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What are the Sacraments?
The Sacraments are “actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church.  They are the ‘masterworks of God’ in the new and everlasting covenant” (Catechism 1116).  “The purpose of the Sacraments,” wrote the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, “is to sanctify human beings, to build up the Body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God…. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it.”  In the Catholic Church there are seven sacraments:  Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance (or Reconciliation), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

For the Cathedral Mass schedule, click here

Baptism of Infants and Young Children
Communal celebrations are held several times a year. Click here for more information, including FAQs.  For information on the baptism of children ages 7-17, click here.
First Reconciliation and First Communion
At about age 7, children can begin to prepare to receive communion, the body and blood of Christ, for the first time. In conjunction with the new Archdiocesan guidelines, preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion is a two-year process which includes preparation for First Reconciliation (Confession) and culminates in the First Communion celebration on the first Sunday in May.  Contact Theresa Van de Ven for information, 206-219-5822.
Baptism of Adults and Older Children
Adults interested in becoming Catholic participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).  Click here to visit the RCIA page.  Children over the age of 6 participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children, a special program beginning in September and concluding with baptism at the Easter Vigil.  Click here for more information.
The Church Fathers sometimes called this sacrament “the more difficult baptism.”  St. Ambrose drew a parallel between reconciliation and baptism: “there are water and tears:  the water of Baptism and the tears of repentance.”  Click here for the current schedule for reconciliation. Communal celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation are celebrated four times a year in preparation for Christmas and Easter.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is, with Baptism and Eucharist, one of the three sacraments of initiation; confirmation completes and “confirms” the grace of baptism.  Through the anointing with the sacred chrism the baptized person is “enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit,” and more than ever “obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (Catechism 1285).  Confirmation is typically celebrated in the Spring.  Preparation classes for Middle School and High School youth begin in the Fall.  Preparation classes for adults begin in late Winter.  Contact Theresa Van de Ven at (206) 219-5822 for Youth Confirmation and John Marquez at (206) 654-4640 for Adult Confirmation.
The Church looks on marriage as a “covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life” (Catechism 1601).  In its understanding of marriage, the Church looks back to the union between man and woman ordained by God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1-2).  Christ worked his first miracle in the context of a wedding feast.  In the Sacrament of Matrimony, the married couple become, in their unity and in their love for one another, “an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence” (Catechism 1613). 

Click here for information on getting married at the Cathedral.

Anointing of the Sick
The Anointing of the Sick—formerly known as ‘last rites’—is no longer considered a sacrament only for those at the point of death.  Instead, this healing sacrament is for all those who are facing major surgery, chronic illness, or the weakness that comes with age.  A communal celebration of the sacrament is celebrated annually, or call the parish office to schedule an appointment. Whenever possible, the sacrament should not be delayed until the person is in imminent danger of death.

For information on Funerals at the Cathedral, click here



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303