The sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Roman Catholic 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.’

Sacraments

The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church

Sacraments

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.

If you wish for your child to be Baptised please speak to Canon Bosco, Fr Cavan, Deacon Kevin, Deacon James or Deacon Paul after Mass. If as an adult you wish to follow the life of a Christian in the Catholic Church, please contact Cathedral House to enquire about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults through our ‘Knowing the Faith’ programme.

First Holy Communion

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 throughout 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 the First Holy Communion and Reconciliation course. Adults are prepared through the RCIA course.

First Holy Communion and Reconciliation
Children who have been baptised in the Catholic faith and are currently in school class Year 4 and above are invited to prepare for the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Reconciliation. Preparation for First Holy Communion 2020 commenced on Thursday 9th Janaury. The team, comprising Canon Bosco, Louise White, Teddy Brady and Mary Manners, will guide the children during an important time in their faith. The course is based on the book ‘I Belong’. It not only teaches and prepares the children but it also offers the opportunity for parents to attend seven separate sessions (led by Paul Hill) when they will be informed of what their children are being taught during the six months leading up to their First Holy Communion. The sessions for the children are held at 4.15pm in the Cathedral, and the sessions for the parents are held at 4.15pm in the Apostle Room.

The children learn about the gifts 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 children will have the opportunity to experience and learn through creative and drama activities during the preparation. The catechists not only provide a spiritual experience but an enjoyable and memorable time during the children’s preparation for their special day.

First Holy Communion Programme 2020

9th January – Introductory session to children in Sacristy Introductory talk to parents in Apostle Room (4.15pm)
12th January – Enrolment Mass
16th January – In the Name of the Father & Lord, have mercy Penitential Rites
23rd January – Celebrating our rescue (Reconciliation) Parents Session 1
30th January – God helps me get it right (Reconciliation)

6th February – Glory to God in the highest
13th February – This is the word of the Lord (Liturgy of the Word) Parents Session 2
27th February – Bread to offer (Liturgy of the Eucharist)

1st March – Presentation of Bibles
5th March – Fruit of the vine Parents Session 3
12th March – Do this in memory of me
19th March – Body of Christ Parents Session 4

10th April – Good Friday – We encourage the children to take part in the Stations of the Cross held in the Cathedral
23rd April – To love and serve (Concluding Rite) Parents Session 5
26th April – Presentation of Crosses                                                 
30th April – Reconciliation (Reflect taking their First Confession during May) Parents Session 6

2nd / 9th / 16th / 23rd May – Reconciliation
7th May – Gift of Mass/Tour 5.00pm Parents briefing regarding 13th June in the Apostle Room

4th June – Rehearsal Parents Session 7
11th June – Rehearsal
13th June – First Holy Communion
TBC – Presentation of Certificates at 9.30am Mass – Refreshments in the garden after Mass

Confirmation

At Clifton Cathedral, Confirmation is celebrated annually, and young people are invited to participate fully in their own preparation for this special Sacrament. The Sacrament is normally conferred by the Bishop, who lays hands on the candidate and anoints them with the Sacred Chrism using the words ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.’

If you are in Year 10 or above, and have been baptised but not yet confirmed, then think about joining our programme starting in March 2020, leading to Confirmation by Bishop Declan at Mass on the Solemnity of Pentecost. Led by a small team of Catechists, supported by Cathedral clergy, you’ll be prepared for this important step in your journey of faith. For further information, or to request an application form, contact cathedral.confirmation@cliftondiocese.com.

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 held at the Cathedral on Saturdays 11.15am – 12.15pm and 5pm – 5.30pm or by appointment.

Marriage

The Sacrament of Marriage joins a man and woman together in a loving covenant with God. A marriage in the Catholic Church must be permanent, exclusive and open to the possibility of having children and raising them within the Church. Catholics believe that marriage is a gift from God, as Jesus was united with his bride, the Church, and therefore husband and wife should grow together in love and trust. Marriage in the world of the church is a sacrament for life not just a wedding. Christian Marriage is a real and effective sign of the covenant of Christ with the Church. Marriage between baptised persons is a true Sacrament of the New Covenant.

The Catholic Church believes that this massive commitment and important sacrament warrants their active involvement and support during the build up and so asks all couples getting married in the Catholic Church to go through a marriage preparation programme before the marriage. We see marriage as a sacrament presided over by God and as such it warrants an appropriate degree of preparation. Marriage preparation is led by Canon Bosco, Fr Cavan, Deacon Kevin, Deacon James or Deacon Paul, who lead the engaged couple through the programme. Any of the clergy can be approached after Sunday Mass to enquire about a course of marriage preparation.

Ordination

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles; thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as ‘the sacrament of apostolic ministry.’ Anybody thinking about entering an ordained ministry is encourage to visit www.ukvocation.org for further information.

Sacrament of the Sick

The Church believes that among the seven Sacraments there is one specially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Sacrament of the Sick. The Sacrament of the Sick is not 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 him to receive the Sacrament has certainly already arrived.

If a sick person who received this Anointing recovers his health he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious the Sacrament may be repeated. It is 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 Cavan (Assistant Priest for Pastoral Care) by calling Cathedral House on 0117 9738411, or (in emergencies) by calling 07757 677710.

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 or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.’