Sacraments

The sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Church teaches, ‘efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us'

Sacraments

Every visit to the Blessed Sacrament should include an Act of Spiritual Communion, asking Christ to come into our hearts, even when we cannot receive His Body in Holy Communion.

This Act of Love, written by Saint Francis of Assisi, is an act of spiritual communion, and it can be prayed even when we aren’t able to be physically in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Act of Love

I believe thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament, O Jesus.
I love thee and desire thee. Come into my heart. I embrace thee,
O never leave me.
I beseech thee, O Lord Jesus, may the burning and most sweet power of thy love absorb my mind, that I may die through love of thy love, who wast graciously pleased to die through love of my love.

About the sacraments

The sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Church teaches, ‘efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.’

Though not every individual has to receive every sacrament, the Church affirms that, for believers as a whole, the sacraments are necessary for salvation, as the modes of grace divinely instituted by Christ Himself. Likewise, as the sole dispenser of Christ’s sacraments, the Catholic Church itself is spoken of as ‘The universal sacrament of salvation’ containing the individual seven sacraments. Through each of these sacraments, according to the Church, Christ bestows that sacrament’s particular grace, such as incorporation into Christ and the Church, forgiveness of sins, or consecration for a particular service.

The Church teaches that the effect of a sacrament comes ‘ex opere operato’, by the very fact of being administered, regardless of the personal holiness of the minister administering it. However, a recipient’s own lack of proper disposition to receive the grace conveyed can block the effectiveness of the sacrament in that person. The sacraments presuppose faith and through their words and ritual elements, nourish, strengthen and express faith.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the sacraments as follows: ‘The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.’

Baptism

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and return as children of God. We become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in the mission. Baptism is a Sacrament of regeneration through water and the Word.     

It is a church requirement that parents attend a 1hour baptismal preparation session prior to the baptism taking place.  This is usually on a Sunday from 2pm – 3pm. (Due to COVID-19 these sessions have been suspended).

Baptisms take place at St Teresa’s on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd weekend of each month at 12 noon.  Baptisms at St Vincent’s take place on request.  The parish office is open on a Wednesday and Thursday from 9.30am to 2.30pm.  To book a baptism please contact the Parish Administrator, Debbie Nicholls to arrange a convenient time to fill out the application form.

Please be aware that if you do not live in the parish of St Teresa’s or St Vincent’s we require written permission from your Parish Priest if you wish your child to be baptised here.

The Sacrament of Baptism rules and regulations during COVID-19 (Updated 11th October 2020).

  • Total number allowed to attend is 6 this includes the one being baptised but not the minister celebrating the baptism.
  • There are 2 foot pump hand sanitising stations at the back of the church. Hands must be sanitised on entering and exiting the church.
  • Social distancing must always be adhered to.
  • Face coverings must be worn (unless exempt to do so).
  • Please familiarise yourself and your guests with the information posters around the church and keep to the one way system in place.
  • Following the baptismal ceremony please ensure you collect all your personal belongings and take them away with you.
  • Toilets are not available.

Thank you for taking the time to read the above information and I do appreciate your understanding and support during these unprecedented times. These rules are in place to ensure we all remain safe and well.

Father James – Parish Priest

First Holy Communion

Due to COVID-19 2020 programme has been postponed.

Father James is hoping to run the postponed 2020 programme during the first half of next year. With 2021 programme taking place later in the year.

Please keep a check on the parish website and newsletter for further information and updates.

The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation, participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by the means of the Eucharist. At the Last Supper on the night Our Saviour was betrayed, he instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross through-out the ages and until he should come again; and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and Resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

Children are prepared to receive Communion through the First Holy Communion and Reconciliation course. Adults are prepared through the RCIA course.

First Holy Communion and First Confession

Children who have been baptised in the Catholic faith and are currently in school class Year 3 and above are invited to prepare for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and First Confession.

The children learn about the gifts which God has given to the world through creation, Baptism and Bible stories. They will be asked to find out the significance of why things are said and done during Mass, which makes it more meaningful for them. The catechists not only provide a spiritual experience but an enjoyable and memorable time during the children’s preparation for their special day.

 Further details of the First Communion course 2020 will bepublished in the new year.

 

 

Reconciliation

 

Sin is before all else an offence against God. A rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

Confessions are usually held on Saturdays at 10am -10.30am and at 5.00pm – 5.30pm at St Teresa’s and at St Vincent’s upon request.

