An Overview Concerning Sacraments
The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They 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.
Put another way, sacraments are channels of God’ grace. They celebrate and sanctify our life and its milestones. The sacraments bring us into the life of the Church (sacraments of initiation, that is, Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Eucharist), sustain us (Eucharist, Reconciliation or Confession and Annointing of Oil), and sanctify reflect our vocation (marriage and holy orders or Cheirotonia).
Not all services offered by the Church are sacramental, but often they are offered in conjunction with sacraments. For example, the Order of Burial is not “sacramental”, however, families of the deceased often include celebration of (Eucharistic) liturgy as part of the funeral services.
In the tradition of the Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic Church, most services are sung or chanted. As a result, it is often more enriching to have a cantor assist the clergy when services are conducted. Of course, this is not required, and, indeed, a cantor or krylos may not always be available. There are no fees charged for services by clergy, however, it is typical that a good-will offering is made when services are requested and offered. This offering should reflect your financial ability, along with some consideration for the amount of time that will be required for the services, any expenses that may be related (such as travel) and the general need for clergy to meet their personal needs and obligations. Should a cantor or the krylos be requested, consideration should be made for re-imbursing them as well.
You can find information about the various sacraments on the following pages. For any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Zenon, the Pastor, or his assistant, Deacon Donald Dudar.