The Sacrament of Baptism – Sacraments
Baptism is a Sacrament of Welcome. It welcomes the child into the family of faith and names him/her as a Child of God.
Contact your local Parish Priest for guidance.
Faith Friends, with the baptism team, help in welcoming your child into the family of faith. They provide an opportunity for the following:-
- Parents to get a better understanding of the liturgy involved.
- Space for parents to explore their own faith.
- An opportunity to highlight the central role of the wider faith community in the life of the new Christian.
Adults can also be initiated into the community, i.e. to be full, active members of the parish community through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This is best done when a group comes together within the parish to share their faith journey with the person seeking baptism.
The Baptism Team help Parents and God Parents to prepare for Baptism.
Your parish church will invite families with children for Baptism to attend a Sunday Mass on the Sunday before the baptism date. At this Mass the families are welcomed by the faith community and the children presented as candidates for Baptism.
Holy Communion / The Eucharist
The Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is the second part of the initiation of any person into the catholic church. It is the source and summit of Christian Life, being a commemoration of the Last Supper. In the Blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself. Children normally make their First Holy Communion around the age of 8 years.
Much of a child’s preparation for First Holy Communion is assisted by the school they are attending, and also by members of a team (usually made up of parents of the current year’s First Communion children), who follow the Do This In Memory Of Me programme.
Confession / The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Also known as the sacrament of Confession, allows us to be reconciled with God and the community through acknowledging and confessing our sins. Individual confession and absolution that comes with it, allows us to make amends for our misdeeds and gives us the grace to do better in the future. It involves confessing our sins to the priest, who acts as god’s representative. When we sin we offend against the community and god. Many of our sins may not be serious but sin can only be forgiven in the context of the sacrament of reconciliation.
The Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Sacrament of Confirmation confers a character. By it the baptised continue their path of Christian initiation. They are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and are more closely linked to the Church. They are made strong and more firmly obliged by word and deed to witness to Christ and to spread and defend the faith.
At Baptism the child begins his journey of faith. The community is present in the form of family and friends and the lit baptismal candle symbolises the flame of faith alive in our hearts.
At Confirmation the child takes on responsibility for his own faith.
At the Service of Light the (Baptism) candle is again lit and handed from parent to child, thus symbolising the handing on of faith.
The Sacrament of Confirmation takes place during the celebration of the Eucharist. The newly confirmed are welcomed as full members of the church by the parish community in the form of family, teachers and friends, all of whom have shared in the passing on of the faith. The laying on of hands by the Bishop or Priest symbolises the link with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit confirm us as Children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Marriage
Through the Sacrament of Matrimony man and woman are joined together as one. They form a solemn covenant to live together helping each other in good times and bad, in sickness and health till the end of their days. The sacrament gives grace to the couple to live together and to raise their children in the love and sight of God.
What to do if you want to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage.
Those residing in the Parish should contact one of the Priests at least three months before the proposed date. He will check if the Church is free on the date you require and give you details of other arrangements which have to be made. Those not presently living in this parish should first approach a Priest at their own Parish and check that he is willing to celebrate the wedding and complete the pre-nuptial enquiry papers for both of you. Please note that there is also a civil requirement to give a period of notice to the registrar.
For Letters of Freedom please contact a Priest of your Parish.