimem consensum Patrum accipiam et interpretabor.
I also profess that there are truly and properly Seven Sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all for every one; to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that of these, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. Profiteor quoque septem esse vere et proprie Sacramenta novae legis, a Iesu Christo Domino nostro instituta, atque ad salutem humani generis, licet non omnia singulis, necessaria: scilicet Baptismum, Confirmationem, Eucharistiam, Poenitentiam, Extremam Unctionem, Ordinem et Matrimonium, illaque gratiam conferre, et ex his Baptismum, Confirmationem et Ordinem sine sacrilegio reiterari non posse.
I also receive and admit the received and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments. Receptos quoque et approbatos ecclesiae catholicae ritus in supradictorum omnium Sacramentorum solemni administratione recipio et admitto.
I embrace and receive all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification. Omnia et singula, quae de peccato originali et de iustificatione in sacrosancta Tridentina Synodo definita et declarata fuerunt, amplector et recipio.
I profess, likewise, that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess that under either kind alone Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament. Profiteor pariter, in Missa oferri Deo verum, proprium et propitiatorium sacrificium pro vivis et defunctis, atque in sanctissimo Eucharistiae Sacramento esse vere, realiter et substantialiter Corpus et Sanguinem, una cum anima et divinitate Domini nostri Iesu Christi, fierique conversionem totius substantiae panis in Corpus at totius substantiae vini in Sanguinem, quam conversionem Ecclesia catholica transsubstantiationem appellat. Fateor etiam sub altera tantum specie totum atque integrum Christum verumque Sacramentum sumi.
I constantly hold that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise, that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invoked, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated. Constanter teneo, purgatorium esse, animasque ibi detentas fidelium suffragiis iuvari. Similiter et Sanctos, una cum Christo regnantes, venerandos atque invocandos esse, eosque orationes Deo pro nobis offerre, atque eorum reliquias esse venerandas.
I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, of the Mother of God, ever virgin, and also of other Saints, ought to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them. Firmissime assero, imagines Christi ac Deiparae semper Virginis, necnon aliorum Sanctorum habendas et retiendas esse, atque eis debitum honorem et venerationem impertiendum.
I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people. Indulgentiarum etiam potestatem a Christo in Ecclesia relictam fuisse, illarumque usu christiano populo maxime salutarem esse affirmo.
I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ. Sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam romanam omnium ecclesiarum matrem et magistram agnosco, Romanoque Pontifici, beati Petri, Apostolorum principis, successori, ac Iesu Christi Vicario, veram obedientiam spondeo ac iuro.
I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching. I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church hath condemned, rejected, and anathematized. Cetera item omnia a sacris canonibus et oecumenicis Conciliis, ac praecipue a sacrosancta Tridentina Synodo, et ab oecumenico Concilio Vaticano tradita, definita et declarata, praesertim de Romani Pontificis primatu et infallibili magesterio indubitanter recipio ac profiteor; simulaque contraria omnia, atque haereses quascumque ab Ecclesia damnatas et reiectas et anathematizatas ego pariter damno, reicio, et anathematizo.
This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life, I do so profess and swear to maintain with the help of God. And I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same faith shall be held, taught, and professed by all those over whom I have charge. I N. do so pledge, promise, and swear, so help me God and these Holy Gospels. Hanc veram catholicam fidem, extra quam nemo salvus esse potest, quam in praesenti sponte profiteor et veraciter teneo, eamdem integram, et inviolatam usque ad extremum vitae spiritum, constantissime, Deo adiuvante, retinere et confiteri, atque a meis subditis, vel illis, quorum cura ad me in munere meo spectabit, teneri, doceri et praedicari, quantum in me erit, curaturum, ego idem N. spondeo, voveo ac iuro. Sic me Deus adiuvet et haec sancta Dei Evangelia.

The Nicene Creed

The Symbolum Nicaenum, or Nicene Creed, has a complex history. It was first promulgated at the Council of Nicea (325), though in an abbreviated form from what we have below. St. Athanasius attributes its composition to the Papal Legate to the Council, Hossius of Cordova. The Creed is also sometimes called the Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed since it appears in the Acts of the Council of Constantinople (381), but it is clear that this Council is not the source of that composition for it appears in complete form in the Ancoratus of Epiphanius of Salamis some seven years earlier in 374. In any case, it was this text that appears in the Acts of the Council of Constantinople that was formally promulgated at Chalcedon in 451 and has come down to us as our present Nicene Creed.

It was at the councils of Nicea and Constantinople that the true nature of Jesus was defended against two heresies that had sprung up. The Arians denied Christ's divinity and the Monophysites denied Christ's humanity. The councils, drawing upon the traditions handed down to them from the Apostles, condemned both heresies and declared that Jesus was indeed both true God and true man. In the 11th century this creed became part of the Mass. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite the Symbolum Nicaenum.

