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Sacraments

Sacraments

The Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism opens the door to a new life in Jesus Christ - a life that extends beyond death and into life eternal in heaven.  Baptism is the sacrament of salvation: an encounter with God that cleanses us from sin and makes us true children of God, sharing in his very own divine life.  

The Sacrament of Baptism is the beginning of a journey of lifelong commitment to God and his church. Baptism is the Church’s way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.

The pre-Baptism program at Holy Family involves the staff and clergy in welcoming parents and preparing them to have their child baptized.  Parents are required to attend a pre-Baptism class prior to the sacrament being administered. Godparents are highly encouraged to attend with the parents to fully understand sponsorship and ceremony requirements. 

Parents preparing to have their child baptized should contact the parish office at 203-336-1835 as early as possible to register for the Baptismal Catechesis class. This mandatory class is conducted on the first Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. in the parish center.

The sacrament of Baptism is held on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. in the Church. Godparents (sponsors) from outside the parish must submit an original Sponsor Certificate to the parish office from their respective home parishes one week prior to the Baptism ceremony.  If you are a registered parishioner at Holy Family and need to obtain a sponsor certificate, please contact the parish office for an appointment. A sponsor certificate must have a church seal.

If you need help deciding who should be a godparent or sponsor for your child please please view these requirements to help with your decision.  

RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)

For adults joining the faith, instruction concerning the Sacrament of Baptism can be arranged through the RCIA program.  Please contact Mary Jane Perry, our Coordinator of Religious Education at 203-579-4540 (to leave a message) or emails to holyfamilyreled@gmail.com.

  

The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance)

Even after we have received the great gift of salvation in the Sacrament of Baptism we still struggle with sin in our lives.  Due to this fact of Christian life we find great comfort in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also referred to as Confession or Penance) because we have an opportunity to be forgiven from the sins we commit after we are baptized. 

Reconciliation has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration.  Through this sacrament we find God’s unconditional forgiveness and as a result we are called upon to forgive others.

If it has been awhile since your last confession, don't be anxious or embarrassed.  The priest will guide you through the process. If you would like an excellent "How to" guide, pick up a free brochure in the vestibule titled “Examination of Conscience". 

 Reconciliation is held on Saturday afternoons from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m in the Church. If you require an alternate time for individual reconciliation, please contact the Parish Office at 203-336-1835 to schedule an appointment.  If a wedding ceremony is scheduled on Saturday, Confessions may be canceled on that day.


First Reconciliation

The celebration of First Reconciliation is traditionally observed in the Spring of second grade in conjunction with First Eucharist.  Please note that in order to receive this Sacrament in Grade 2, your child must have successfully completed our Grade 1 program in the classroom or in our Homeschool program.  Questions regarding the preparation for this sacrament for second graders in the religious education program and for parishioners of Holy Family Parish can be directed to Mary Jane Perry, our Faith Formation Coordinator, at 203-579-4540 (to leave a message) or emails to holyfamilyreled@gmail.com.  

 

The Sacrament of the Eucharist 

The Eucharist is the celebration of Mass, the eucharistic liturgy. The term Eucharist is also used for the bread and wine when transubstantiated (their substance having been changed) into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Pre-Cana is required for all couples to be married in the Diocese of Bridgeport.  Couples are asked to register for marriage preparation as soon as possible at the following link https://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/faith-formation/marriage-preparation-ee-testing/

While music is normally handled by the music director it can be chosen for the ceremony by the couple, but it is subject to the Pastor's approval.

Please contact the parish office for more details. 203-336-1835

 
 

The Sacrament of Holy Orders

‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’ (John 20:22-23).

 At the Last Supper Jesus gave the disciples the office of the priesthood also called Holy Orders.  “The ministerial priest, by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting in the person of Christ, he makes present the Eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of all the people” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 10).  Priests offer their entire lives in service and speak the words of absolution to forgive sins in the sacrament of confession. 

Holy Orders describes the sacrament which has three degrees: bishop, priest, and deacon.  The fullness of Holy Orders rests in the office of bishop.  Consecration as a bishop makes him a real and legitimate successor of the apostles.  Priests are ordained to serve the entire Church and like the bishop exercise this ministry through the forgiveness of sins.  Deacons are ordained either transitionally (as part of the path to priestly ordination) or permanently to serve at the altar and exercise the ministry of the word (preaching and teaching).  They also take on specific efforts of charity, service to the sick, and pastoral care.  Deacons are not ordained to forgive sins (except in the administration of Baptism) and so they cannot confect the Eucharist, hear confessions, or anoint the sick.

If you think that you might have a calling to the Priesthood or Religious Life there are plenty of good resources to find out more about what your vocation might be.  A good start is usually talking to a priest that you know.  Don't be afraid.  It takes courage, but know that they'll never force you in any direction.  They just want to help.   

Another place to start is the Diocese of Bridgeport Vocations Page

 
 

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

The anointing of the sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death.  Sometimes this sacrament is mistakenly called the Last Rites though it is only one part of the complete Last Rites of the Church which also include Confession (if the person is able to speak), Holy Communion (called viaticum), and special prayers for the dying.

Anointing of the Sick is for Catholics who are sick or facing life-threatening situations (like major surgery or a serious medical emergency), as well as those who may be facing imminent death.  Because of the notion that calling the priest for this sacrament may mean giving up on a dying loved one, many Catholics wait until too late to call the priest.  Doing this, risks leaving the dying person without the important graces of this sacrament.

Please call Holy Family parish office (203-336-1835) and request that the priest visit to give the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.  The main office can also make arrangements for an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist to visit your loved one, pray with them, and give them Holy Communion.  

  

Funeral Planning

Planning a Funeral Mass for a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences we will face.  Firstly, we would like to extend our sincere condolences for your loss. It is never easy to lose a loved one under any circumstances.  Please know that you and your family will be in our prayers.  Holy Family Parish is here to provide a comforting environment for you, your family and friends in this difficult time.

When a loved one has been called home by God and you would like to celebrate the deceased loved one with a funeral or memorial Mass in Church, the funeral home will call us directly to schedule the mass.  After all arrangements have been made with the funeral home of your choice, you will be contacted by our priest to schedule a meeting to discuss the details of the mass, i.e. readings, readers, music chooses, gift bears.

If you would like to preview and select two readings, please choose one from the Old Testament for the first reading and another from the New Testament for the second reading. 

Click here to see readings