Kilcommon Erris Parish Do This In Memory ProgrammeTHE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM Baptism is the first sacrament of welcome into the Christian community. The ceremony begins at the door of the Church. Think of when people are welcomed into a home and a family. The priest spells out this significance when, at the door, he addresses the person by name and welcomes them with great joy into the Christian community. A whole richness of ceremony surrounds the sacrament. There is, for example, the reading of the Word of God, the anointings, the candle and white garment, the sign of one’s Christian dignity and the pouring of the water ‘in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” (Deus caritas est) How do I book a Baptism? • Please contact the parish office at 097-87701 or any one of the priests. • IMPORTANT: 3 week’s notice is required What are the conditions for being a Godparent? Only ONE Godparent is required for each child. However, a maximum of TWO Godparents are permitted per child.In the case of TWO Godparents, there must be One MALE and One FEMALE. They must each have completed the Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist) and be at least 16 years old* the Godparent must be mature enough to understand the role of Godparent. THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION Sacrament of PENANCE, also called sacrament of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of conversion, or of confession [CCC 1422-1424, 1486] What is Confession? “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) We are conscious that none of us are worthy of so great a gift, yet we must be prepared as well as possible to receive Christ in the Eucharist. This includes receiving forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession for our sins, for anything that separates us from Christ and His Church. Nowhere did Jesus express more beautifully what happens in the sacrament of Penance than in the parable of the Prodigal Son: we go astray, we are lost and can no longer cope. Yet our Father waits for us with great, indeed, infinite longing; he forgives us when we come back; he takes us in again, forgives our sins. Jesus Himself forgave the sins of many individuals; it was more important to him than working miracles. He regarded this as the great sign of the dawning of the kingdom of God, in which all wounds are healed and all tears are wiped away. Jesus forgave sins in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he handed that power onto his apostles. We fall into the arms of our heavenly father when we go to a priest and confess.” Through the ministry of the Priest, the penitent receives God’s forgiveness, and his guilt is wiped away as if it had never existed. A priest can do this only because Jesus allows him to participate in his own divine power to forgive sins. • We also have Sacrament of Penance Liturgies at Easter and Christmas (See Seasons for times). • 1st Penance take place usually a couple of months before the celebration of 1st Holy Communion. What is 1st Holy Communion? How do I enroll my child for 1st Holy Communion? With the ” DO THIS IN MEMORY” in the parish In the Eucharist we receive Christ Himself. This is why it is so important that we are properly prepared and approach the sacrament with the correct disposition. The day of our First Holy Communion should be one of the most memorable and joyful days of our life. Holy Eucharist is the sacrament in which Jesus Christ gives his body and blood – himself – for us, so that we too might give ourselves to him in love and be united with him in Holy Communion. In this way we are joined with the one body of Christ, the Church. [CCC 1322, 1324, 1409, 1413] The Eucharist is the mysterious centre of the sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist), because the historic sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is made present during the words of consecration in a hidden, unbloody manner. Thus the celebration of the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” (Lumen Gentium 11) EUCHARIST (Greek Eucharistia = thanksgiving) Preparation for First Holy Communion. “DO THIS IN MEMORY” Programme Not only is it an important year in the life of your child, it is also an important year for their class, their teachers, and also for you the parents/guardians. It is also a special time too for the parish community. Your child’s faith journey began the day you brought your child to the Church to be baptised. And what a special day that was for you and the family. Now, that child has grown, they are about to take another step in their faith journey, as they prepare for First Holy Communion. And we all have a part to play. While the Home is the primary learning place, each parent/guardian will be asked to take on a special role over the next few months, to journey with your child as they prepare to receive the sacraments, as there is only so much that can be taught in school. Our teachers do a wonderful job in preparing the children for their special day, but ‘home is where the heart is’. And the home is the domestic Church, where our children are influenced by what they see and learn. As part of our preparation for First Penance and First Holy Communion, we run in tandem a parish based programme, ‘Do this in Memory’. This programme is a continuous programme, connecting the classroom with the home and the parish. As part of the programme, there is an Information Night, (where we meet the parents), an Enrolment Ceremony for you and your child, and there are four Sundays set aside where you and your child will have some participation in the Sunday Mass. It is important that the child and their family will frequent mass regularly as your child prepares for this special day. THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION Confirmation in the faith. Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verses 1 to 13, we read of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit with his gifts inspired them and enabled them to take the step of preaching the good news. We are made members of God’s family at Baptism. At Confirmation, our Baptism is completed or “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and we are called to be Christian witnesses, just like the apostles. The whole of our Christian living and the life of the Church, too, are sustained by the same Spirit. Who Can Receive? Any baptised Catholic wishing to advance on the path of developing their faith. For young people, this is usually part of the 5th/6th class primary school programme. For adults who were not confirmed as children, it means taking part in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) Sponsor A sponsor stands behind the candidate for Confirmation at the Confirmation ceremony and places their hand on the shoulder of the candidate as a sign that they will support them in living out their baptismal promises. However, the role of the sponsor is not just for one day. The sponsor undertakes to assist the confirmed person in growing in the fullness of their faith and in their membership of the Catholic Church. A person qualifies as a sponsor by being a reasonably mature adult, who is at least 16 years old, and has already received the Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) themselves. The Confirmation sponsor may be one of the people who was a sponsor at Baptism (subject to the notes here). Choosing a sponsor (Ref. Code of Canon Law §874) To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must: be appointed by the candidate, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it; be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made; be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken; not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared; not be either the father or the mother of the candidate. Name The tradition of taking a new name at Confirmation emphasises the new identity of a Christian being called to witness to their faith. People are encouraged to take the name of a saint or a person from the Bible who inspires them in some way. Oil The oil used is called the Oil of Chrism. It is olive oil mixed with balsam that is blessed by the bishop and priests of the diocese in the Cathedral at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday. The Sacrament is conferred with the anointing with this ‘Oil of Chrism’ on the forehead as the Bishop says ‘Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’. THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE Marriage is a lifelong partnership, commitment, based on love, for the well being of the spouses and for the purpose of having and rearing children. It is absolutely dependent on the free consent of the couple. The Second Vatican Council applies the expression ‘domestic Church’ to the Catholic family. It is in the family that the faith is first taught to children, and marriage represents the first school of Christian life. How does the Sacrament of Matrimony come about? The Sacrament of Matrimony comes about through a promise made by a man and a woman before God and the Church, which is accepted and confirmed by God and consummated by the bodily union of the couple. Because God himself forms the bond of sacramental marriage, it is binding until the death of one of the partners. [CCC 1625-1631] The man and the woman mutually administer the sacrament of Matrimony. A sacramental marriage has three necessary elements: (1) free consent, (2) the affirmation of a lifelong, exclusive union, and (3) openness to children. [CCC 1644-1654] How do I book a Wedding in the Parish? To book a wedding in the Parish or to enquire about pre-Nuptial enquiry forms, please contact the Parish Office 097-87701 AT LEAST 3 MONTHS before your wedding date. This must be done first before any other bookings are made to ensure the availability of the Church and the priest. The following information may be helpful The meetings of the couple with their priest are a key part of the preparation process. These meetings have taken on a new significance in recent times, because it can no longer be assumed that seeking a Church wedding is an expression of Christian faith on the part of one or both partners. These meetings are an opportunity for a couple to reflect on what Christian marriage asks of them. The priest will also begin the process of filling out Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Forms and advise you about the various documents that you need to collect. You will need to get a Certificate of Baptism from the parish in which you were baptised and a Certificate of Confirmation from the parish in which you were confirmed. These documents should be issued no less than six months prior to the date of marriage. If you have lived somewhere else, other than your present parish, since you were sixteen, then you will need to get a Letter of Freedom from each parish in which you lived for more than