kirkstall abbey

Sacraments

 

Introduction

There are many things that characterise a Catholic community but one of the most obvious is the celebration of the Sacraments.
The Church teaches that there are seven sacraments to provide for different eventualities in our personal lives. They are important for us as individuals and as a community of believers. They are Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders.
It is through the sacraments that we receive the help we need to be faithful disciples of Jesus, indeed it is through them that we maintain a direct contact with the Lord whose life and love is present in them for us.
It is the duty of the Bishop and Priests to ensure that the Sacraments are prepared for carefully and celebrated worthily. Lay Catechists assist in this ministry.

Baptism

Parents who wish their child(ren) to be Baptised should first make contact with one of our Parish Secretaries during Office Hours (Amanda: Tue – Fri 9.00am-12noon 258 2607; Su: Mon-Fri 1.00-5.00pm 267 8257) to enrol on the next available Preparation Course. There are Courses several times in each calendar year conducted by Parish Catechists.
At the meetings participants explore the meaning of the Sacrament and give consideration to the commitment being undertaken on behalf of the children by their parents and Godparents.
Parents who are expecting a child are welcome to join the preparation programme and may indeed find it easier to do so before their child has been born. Godparents are also welcome to participate when circumstances permit.
Before a priest may Baptise a child he must be assured that the parents are willing and able to bring the child up in the knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith.
Sunday is the day on which all Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and the opportunity the Lord gives us to share in his new life and so Baptisms are normally celebrated on this day of the week. Usually this is usually shortly after the conclusion of the last Mass on Sunday morning.
If the parents wish, Baptism can be celebrated actually within a Sunday Mass but this option must be fully discussed with the priest.
The Sacrament is never celebrated during the season of Lent.
Any family who are living outside the Parish of Our Lady of Kirkstall and who wish to present a child for baptism must obtain the written permission of their own Parish Priest. Children over the age of 7 years must take part in an appropriate course of preparation themselves, as must all adults.

Reconciliation and Eucharist

The preparation of children for these Sacraments is a collaborative effort of home, school and parish.
In the autumn of each year an invitation will be made to parents to apply for a place for their child on the forthcoming Programme.
Detailed arrangements are made within each of the three constituent local Churches of the Parish and will be provided to applicant families.
At school the candidates will receive a general religious education that includes information about the Sacraments in the life of the Church. School Staff also participate in some aspects of the Preparation Programme and in the actual Celebration of the Sacraments.
The Preparation Course takes place in the Parish and runs over several months. Meetings are held during term time, out of school hours, and are led by parish Catechists with appropriate parental involvement. There are also activities to be undertaken at home by each family. Regular participation at Sunday Mass is expected of all candidates with the active support of their parents.                       
Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation is included in the course and this Sacrament is usually celebrated during the season of Lent.
First Communions take place in the period after Easter.

Confirmation

confirmation

Holy Name confirmation candidates with the Bishop 2009

sm walk group
Some of the St Mary's confirmation group 2009, who were challanged to give service in some way and raised £1,000 for the British Heart Foundation together with family and members of the Youth SVP by walking to the top of Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales.

Adults are prepared for this Sacrament by participation in the RCIA programme (see below*).
In this Deanery young people who are in school year 9 or older and who wish to be prepared for this Sacrament are invited to participate in a Preparation Programme with regular meetings spread over several months. They must have been Baptised and should be regularly participant in the celebration of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
The commencement date of the Preparation Course is dependent upon the date set by the Bishop for the actual Confirmation. Candidates must attend all the sessions and show evidence of the earnestness of their disposition for them to be presented for Confirmation.
The location of the Celebration of the Sacrament moves around the parishes of the Deanery year by year. It will usually take place in the period after Easter and around the Feast of Pentecost.
*RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the title given to the process of welcoming adults into the community life of the Catholic Church. It takes place over a period of months during which candidates have the opportunity to learn about and experience Catholicism. There are several stages in this process, marked by special Celebrations or ceremonial. Customarily candidates are received into communion with the Church during the Easter Vigil.
There is an RCIA programme conducted annually at St Anne’s Cathedral, and arrangements can be put in place locally in response to demand. Information about these can be obtained from the Parish Secretaries.

Matrimony

Couples seeking to marry within the Catholic Church should contact the Parish Priest in person and privately. Arrangements will not normally be put in place via a third party. This contact should be made at least six months in advance of the proposed date for marriage.
Marriages are not usually celebrated during the season of Lent.

Marriage preparation team

marriage team

Our Lady of Kirkstall marriage preparation teams

After an initial meeting to address various practicalities of the marriage plans, every couple will be expected to undertake a period of preparation - preferably by participation with others in a ‘Pre-marriage Course’. These Courses are provided annually in the Parish, at St Anne’s Cathedral and also elsewhere in the Diocese (and in other dioceses) and are led by those with experience of married life and parenthood. The Course enables each couple to give earnest consideration to and prepare for the challenges of the married state.
The Catholic Church expects that Catholic parties will have received the Sacrament of Confirmation before the marriage takes place as well as to be regularly availing of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
Each couple must inform the Civil Authority (Registrar) of their intention to marry at least 3 months in advance and obtain the required documentation to enable the priest legally to conduct and to Register the marriage.

Holy Orders

This is the Sacrament whereby Catholic men are designated for the priesthood and receive the pledge of the Holy Spirit to enable them to undertake this sacred ministry. There is a great need for more priests to serve the People of God in our Diocese and men who are already involved in the life of the Church and are free to undertake this commitment should seek to discern if God is calling them to this responsibility. This discernment is done through prayer and through conversation with an experienced priest of good standing. Contact should also be made with the Diocesan Vocations Director whose details can be found in the Diocesan Directory or provided by the Parish Priest.

Anointing of the Sick

Once associated with the proximity of death this Sacrament is now recommended to all who seek spiritual strength in any sickness or infirmity. Carers who think that the person in their charge may benefit are encouraged to contact the Parish Priest after consulting the sick person where this is possible. Eucharistic Ministers who visit the sick may suggest that the Priest is invited to confer this Sacrament and can be asked to convey to the Priest a request for the Sacrament.
Once a year the Sacrament of Anointing is celebrated communally in the local church, the infirm being brought by volunteers and anointed during a special Mass for the Sick that is followed by a simple reception in the adjoining hall. Further inquiries about this event may be made to the Parish Secretary, or to any member of the SVP, as well as to the Parish Priest.

windowfooter