The Holy Eucharist, or Mass, is the central act of Christian worship and the focal point of this central act for the great majority is Holy Communion. The Church firmly holds the view that its Bishops and Priests offer the holy sacrifice before the Throne of God and celebrate the mysteries of Christ’s love on behalf of, and together with, all present, believing that during the Prayer of Consecration the bread and wine in their natural substance become the Body and Blood of Christ (in the sense of being charged with His very Life). Through Holy Communion all are brought into close and intimate union with our Lord Christ. Through the Eucharist, each time it is celebrated, there passes forth into the world a wave of peace and strength, and this, which is the primary object of the service, is achieved whether the priest be alone in his private oratory or ministering to and assisted by a vast congregation in a magnificent cathedral. Therefore, it offers to all of us the unequalled opportunity of becoming labourers together with God, and of doing Him true and laudable service by acting as channels of His wondrous power.
The Liberal Catholic Church defines the sacraments as: An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ Himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof (the Anglican Book of Common Prayer). The Church holds that it is important to recognise that the grace given unto us is a free gift of grace and is not proportionate remuneration for any personal effort on our part. It is a gift of God through Christ, not the response to one’s aspirations.
Holy Orders is the sacrament by which, in their various degrees, ministers of the Church receive grace, power and authority to perform their sacred duties. Our Lord works through human agency and to the end that those who are chosen for this sacred ministry as Bishops, Priests or Deacons, shall become readier channels for His grace, he has ordained that they shall be linked closely with Him by this holy rite and shall thereby be empowered to administer His sacraments and act as almoners of His blessing. It is most important that people should remember that they receive all sacraments from the hand of Christ Himself, and that the officiant is but an instrument in that Hand.
The Liberal Catholic Church has a deep conviction of the reality of the Apostolic Succession, through which is transmitted the grace, power and authority which was given to the Apostles by the resurrected Christ. This grace, power and authority have been passed on down the ages by the laying on of hands, with the words and intent of consecration. There is, thus, an unbroken line from the Apostles to the Bishops of this Church.
From its understanding of the Apostolic Succession, the inner realities of the sacramental system, and the tradition of the Church throughout the ages, the Church accepts only men for Holy Orders. Men and women are embodiments and expressions of a polarity within the Godhead, who created them in his own image… male and female created he them (Gen. 1:27), as vessels to channel different but profoundly complementary energies and forces – both physical and super physical – in the creative life of the planet. The Church holds that this functional distinction applies in the domain of sacramental grace.
The Clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church make no claim to spiritual or temporal domination over those who adhere to its rite. In common with the priesthood of other Churches, they hold Christ’s commission to teach, but claim no authority over the individual conscience, stress being laid rather upon their function as ministers of the divine sacraments – stewards of the mysteries of God. They are ready in all reasonable ways to help those who ask or need such help. The clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church are unpaid, and may not ask a fee for any of their work in connection with the Church. They therefore normally retain secular occupations, whilst carefully excluding those forms of employment which involve cruelty or exploitation.