Nicene Creed Symbolum Nicaenum
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae,visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father; through Whom all things were made. Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt.
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. He was made flesh by the Holy Ghost from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; suffered, and was buried. On the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis.
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.
Who, with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified: Who has spoken through the Prophets. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas.
And I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.
I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. Amen. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed, also known as the "Quicumque vult", is recited at the office of Prime on Sundays. It is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. While the Creed has always been attributed to St. Athanasius (d 373 AD), even though it was unknown in the Eastern Churches until the 12th century. The earliest known copy of the creed was included in a prefix to a collection of homilies by Caesarius of Arles (died 542).

Athanasian Creed Quicunque Vult
Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith. Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem:
For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever. Quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit, absque dubio in aeternam peribit.
This is what the catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity. Fides autem catholica haec est: ut unum Deum in Trinitate, et Trinitatem in unitate veneremur.
Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance. Neque confundentes personas, neque substantiam seperantes.
For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. Alia est enim persona Patris alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti:
But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty. Sed Patris, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti una est divinitas, aequalis gloria, coeterna maiestas.
What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is. Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis Spiritus Sanctus.
The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated. Increatus Pater, increatus Filius, increatus Spiritus Sanctus.
The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless. Immensus Pater, immensus Filius, immensus Spiritus Sanctus.
The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal. Aeternus Pater, aeternus Filius, aeternus Spiritus Sanctus.
Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being. Et tamen non tres aeterni, sed unus aeternus.
So there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being. Sicut non tres increati, nec tres immensi, sed unus increatus, et unus immensus.
Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent. Similiter omnipotens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omnipotens Spiritus Sanctus.
Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being. Et tamen non tres omnipotentes, sed unus omnipotens.
Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Ita Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sanctus.
However, there are not three gods, but one God. Et tamen non tres dii, sed unus est Deus.
The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. Ita Dominus Pater, Dominus Filius, Dominus Spiritus Sanctus.
However, there as not three lords, but one Lord. Et tamen non tres Domini, sed unus est Dominus.
For as we are obliged by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person singly to be God and Lord, so too are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords. Quia, sicut singillatim unamquamque personam Deum ac Dominum confiteri christiana veritate compelimur: ita tres Deos aut Dominos dicere catholica religione prohibemur.
The Father was not made, nor created, nor generated by anyone. Pater a nullo est factus: nec creatus, nec genitus.
The Son is not made, nor created, but begotten by the Father alone. Filius a Patre solo est: non factus, nec creatus, sed genitus.
The Holy Spirit is not made, nor created, nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son. Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus, nec creatus, nec genitus, sed procedens.
There is, then, one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits. Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres: unus Filius, non tres Filii: unus Spiritus Sanctus, non tres Spiritus Sancti.
In this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less. The entire three Persons are coeternal and coequal with one another. Et in hac Trinitate nihil prius aut posterius, nihil maius aut minus: sed totae tres personae coaeternae sibi sunt et coaequales.
So that in all things, as is has been said above, the Unity is to be worshipped in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity. Ita ut per omnia, sicut iam supra dictum est, et unitas in Trinitate, et Trinitas in unitate veneranda sit.
He, therefore, who wishes to be saved, must believe thus about the Trinity. Qui vult ergo salvus esse, ita de Trinitate sentiat.
It is also necessary for eternal salvation that he believes steadfastly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sed necessarium est ad aeternam salutem, ut incarnationem quoque Domini nostri Iesu Christi fideliter credat.
Thus the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man. Est ergo fides recta ut credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus noster Iesus Christus, Dei Filius, Deus et homo est.
As God, He was begotten of the substance of the Father before time; as man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother. Deus est ex substantia Patris ante saecula genitus: et homo est ex substantia matris in saeculo natus.
He is perfect God; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh. Perfectus Deus, perfectus homo: ex anima rationali et humana carne subsistens.
He is equal to the Father in His divinity, but inferior to the Father in His humanity. Aequalis Patri secundum divinitatem: minor Patre secundum humanitatem.
Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ. Qui licet Deus sit et homo, non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus.
And He is one, not because His divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed unto God. Unus autem non conversione divinitatis in carnem, sed assumptione humanitatis in Deum.
He is one, not by a mingling of substances, but by unity of person. Unus omnino, non confusione substantiae, sed unitate personae.
As a rational soul and flesh are one man: so God and man are one Christ. Nam sicut anima rationalis et caro unus est homo: ita Deus et homo unus est Christus.
He died for our salvation, descended into hell, and rose from the dead on the third day. Qui passus est pro salute nostra: descendit ad inferos: tertia die resurrexit a mortuis.
He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. Ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis: inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos.
At His coming, all men are to arise with their own bodies; and they are to give an account of their own deeds. Ad cuius adventum omnes homines resurgere habent cum corporibus suis: et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem.
Those who have done good deeds will go into eternal life; those who have done evil will go into the everlasting fire. Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam aeternam: qui vero mala, in ignem aeternum.
This is the Catholic faith. Everyone must believe it, firmly and steadfastly; otherwise He cannot be saved. Amen. Haec est fides catholica, quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit. Amen

Text Courtesy of Thesaurus Precum Latinarum