Sacraments of initiation
Welcome to the sacramental programme we offer in the Catholic Parish of Pittwater.
The Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist - welcome, incorporate and unite us with Christ, into the Body of Christ.
To receive a Sacrament is a major event in a person’s life. We therefore need to be well prepared to receive these precious gifts. Please take the time to read this information and to mark any relevant dates in your diary, noting that attendance is compulsory if you wish for your child to participate in our programme.
Order of the Sacraments:
Following the revision of the liturgical rites of the Second Vatican Council Second Vatican Council the order of the Sacraments of Initiation in the Diocese of Broken Bay follows the traditional order of reception:
In the sacrament of Baptism, your child is welcomed into the Catholic faith, and you make a promise to do all that you can to make that faith a lived reality in your home.
2. Sacrament of Confirmation
Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Parish of Pittwater
The sacrament of Confirmation confirms membership in the Christian community and seals Baptism with an anointing with oil. Confirmation consists of a prayer to the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands while the prayer is said and the anointing of the candidate with oil of Chrism. Confirmation is available to children in our parish in year 2 and above who have been baptised (or received) into the Catholic Church and are at least 7 years of age.
3. Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation)
Sacrament of Penance in the Catholic Parish of Pittwater
The Sacrament of Reconciliation invites us to acknowledge that when we make poor choices that result in sinful behaviour, we damage our relationships with God, with ourselves and with others. Reconciliation is all about building bridges and attempting to make things right. It is available to children in year 3 and above who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
4. Sacrament of First Eucharist (Holy Communion).Sacrament of First Eucharist in the Catholic Parish of Pittwater
Eucharist is the sacrament that is at the heart of our faith and gives us our Christian identity. It is the sacrament that nourishes and strengthens the whole community and indeed makes us ‘Church and Body of Christ for the world’. First Eucharist is available to children in year 3 and above who have received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Reconciliation.
Receiving the sacraments is a special time in our journey of faith. In order to assist and support the children and their families, the Parish has a comprehensive sacramental programme to help prepare for these special events. Preparation for each sacrament includes:
Parent Information Sessions – Parents seeking for their children to receive the sacraments are required to attend one of the compulsory information sessions for the sacrament which they are wishing to enrol in. Parents will be given the outline and expectations of the programme, along with other important information about the celebration of the sacrament.
Enrolment Weekends - Forms are available from the sacramental team at all mass times at the Church nominated. In order for enrolment forms to be processed, they must be completed in full and copies of certificates as required (see overleaf) must be provided along with the enrolment fee. Cheques can be made payable to the Catholic Parish of Pittwater.
Group Leader Training - All group leaders (as determined at the Parent Information Sessions) must attend one of the group leader training sessions for that sacrament, to receive manuals and information to support and assist the families in their group with the preparation of their children.
Weekly Sessions - We follow the Diocesan Sacramental Programme and preparation is done in small groups of children and their parents who gather together once a week for 4 weeks, led by a group leader. The program focuses on the parent sharing their faith with their child. Parents find this a very special opportunity to spend time with their child as they continue to deepen their relationship with God.
Rituals for Sunday - The children that are preparing for the sacrament attend mass over the four weeks during their preparation at which time they are involved in a special blessing or ritual with the parish community.
Reflection Day – This day is a chance to give the children a focussed faith experience in addition to the weekly session programme. This interactive day will incorporate activities and experiences focused on the sacrament which it is preparing for. This reflection day is part of the programme and is therefore compulsory. Children must attend with either one or both of their parents, or in the case of Confirmation, may attend with their sponsor.
It is important to remember that the reception of these sacraments is just the beginning of a journey of sharing in the sacraments which continues right through life. Further education in faith through the home, school and parish, will help the children to grow in their appreciation of these sacraments.The sacramental team is made up of a group of parent volunteers who are able to help by assisting at enrolment times, helping with the organisation of manuals and distribution of information packs at parent information sessions, organising children at the times of the Sunday rituals, leading a group through their weekly sessions and coordinating the ceremonies for the sacraments. We would love to have you as part of our sacramental team. If you would like to be involved, please contact Yvonne on 91570999 (ext 13) or 0411 54 33 66 orby clicking this link.
Some information has been taken from Horan, Kathy (2006) Becoming Catholic, a parent's guide to baptism, confirmation, eucharist and reconciliation.