Because of the pandemic, instead of working directly with children, many parish catechists are helping parents gain confidence in preparing their children for sacraments without traditional classes. I believe this new process can ennoble families to better assume their role in society.
“Ennoble,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means to “make noble or elevate.” (“Ennoble,” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ennoble.) Kings and queens elevate or “ennoble” a “commoner” to the status of “noble.” One cannot ennoble himself. He receives his nobility either through family inheritance, marriage, or as a gift bestowed by the proper authority.
As Catholics, our ennoblement begins at Baptism when we become members of God’s kingdom family with Christ as King. The liturgical rite itself is an ennobling gift received from the Church. The sacramental signs of candle and flame, water, oil, and white garment are gifts. So are the words of Sacred Scripture, the sign of the cross, and the renewal of baptismal promises.
At the baptism of our youngest grandchild, obligatory facemasks could not diminish the solemn dignity embodied by each member of baby Oliver’s family as we witnessed his two oldest siblings step up as godparents. Three generations were united by word and creed as we left the earthly realm of time and space to enter into the sacred liturgy and Oliver became a child of the King.
We could discuss in detail the ennobling qualities we receive in each of the Church’s sacraments, but let’s turn our attention instead toward ennobling practices Catholics can receive from the Church and adapt to family life.