Preparation – experiencing the sacraments

Much has been said and written aboutthe sacraments. But rather than approach them through thoughts, we could focus on the sacraments by looking at how they liveaus us, find expression in our being. We might seek out those feelings, impressions and experiences that arise in us through the sacraments. At times these can be so subtle and delicate as to be almost imperceptible. Then again, they may be clear, immediate and full of strength. Some of us may want to share our experiences in conversation or write about it. Others may want to write about their biography with particular reference to the unfolding their religious life and the workings of the sacraments therein.

A general starting point

could be questions like: What was my own experience when I received a sacrament? And how was it when I experienced someone else receiving that sacrament? Did it change my life in any way? What were my life circumstances at the time? Would I describe receiving the sacrament as a threshold experience or rather as receiving a something that strengthened me on my journey?
Wie habe ich ein Sakrament erlebt, das ich selbst empfangen habe? Wie habe ich es erlebt, wenn ich es an anderen erlebt habe? Hat es das Leben verändert? In welcher biographischen Situation ist es gewesen? Überhaupt: sind es eher Schwellenerlebnisse oder Wegbegleiter?

Baptism

what was my experience of my Godparents, how did the relationship develop? How was it to be a Godparent, a guardian, as the sacrament calls it? Where did I experience His presence, His community and how did I seek to bring it to life?

Confirmation

What is the difference between childhood and youth? How can I describe this step from one state to the other? How did I experience it in myself, in others? How was the experience of Confirmation? As a child I was surrounded by loving individuals who cared for me so that I could have a childhood. After confirmation, as a young person, inner authority grew – how did that come about? How did it develop?

The Act of Consecration of Man and Communion

How has my relationship to the Act of Consecration and to Communion grown and developed in the course of my life? Wie hat sich mein Verhältnis zur Menschenweihehandlung und zur Kommunion im Laufe meines Lebens entwickelt?

Sacramental consultation

Can I put into words how the experience of this sacrament works in and on me?

Marriage

How does the event of the Marriage sacrament live in the community of life of man and wife? What about the struggles and failures?

Ordination of priests

Which impressions live on in me after experiencing an ordination? How do I experience someone I knew before and who is then ordained? What is it like when I was studying to become a priest but was then not ordained?

The Last Anointing

What is my experience when the threshold of death is brought so directly to consciousness?

Contribution by Ulrich Goebel