A Sacrament is an efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is given to us. Full and active participation in the sacramental life of the Church requires a period of preparation of both mind and heart to be receptive to the grace of new life in Christ.
Please contact the Parish Office for further information.
“It is the faith of the parents which brings the baby to the church. Babies are baptised because, as children of believing and practising Christians, they have been born and are living within the Christian community. Baptism brings them into this family of God.” *
Parents with a child for Baptism must belong in this Parish community for at least six months and should complete a ‘Request for Baptism’ form obtainable from the Parish Office. You will then be asked to attend a Baptism preparation course. These courses are held about every two months and take place in one evening and last for about two hours.
The Baptism course deals with the meaning of the sacrament and the role of the parents as the primary instructors of their children in the faith of the Church. It also covers the celebration of the sacrament and the meaning of the symbols used during the Rite of Baptism.
Once the course has been attended a date for the Baptism may be arranged through the Parish Office.
First Holy Communion
“The Mass is the same sacrifice as that of Calvary. This is the central mystery of our faith. When we think about the reality of what our celebration at Mass tells us it becomes clear that in the Eucharist we find all we need in life.” *
Children applying for First Holy Communion need to be in year three (seven years old) and their families need to be part of the Parish Community.
The programme begins with a meeting of the parents in June and application forms are received during September. The final date for application is announced in the Parish newsletter.
Classes begin after registration and continue until May or June, depending on the date arranged for the celebration of this Sacrament. Classes are held on Sundays after the ten o’clock Mass and on certain days after school, as arranged annually.
Parents have eight meetings during the year. It is essential that parents are fully commited to the programme and to the liturgies on Sundays.
The book used is We celebrate the Eucharist and parents are encouraged to spend time with their children using this book as this is a very special time for handing on the faith.
“Confirmation celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Our Confirmation is in fact a continuance of what has begun at our Baptism; a continuance of the developing awareness and reality of faith and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.” *
Young people for Confirmation should be at least 13 years old. Application forms are made available in the autumn.
A Confirmation preparation programme begins in January each year. The programme consists of the Mass of Enrolment, about seven group sessions, a retreat day and some events in Lent. A team of four adult catechists direct the course.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is usually administered in late May or early June.
Adult Baptism, Confirmation and Reception into the Catholic Church
A course for people wishing to enter the Catholic Church begins each autumn. This course is called The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, usually referred to as RCIA. The Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church are Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. Participants are accompanied by catechists and sponsors from the parish community.
Courses are also available for people who have been baptised but have not been confirmed or have not received First Holy Communion.
“When we pledge ourselves to unconditional love for life we show what God’s own self-sacrificing love is like. Ours, like His, is a love without limits. We are in true partnership with God. It’s not surprising, then, that God does offer us His own supreme love to strengthen and sustain us and to make perfect love possible. That is what is at the heart of Christian marriage.” *
Couples planning to marry need to notify the parish at least six months before the wedding date. To have their wedding papers completed in the Parish, either the bride or groom-to-be must be a registered member of the Parish. They should arrange to meet a priest who will explain the documentation required for the completion of the papers.
They will be required to attend a marriage preparation course and can obtain information about suitable courses from the priest or through Marriage Care (Tel: +44 (020) 7589 5487). Couples should arrange to attend a course as soon as possible as marriage preparation courses are heavily booked in advance.
Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
“Through this sacrament we are renewed and recommitted to being open to the action of the Spirit in our lives in helping us become more fully human and so be effective in reflecting Christ and His words of life and love to others.” *
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available every weekday between 6.15 pm and 6.30 pm, after 10 am Mass on Saturdays until 11.15 am, and again on Saturday evenings from 6.00 pm until 6.30 pm. Twice during the year, in Holy week and before Christmas, penitential services with individual absolution are held in this church.
* Text reproduced from Your Faith, with kind permission from Redemptorist Publications, publishers of a vast range of books and resource materials for Catholics.