All the sacraments are celebrations of God’s love for us. In Baptism we are freed from sin and are reborn as children of God. We become members of the Church and sharers in the mission to make Christ known to all.
Through baptism we become members of the Church, the family of God. Our parish community welcomes each child and supports the parents (and godparents) in their responsibility as the first teachers of their child in the ways of the faith.
As the child grows older, the community helps parents to prepare them to celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
The Godparents help the parents in living their example of faith, and they join with parents in making the act of faith on behalf of the child. It is now the practice that parents who wish their child to be baptised attend a preparation course which takes place at 7.45 pm over two consecutive Tuesday evenings. The 2020 programme can be downloaded by clicking here. The programme for 2021-22 can be downloaded by clicking here. Celebrations of Baptism take place on the second Sunday of the month at 1.30 pm and, if numbers warrant it, a second celebration will take place at 2.45 pm. Occasionally, by prior agreement with the Parish Priest, a celebration of Baptism may take place at a Sunday Mass. For more details pick up a booklet on “Infant Baptism” from the rack just outside the parish office in the gathering area of the Church. Then complete and return the form (click here to download) to the parish office. If you need any further information, please ring Deacon Russell Young on 07807 765417. You may download the Booklet for 2020-21 in Adobe (pdf) format by clicking here. For the Booklet for 2021-22 click here. (Remember to also download a programme above) PDF format can be read using Adobe Acrobat. If you do not already have Acrobat installed, please click here.
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
A baby is brought to baptism in the Church by the faith of his/her parents. This is clearly not so for adults who, after hearing about Jesus Christ, are moved by the Holy Spirit within them consciously and freely to seek baptism.
The whole period of deepening, conversion and the ceremonies that accompany it have been brought together in what the Church calls The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA. The RCIA is a reminder of a truth that has always been recognised by the Christian community: to be a Christian it isn’t enough to walk off the street and into a church and ask a priest for baptism.
Growth in faith is a gradual process and it is this gradual process that is referred to as a “journey” or “pilgrimage”. So all the steps of the RCIA take a year or two or even more. The steps mark important moments of growth in knowledge and love of God which apply to people seeking baptism but which can be applied equally to a Christians who seek to mature in faith.
In the sacrament of Reconciliation God’s love for us is experienced through the gift of his forgiveness of our sins. By his grace we are renewed and strengthened in our commitment to live as Christ has taught us. The sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the sacraments of healing celebrated by the Church. This calls to mind the ministry of Jesus where healing miracles are often accompanied by the forgiveness of sins. Sin offends God, who is love, and damages both our own human dignity as children of God, and our relationships with those around us. Through the confession and forgiveness of sins we are reconciled to God and to the community of the Church, and we are renewed in our striving to live faithfully the Christian life.
Reconciliation is thus a personal encounter in humility with the love and mercy of God, admitting our weaknesses but trusting in the Lord’s help in order to overcome them.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is normally available on Saturdays between 10.45am – 11.30am & after 6.00pm Mass (but you should check the Newsletter for any changes). If you would like to celebrate the sacrament at other times, please ring one of the priests (01483 760652) or see details of our parish celebrations (four times per year) in the newsletter.
In the Eucharist, the heart of the Church’s life, the Church shares in the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving made by Christ to the Father on the cross. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive the body and blood of Christ, who is really and truly present under the forms of bread and wine. Such communion increases our love for God. It also strengthens the unity of the Church, also called the Body of Christ. We have all heard the saying, “Faith is caught, not taught!” This tries to convey the idea that it is through our lifestyle and attitude towards faith that our children’s faith will develop and grow.
THIS SECTION IS BEING REVISED. In the meantime, please call the Parish Office (01483 760652) for more information.
In this sacrament, the grace first received in baptism is perfected. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are united more closely to Christ and our relationship with the Father as adopted sons is strengthened. As our connection with the Church is increased, so is our responsibility to take part in her mission deepened – by our words and deeds we bear witness to the Christian faith. All those who have been baptised are encouraged to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation, since it completes the initiation process begun in baptism, and of which the apex is the celebration of the Eucharist. How does someone decide that they want to be confirmed? By Confirmation a person declares their faith openly in the middle of the community and commits, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to live out that faith every day. Preparation to receive the sacrament involves various meetings and a weekend retreat. The aim is to deepen the candidates personal relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and to awaken in them a sense of belonging to the Church in whose life they are to take an active part. Those who are 14 years of age on the 1st September (Year 10) are invited to prepare by joining the parish programme. Contact the Parish Office (01483 760652) for more details.
The sacrament of marriage mirrors the love of Christ for the Church and strengthens Christian husband and wife in their commitment to each other. By nature marriage is for the good of the couple and for the procreation and education of children. In both of these aspects, Christ’s love for the Church enriches the gift of the spouses to each other. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, where love, fruitful, faithful, and for life, is both promised and received. The family is known as the ‘domestic Church’ because it is here that children will first experience the faith. In a community of love and prayer, they can thus grow in their own faith, and in love of God and neighbour.
Those wishing to be married in the Church are invited to contact the Parish Office (01483 760652) at least six months before the proposed wedding date. A short preparation course is led by married couples from within the parish. More details can be obtained from Michael & Julia Derrick (01932 346068).
Anointing of the Sick
In this sacrament the healing power of God’s love is experienced by those who are seriously ill. They receive peace and strength to bear the burden of their illness, and courage to unite themselves with the sufferings of Christ for the good of the whole Church. Together with this healing of soul, God sometimes grants healing of body if this be his will. As part of the healing, the sick person also receives forgiveness of their sins.
Christ sent the apostles out to preach the Good News and to heal, continuing the ministry of Jesus himself. When the Church celebrates this sacrament, the healing touch of Christ is brought to the aid of those who suffer. This sacrament is rightly celebrated by anyone who suffers a serious illness, not only by those who are near to death. It may be repeated each time a person falls ill, or if their illness worsens. Near to death, it may be accompanied by the giving of Holy Communion as food for the final journey towards God.