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Sacrament Preparation


There are seven Sacraments, instituted by Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  A Sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace.  In other words, it is a visible and tangible event for us, where the power of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit works to instill the graces of the sacrament within us.


The Seven Sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation & Holy Communion (collectively known as the three Sacraments of Initiation); Penance (confession), Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.


To help you prepare for some of the Sacraments, we have provided some helpful information below.  If you require any further information or would like to discuss any aspect of Church life, please contact one of the priests of the parish.




  Baptism is not a ‘private Event’ it is an action of Christ, and an action of the Church.  It is about ‘welcome into the family of God’.


Baptisms take place every weekend in one of the Churches on a Saturday at 4 pm. Parents must fill out an application form from the parish office and return it to the office at least three weeks prior to the baptism. A copy of the child's birth cert is also required.


If parents are residing in another parish but wish to have their child baptised in Youghal, they must inform their Parish Priest and get a letter of permission from him to have the baptism in another parish.




Once a couple have decided to get married in Church, they need to contact one of their local priests. Why? So that  marriage preparation can begin.  Three months notice must be given to the Church before a marriage can take place. Three months notice must also be given to the State. Generally though, 6 to 12 months is preferred so that marriage preparation and marriage papers can begin. A pre-marriage course is to be undertaken by the couple. Accord,the Catholic Marriage Care Service runs courses throughout the diocese during the year, contact,  or 025 31899.


Traditionally marriages take place in the parish of the bride. Before confirming the date and booking of hotel / reception, a couple should make sure that the church is free. If the bride is getting married in her own parish one of the priests of the parish will be happy to preside at the wedding ceremony. However if a wedding is to take place in another parish, the couple should make sure that they have a priest who will celebrate the marriage or that the priests of that parish will preside at the ceremony.  Marriage Papers that a couple need to get are, ‘Baptism and Confirmation certs, (issued within 6 months of the wedding taking place), Letter of Freedom, pre-marriage course cert.


The Ceremony

A variety of prayers and readings are offered for the wedding ceremony. These can be chosen from the prescribed liturgical books. Readings are to be taken from the Word of God. A number of options with regard to the wording of the marriage vows are also available. The couple should begin choosing the Readings for their marriage in good time. Readings should be chosen, not because one likes it but for the reason of God’s message for the couple. The Word of God chosen for a marriage are important. The Words should be reflected upon by the couple, particularly on their anniversary each year.

 Often members of families and friends are chosen to assist at the wedding ceremony. Those chosen to proclaim the Word of God, should be practicing Catholics, who believe what they proclaim, they should be baptised and confirmed.  Similarly others assisting at the ceremony should be practising their faith. 



A variety of liturgical music is available to couples. Only liturgical music should be used for the ceremony. Secular songs have their place after the ceremony, not in the Church.  Priests are happy to assist the couple in guiding them in their preparation.



With regard to Floral arrangements: the local arrangers are happy to assist a couple or a florist is welcome to bring flowers. However floral arrangements should be in keeping with the Church surroundings and architecture. Couples are asked to leave their flowers after the wedding. No tacks or blue tack is to be used on the Church Furnishings.  No flowers are to be placed on the Altar.







The readings  are to be chosen from the Scripture. Family members may proclaim the Word or if not a Parish Lector will be available. No members of the family should feel any pressure to ‘read’ at this time, but they are most welcome. The Word of God offers comfort and healing during  this most difficult time for the family.


All those reading should approach the Altar together, then bow to the Altar and go to the Ambo where the Word of God is proclaimed.


The Person reading the first reading should step up to the Ambo and begin proclaiming God’s word. ‘ A reading from ……’

There is no need to say, ’first reading’. And at the end of the reading say, ‘The Word of the Lord’, as this is the new official way for ending the reading. If the responsorial psalm is not being sung then read the response verse, but do not say, ‘the response is’. Let the people say the verse and then begin reading the different verses of the psalm. At the end of each verse, look at the people, but do not say, ‘response’.  When you have finished the Psalm, step to one side and allow the second reader to come forward.


Second reader steps up to the Ambo and begins proclaiming God’s word. ‘ A reading from ……’

There is no need to say, ’second reading’. And at the end of the reading say, ‘The Word of the Lord’, as this is the official way for ending the reading. Then step aside and return to your place with the first reader.  The Alleluia verse will be sung.


Prayer of the Faithful

Those leading the intercessions come forward at the end of the homily, or when the  priest invites the people to stand for the prayer. All come forward and bow to the Altar and go to the Ambo. The priest opens with a prayer, and then the first person, or the person, steps up to the Ambo and begins the intercessions. At the end of the Intercessions, wait until the priest says the final prayer and then step down in front of the Altar, bow and return to your place.


Presentation of Gifts.

Those presenting the gifts of bread and wine, go to the table with the gifts when the Intercessions are concluded. They then bring the gifts to the priest.   If the family wish to bring up certain items regarding the deceased, then this should be done at the beginning of the Mass or at the reception into the church, and laid on a table near the coffin.  



Music offers the community a way of expressing convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. Music has the capacity to uplift those who are mourning and strengthens the assembly in faith and love and creates a spirit of hope. Music chosen for the Funeral Mass should primarily be in praise and thanksgiving to God. Musicians, choirs and soloists must plan, in consultation with the Priest, who is celebrating the Funeral Liturgy. Non-liturgical music is not be used during the Funeral Mass. The use of taped music during the celebration of Mass is to be strongly discouraged as it is an intrusion into the celebration of a living worshipping community.


Remembrances and Acknowledgements

There are occasions when a member of the family may choose to speak to the mourners. Some personal sentiments are more appropriately spoken in the intimacy of the family home or funeral home. Other words in the form of an oration are better suited to the traditional location of the graveside. The reception of the remains also provides an opportunity for a member of the family to offer a few words of remembrance of the deceased and acknowledgement to those who have supported the family, or at the beginning of the Funeral Mass. This could also include the bringing forward of some personal items belonging to the deceased. Only one family member should speak. It should be undertaken with the agreement of the celebrant and the prepared text should be discussed with the celebrant.



In celebrating a funeral we strive to bring consolation and hope to the bereaved and pray that the dead may obtain God’s mercy and have eternal rest and peace.

(Adapted from the Statement by the Episcopal Commission for Liturgy, November 2003.)



A reading from the book of Lamentations 3:18-26

This is what I tell my heart and so recover hope:

the favours of the Lord are not all past, his kindness are not exhausted;

every morning they are renewed;

great is his faithfulness.

‘My portion is the Lord’ says my soul

‘and so I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who trust him,

to the soul that searches for him.

It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save.

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