During the seasons of Advent and Lent we have Penitential Mass at either St Teresa’s or St Vincent’s which several priests are present to hear Confessions: details are in the Newsletter.

Confessions can also be heard by appointment. Please contact Fr James or phone him on 0117 9833938

Due to COVID-19 the Sacrament of Reconciliation must be booked in advance with Father James please call 0117 9833938 Tuesday-Saturday to arrange. 

  • Hands must be santised before and after confession.
  • Social distancing must always be adhered to.
  • Face coverings must be worn (unless exempt to do so).
  • Please keep confession short and avoid touching surfaces if possible.
  • Confessions will be heard outside or in the case of inclement weather within the church building in a suitable open space.
  • If in the church please familiarise yourself with the information posters around the church and keep to the one way system in place.
  • Try to avoid bringing personal belongings with you, if you do please ensure you collect them up after confession and take them away with you.
  • Toilets are not available.

Thank you for taking the time to read the above information and I do appreciate your understanding and support during these unprecedented times. These rules are in place to ensure we all remain safe and well.

Father James – Parish Priest (Updated 11th October 2020)

 


Reconciliation prayer

God the father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

 

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred through the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism on the forehead together with the words “(Name), be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”,.

The consecration of the sacred Chrism is an important action that proceeds the celebration of Confirmation but is in a certain way part of it. It is the Bishop who, in the course of the Chrism Mass of Wednesday of Holy Week, consecrates the sacred Chrism for the whole diocese.

Confirmation for our teenagers usually 13 onwards. The next Confirmation Mass for our teenagers will hopefully take place in 2022.

For adults who are baptised Catholics and who wish to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, please contact the parish priest directly.

For adults who are not baptised or a non-Catholic Christian who wishes to enter the Catholic Church and become  a confirmed Catholic please contact Fr James.


 

Marriage

The matrimonial covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership for the whole of life is by its nature ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. The covenant between Baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a Sacrament.

In many countries the situation may arise of a proposed marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic or a non-Christian. This is something that the couple can discuss with Fr James.

If you are resident in this area but planning to have your wedding elsewhere in the UK or perhaps overseas, then you should also arrange to meet with Fr James in order to discuss this and to begin the necessary paperwork. This should be done at least six months before the proposed wedding date.

There is a church requiement that the couple must attend a 1 day Marriage course run by Marriage Care.  More information available from Fr James.

 

Sacrament of Marriage rules and regulations during COVID-19 (Updated 11th October 2020).

  • Total number allowed to attend is 15 this includes the bride and groom but not the minister celebrating the wedding or the registrar. However, staff not employed by the church i.e. photographers, videographers etc must be included in the 15.
  • There are 2 foot pump hand sanitising stations at the back of the church. Hands must be sanitised on entering and exiting the church.
  • Social distancing must always be adhered to.
  • All guests must wear face coverings must be worn (unless exempt to do so). The bride and groom are exempt.
  • Please familiarise yourself and your guests with the information posters around the church and keep to the one way system in place.
  • Music can be played at the wedding if pre-recorded, or an organist may play. There can be no congregational singing at weddings at this time.
  • If members of the congregation are to read, they should either: Bring the reading with them on a pre-prepared sheet and then take it away with them or read from a lectionary after sanitising their hands, or wearing gloves. Face coverings can be removed whilst they read but must be put back on before they move away from the lectern.
  • Following the wedding ceremony please ensure you and you guests collect all personal belongings before leaving the church.
  • Toilets are not available.

Thank you for taking the time to read the above information and I do appreciate your understanding and support during these unprecedented times. These rules are in place to ensure we all remain safe and well.

 

Father James – Parish Priest


 

Sacrament of the sick

The Church believes and confesses that among the seven Sacraments there is one specially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness: the Anointing of the Sick. The Anointing of the Sick is not a Sacrament only for those who are at the point of death. Hence as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for them to receive this Sacrament has certainly already arrived.

If a sick person who received this Anointing recovers their health they can in the case of another later illness receive this Sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious this Sacrament may be repeated. It is also fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.    

If you or a member of your family would like to receive the Sacrament of the Sick please contact Fr James or phone 0117 9833938

Please be aware that due to COVID-19 visits are limited and have a number of restrictions. Please do contact Father James on the above number for further details.


 

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