six months to state that you did not get married while you lived there. Any priest from the parish (or parishes) where you lived will supply you with this document. The bishop’s permission is required for a Church marriage involving someone under 18. Christian marriage requires the capability for a mature commitment and therefore such permissions are only granted in exceptional circumstances Freedom to marry: The rules governing freedom to marry in the Catholic church can be complicated. The best advice when one party has been married previously (either in a civil or religious ceremony) is not to make arrangements until the diocesan office has been consulted. Mixed Marriages: Special permissions are required for full church recognition of marriages between a Roman Catholic and a baptised non-RC or someone unbaptised. Applications are handled by the diocesan office once the priest of the catholic party has forwarded the standard paperwork. It is recommended that all couples who are getting married should attend a Pre-Marriage Course . You can get an application form from a priest in your parish. It is better to attend the Course well before the date of the Marriage. The marriage ceremony should normally take place in a church in the bride’s parish. If the couple have a good reason for getting married elsewhere, the bride should inform a priest in the parish where she is now living to give her the necessary Letter of Permission to get married outside the parish. Obviously, in this case, the couple will need to make arrangements for the use of the church in the parish where they intend to get married. Normally a priest from the bride’s parish officiates at the marriage ceremony, assuming that the ceremony takes place in the bride’s parish. If you wish to have some other priest (e.g. a relative or friend) officiate, inform the priest in the parish where the ceremony is to take place and he will give the necessary authorisation. In Civil Law, it is now a legal requirement for the Officiant (the priest who officiates at the marriage) to be on the ‘List of Officiants’ submitted by each local Bishop to the Registrar-General. Ask the priest who is to officiate at your wedding to help you with the task of creating your marriage ceremony. There are a variety of prayers, blessings, readings, etc. Read through these together and choose the ones you prefer. Choose the person(s) who will read at Mass, person(s) to read the Prayers of the Faithful and the people to bring up the gifts at the Offertory. Rehearse the ceremony in church with the priest before the wedding day. If you have any further queries regarding your Church Ceremony, please contact the Parish Office. You may also find the following links helpful Together and Getting Married . What are the Civil Requirements? All Civil Requirements information is available from the Registry Office How do I book a Pre-Marriage Course? When you contact the parish office you will be advised to book on a Pre-Marriage Course with ACCORD . For a list of all Accord courses, including dates & venues, contact Accord. Other Helpful Information Remember to bring the Marriage registration Form (MRF) that you got from the Civil Registrar with you when you meet the priest to do your Pre-Nuptial papers. Baptismal & Confirmation Certificates must be issued within 6 months of the wedding date. For some useful information on the liturgy you may visit Getting Married If you have any questions around arranging flowers or booking a wedding practice time in the church please speak to the parish office about this at time of booking the wedding and the parish secretary can answer any of these questions for you.
What Is the Sacrament of the sick ?
The priests of the parish attend to our sick in hospitals and at home. Many like to receive the sacrament of the sick and are strengthened and affirmed. If you would like to receive the sacrament of the sick or know someone who would, please contact any of the priests or the parish office. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is exactly what it says. It is a prayerful celebration for someone or for a group of people who are ill and are blessed by the priest with Holy Oil. It is not a sign that someone is dying as it was perceived in olden times. It is not a magical ritual; the person doesn’t automatically get better immediately after an anointing. God’s healing and loving presence are called upon that the sick person might be raised up and restored to health.
Symbolism The words of blessing over the oil say it all. It is “oil intended to ease the sufferings of your people”. Oil soothes and heals. Oil blessed for the sick is a sign of the Anointed One (Messiah) of God. The person so anointed receives the healing, saving power of the One who saves (Messiah).
The oil that is used is Olive Oil. The Bishop and priests bless it at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday in the Cathedral.The holy oils are then taken each year to each parish and hospital for use throughoout the year in the Sacrament of the Sick.
A person is anointed on the forehead and the palms of the hands while the priest says: “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you by the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who heals you, save you and raise you up.”
Who Can Be Anointed?
Anyone in ‘serious illness’, those who are infirm, in advanced years, or anyone prior to surgery. (It is not only for when a person is in ‘danger of death’.)