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What are the Sacraments?

The Sacraments, visible signs instituted by Christ, are the primary way that God bestows his grace on us and draws us to a deeper relationship with him and with the Community of the Church. The “signs” are things we can touch, see, smell, and feel. In other words they are sensual, but with the addition of Faith, these “signs’ of the Sacrament convey grace and union with God. According to the Catechism of the Church: “The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Sacraments.” (CCC. #1113) We need to know and believe that the Sacraments have a visible and invisible reality open to all the human senses, but rooted in the spiritual reality of grace that cannot be seen.


The Ritual of Sacraments developed in the early Church even before they were written about in the Scripture. Sacraments were given in the Apostolic Church and continued to develop ritualistically and spiritually through history. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ and practiced in the Church’s tradition. They are grouped in the following way:


  • Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist;
  • Sacraments of Healing: Penance or Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick;
  • Sacraments of Service to the Community: Marriage and Holy Orders.


Click here to view an overview of the Sacraments video.


Parish Membership Requirement

In order to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Marriage, the family or individual must be a registered member(s) of the parish. arrangements for these sacraments are made by calling the Church Office at (717) 755-7503. You may read more about each individual sacrament by clicking through the menu options to the left.


Register today to join our Church!


Baptism of Children up to the Age of Seven


Sacraments of Initiation for Anyone Seven Years Old and Older


Baptism, Confirmation, First Reconciliation, and Communion

Children up to age 17 are received into these sacraments through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC).  Adults are received into these sacraments through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Please contact Deacon Neil ( or one of the parish priests for information.



Everyone is welcome to attend Mass.  However only Catholics in good standing and not conscious of grave sin and who have fasted for one hour may receive Holy Communion.


Sacraments of Healing



Confessions are heard on Saturdays from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM in the reconciliation rooms in the Daily Mass Chapel and at any time by appointment.


Anointing of the Sick

Every parishioner who is facing major surgery or serious illness may receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Anointing may be done at any time by appointment or after the Saturday Mass. If surgery has been scheduled, please arrange for anointing before admission to the hospital.

Please visit the Caring Ministry web page for more information to request a visit to someone who is sick.


Sacraments of Service to the Community



Couples planning to marry must contact one of the parish priests to set a date for the wedding at least nine months before the marriage. The Church calendar and the schedule of the priests' schedules are set far in advance, so no other wedding plans should be made before contacting one of the priests. Other marriage information is located at the Marriage Prep Workshop web page.



•  St. Joseph Parish, York  •  2935 Kingston Road  •  York, Pennsylvania  •  17402  • 

•  Phone: (717) 755-7503  •  Fax: (717) 757-1900  • •

Part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg