The traditional definition of a sacrament is this: "A sacrament is a visible sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace." Within this definition there are three important statements:
A visible sign
An action is performed by a minister (usually a priest).
For example, when a baby is baptized in the church the priest pours
water over its head and at the same time says the words "I baptize
you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
That is a visible sign.
Instituted by Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ instructed His church to offer the seven
sacraments to His followers. For example, His directive to His
disciples in Matthew's Gospel (28/19), "Go then, to all peoples
everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey
everything I have commanded you."
To give grace
Grace is God's free gift of Himself as the controlling influence in
our life and the decisions we make once we have committed ourselves
to Him in faith.
In summary, a sacrament is one of the means God has chosen to influence our life in the direction of his purpose for giving us life.
The seven sacraments are Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
The Rite of Baptism for Children is used for children under the age of reason (7 years of age). It is hoped that the participation of your family with the parish in your child’s Baptism will provide a foundation for subsequent participation in your parish as members of the Body of Christ. This is an opportunity for evangelization and an occasion to help you grow in spiritual life as your child enters the family of God. If you are not a child, but want to be baptised or come back to participation in the church after being away, see tab below.
BAPTISMAL Preparation classes
Baptismal preparation classes will now be held on the first and second Friday of every month at 7 p.m. All parents wishing to have their children baptized must attend both of these classes with at least one Catholic godparent. Please contact the office to register for the classes.
baptismal registration form
1. Who may baptize?
The ordinary minister of Baptism is a Bishop, priest, or deacon. In the case of an emergency, any person may baptize, even if not baptized him/herself. This person must intend what the Church intends, and baptize the child with water, using the Trinitarian formula: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
2. May a child be baptized if only one parent requests it?
The consent of at least one of the parents, or the person who lawfully takes their place, is required for the baptism of a child.
3. How long after the birth of a child should the Baptism take place?
As soon as possible after the birth: Parents are obliged to see to it that infants are baptized within the first weeks after birth. As soon as possible after the birth or even before it, parents are to go to the parish to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared for it properly (Code of Canon Law 867.1). An infant in danger of death is to be baptized without any delay (Code of Canon Law 867.2).
4. Can our child be baptized in a parish if we do not live within the parish boundaries?
Baptism, like all of the sacraments, is a celebration of a living relationship with God and with the local believing community, the parish. The sacraments are celebrations of our Church and, as such, are normally celebrated in the parish where the family resides or is registered and usually worships.
5. How do we arrange to have our child baptized in a parish other than the one where we normally worship?
If, for a good reason (for example, so extended family may attend), parents wish to have their child baptized in another parish, they need to approach the Pastor of that parish to ask if he is willing to baptize their child.
A letter of permission to have the baby baptized elsewhere must be obtained from the Pastor of the parish where the family usually worships. Normally, Baptism preparation may take place in either of the parishes.
6. Must we give our child the name of a saint to be baptized?
A baptismal name that is offensive to Christians is not permitted; a saint's name is encouraged, but not necessary.
7. Does my Parish Church keep a record of my Baptism?
Yes. The basic entry includes: name; date and place of birth of the baptized; minister of the sacrament; parents (including mother's maiden name); godparent(s), sponsor(s), and Christian witness(es); date and place (if outside the parish) of the conferred baptism (Canon 877).
8. Can our child be baptized if we're not practicing Catholics?
Baptism is more than a rite of passage for a child or a washing away of original sin. Baptism is a sharing in the life of the risen Christ. Baptism is also the first step of initiation into the Christian community. During the Rite of Baptism, parents promise to raise their child in the practice of the faith. Parents who are not practicing members of the community may be asked to delay the Baptism of their child until they have re-established that connection by participation in Sunday Eucharist.
9. Can our child be baptized if we're not married?
Not married in the Church? Your child's Baptism and your marriage are two separate issues. Your marital status may be discussed during your Baptism interview to encourage you to get married (or validate your marriage in the Church) if this is appropriate. However, as long as you are committed to raising your child as a Catholic, he/she may celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism and be welcomed into the Catholic Church.
10. Who can be godparents?
Since godparents take on two roles - that of support for the parents in the Catholic upbringing of their child, and that of representing the Christian community into which the child is being initiated - they must be practicing Catholics (fully initiated through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) who are mature enough (usually at least 16 years of age) to undertake this role. (Code of Canon Law, Canon 872)
A godparent does not need to be the same gender as the candidate for Baptism. The godparent assumes no legal responsibility for the child.
11. Can a parent serve as a godparent?
A parent may not serve as a godparent because the parent already has a distinct role and relationship with the child. A godparent's role is separate from that of a parent or legal guardian.
12. What does a godparent do?
A godparent is called to model what it means to live as a Catholic Christian. The godparent is to assist the child in living a Christian life.
13. How many godparents are required?
The child may have only one or two godparents. If two godparents are chosen, one is to be a man and the other a woman. (Canon 873)
14. Can a person of the Orthodox faith be a godparent?
A member of the Eastern Orthodox Church may be a godparent together with a Catholic. "For a just cause, it is permitted to admit the Christian faithful of another Eastern non-Catholic Church to the function of a sponsor, but always at the same time with a Catholic sponsor." (Eastern Code of Canon Law, Canon 685 par. 3.) There must be at least one Catholic godparent.
15. What if the person I have chosen as godparent is sick or unable to be present at the time of the Baptism?
In exceptional circumstances, it is possible for the godparent to be represented at the Baptism by a 'proxy'. The name of the godparent will be entered in the Baptismal Register. The name of the person who has served as proxy is not entered in the Baptismal Register.
16. May a Catholic serve as a godparent at a non-Catholic baptism?
A Catholic may act as witness at a non-Catholic baptism, but not as a sponsor. The only situation in which a Catholic may be a godparent (sponsor) in "another ecclesial Community" is in an Eastern Orthodox Church "if he/she is so invited" (Directory for the Application of the Principles and Norms of Ecumenism, 98, a, b).
17. In the future, may I change the Baptismal sponsors?
On occasion, one or both of the people who served as godparents are no longer a part of the child's life or they have moved a great distance and the possibility of an ongoing relationship is compromised. In this type of a situation, parents may wish to change the Baptismal record and add the name of a new godparent.
Although a new person may now hold a place of prominence in the faith life of the child it is not possible to alter the Baptismal register. The register is a legal record and the original godparents were a witness to the event. It would be untruthful to remove the name of the original witness and replace it with a new name, perhaps someone who was not even present at the Baptism.
18. May a priest or a deacon serve as a godparent and also preside at the baptism?
Clergy may serve as godparents (sponsors) but are asked not to be the minister of baptism if serving as a godparent (sponsor) so that the roles are not confused.
19. What is meant by the term "Christian witness"?
A Christian witness is a baptized Christian and a member of a non-Catholic ecclesial community. (e.g., Anglican, United, Presbyterian, etc.) A member of the Eastern Orthodox Church may serve as a godparent if there is a Catholic godparent. A Christian witness is a witness to the Baptism, not a godparent.
One Christian witness is allowed only if there is one godparent. (Canon 874) If there is a Christian witness, when his/her name is entered in the Baptismal Register the term Christian witness should be included.
It is not necessary to have a Christian witness.
20. Does our child have to be baptized in order to attend a
It is important to check with the School Board that has jurisdiction where your child will attend school. The trustees of each Board interpret the admission requirements in their own way. Some School Boards require proof of a parent's Catholic Baptism, especially if the child has not been baptized. This establishes their eligibility to direct their taxes to the Catholic Board. This is a government, not a Church stipulation. If the child is not baptized, the parents are usually encouraged to meet with the Pastor of their parish (or his delegate) to discuss this issue.
Baptism is never to be seen as a means to enroll in the Catholic school.
21. May a child be "re-baptized" if he/she was baptized in a hospital, etc. in an emergency situation?
A person may be baptized only once. If a child is baptized in an emergency situation, once the child returns to health the parents may bring the child to their parish to celebrate the further rites as indicated in Rite of Baptism for Children. See "Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church Outside Mass" [nn. 267-287'] or "Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church within Mass" [nn. 288-312].
22. What happens if the child is adopted?
See Rite of Baptism for Children, Appendix II: "Rite of Welcome for an Adopted Child who is Baptized [nn. 345-363].
The baptismal records of adopted children are subject to both canon and civil law. If persons come to the parish looking for information on their birth name or parents they are to be directed to the Yukon government, which has legislation relating to adoption disclosure. Parish personnel have a legal obligation not to disclose any information that would identify or reveal, directly or indirectly, the fact that a person was adopted.
For children baptized after their adoption is finalized, the following information is entered in the register: given name designated by the adopting parent(s); name(s) of the adopting parent(s); date and place of birth; sponsor(s) or godparent(s); minister performing the baptism; a statement that the child is adopted. The baptismal certificate issued for an adopted child is the same as a typical baptismal certificate. However, please note that the notation of adoption is not entered on the certificate.
For children baptized before their adoption was finalized, the names of the adopting parent(s) and the new names for the child are added to the baptismal register, but only after the adoption has been finalized. A notation is also made, stating that the child was adopted along with the name of the court or agency involved, the date of adoption and the case number.
Baptismal certificates issued by the parish for these individuals give only the name(s) of the adopting parent(s), the child's new legal name, the date and place of baptism, and the name of the priest/deacon who conferred the sacrament. The name(s) of the sponsor(s) are not given unless the adopting parents designated honorary sponsors. The notation of adoption in the register is not entered on the certificate.
23. Is there a fee for sacramental preparation sessions?
In some parishes a fee is charged to cover the costs of the preparation process and material used. This fee goes to the parish, not the priest. It is understood that regardless of their financial situation the preparation process is available to all members of the parish.
24. Why is Baptism most often celebrated on a Sunday?
Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the day the Church gathers to celebrate the memorial of Jesus' death and resurrection. Through the waters of Baptism we are immersed into life in Christ and joined to Jesus in his death and rising. Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation; Confirmation and Eucharist are the other two. Baptism leads the newly-baptized person to the Table of the Lord. Gathering to celebrate Baptism on Sunday reminds us that the Church celebrates this sacrament with the uninitiated because she desires to welcome the newly - baptized to full participation in the weekly celebration of Eucharist.
25. I no longer want to be Catholic. Can I remove my name from the baptismal register?
Baptismal Registers are records of historical fact. They are not archives of membership enrollment. Accordingly, a person's name can never be removed from a Baptismal Register after he or she has been Baptized. The only changes allowed are those necessary to correct errors originally transposed into the record.
26. My baptismal record cannot be located. What do I do?
If your baptismal record cannot be located at the presumed parish of baptism and you have been assured you were baptized within the Diocese of Whitehorse please contact the Archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Whitehorse and they will conduct a search on your behalf.
What if my child is over 7 or if I want to be baptised in the church?
The process by which children over the age of reason are initiated into the Catholic Church is the Rite of Christian Initiation adapted for children. This rite is in ended for use with:
Children and teens, not baptized as infants, who have attained the age of reason (seven
years or over)
Children and teens validly baptized in another ecclesial community who have attained the age of reason
These young people seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians, or on their own initiative, with parental permission.
RCIA adapted for children often begins in the fall, with the journey leading to the Easter Vigil for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation. Depending on the parish, programs may begin at other times during the year, and may need to be adapted to the needs and readiness of each individual to receive these sacraments.
Adults come into the Church through the process of the Rites of Initiation for Adults. Contact the office for more information.
watch this amazing video on baptism (7 min)
Confirmation is an essential part of Christian Initiation. In Confirmation the bishop seals us, the baptized, with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This sacrament is intended to:
-root us more deeply as sons and daughters of God,
-incorporate us more firmly into Christ,
-strengthen our bond with the Church,
-associate us more closely with the mission of the Church, and
-strengthen us to bear witness to the Christian faith.
REGISTER FOR RITES OF CATHOLIC INITiATION FOR ADULTS
Please contact the parish office to find out when RCIA classes are held.
1. What is confirmation?
Catholics believe the Sacrament of Confirmation is the supernatural equivalent of the growth process on the natural level. It builds on what was begun in Baptism and what was nourished in Holy Eucharist. It completes the process of initiation into the Christian community, and it matures the soul for the work ahead.
2. What is a sponsor?
If possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor is a model of faith for the candidate and must be a fully initiated, practising Catholic in good standing under church laws and normally at least 16 years of age. It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be a godparent who undertook the role at Baptism.
3. Why must I submit a Baptism certificate?
Only someone who is baptised Roman Catholic or who has been received into the Roman Catholic Church may celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. The parish is responsible for verifying this by collecting Baptism Certificates or Certificates of Reception from those presenting themselves as candidates.
4. I was baptised in an Eastern Rite Church, so I was confirmed at the same time. Can I be confirmed again?
Confirmation may be celebrated only once. However, the Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop expects Grade 7 students who are already confirmed to take part in the preparation programme at school and in the parish to deepen their understanding of their faith. During the Confirmation Mass, they will be called forward to receive a blessing. Any Grade 7 student who is already confirmed is encouraged to participate in the programme.
5. How are the small groups formed for the Confirmation preparation?
The facilitators (small group leaders) and the candidates are all asked to indicate when they are available to meet. Groups will be assigned on the basis of your stated availability.
6. What happens if I miss one of my sessions?
Enrolling in the Confirmation programme means commitment to taking part in all aspects of the preparation: Rite of Enrolment, all sessions, retreat. If you are sick or have some other serious conflict, contact the coordinator of the programme to arrange to make up the session. Candidates who fail to participate without a valid reason may be required to withdraw from the programme and delay Confirmation till another time.
7. What do I do if I decide (during or after the preparation) not to be confirmed?
If you decide that this is not the time for you to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, you are asked to contact the coordinator. We will respect your decision, and encourage you to consider being confirmed when the time is right for you.
8. Why does the parish need the address of the church where I was Baptised?
After you have been confirmed, we record the details in our parish Confirmation register. We are also required to send a notice to the parish in which you were baptised (no matter where in the world that parish is located) and they, too, enter your Confirmation in their records. We can only do this when you provide a complete mailing address for the church.
9. Will candidates be making a stole to wear during Confirmation?
A stole is the sign that someone has been ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop. It is not, therefore, appropriate for Confirmation candidates to wear a stole.
WAtch amazing video on confirmation (10 min)
First reconciliation and holy communion
DATES FOR THE 2019-2020 sacramental prep classes will be announced later this year.
Why go to confession? - click here
Guide to Confession Click Here
For children in our parish, these sacraments are generally received for the first time in the same year. Both require a participation in a sacramental prep year to bring through to first confession and first holy communion. This is usually done in grade 3.
By this beautiful Sacrament of confession, or reconciliation, God gives all sinful members of His Church, "a direct, human, and personal encounter with the mercy of God" as found in the Gospel.  (CCC:1446) In this encounter "God, the Father of mercies" pardons His faithful for post-baptism sins that they confessed to the bishop or his priests.
Then, traditionally, our parish offers our families sacramental preparation that prepares them for First Holy Communion. The preparation process takes place usually around seven years of age or otherwise as determined by the pastor.
FAQS on holy communion
1. My child attends a Catholic school. My family goes to Mass at our local parish. Who is responsible for preparing my child for First Communion, the school or the parish?
The parents and the parish are responsible for your child's preparation for the First Holy Communion. To prepare for First Holy Communion you are to register your family in your local parish.
If you are not attending a parish currently, we warmly invite you to participate in the Mass on Sundays with one of our many parish families.
2. Why is this preparation held in the parish and not the school?
The immediate preparation for the celebration of the sacraments is the responsibility of the parents and the parish.
3. Why are parents involved in the process?
Children to the faith of the parents are like sponges to water. At baptism the point about the parents' and godparents' responsibility to pass on the faith of the Church is clear as day in the symbol of the lighting of the candle from the paschal candle at Baptism. The Church involves parents in the faith of their family from the start, because parents are called to be "the first preachers of the faith" to their children.
The parents "are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their off-springs", as St. Augustine once said that parents are called "not only to bring children into the world but also to bring them to God". For these reasons the Church calls the Christian family "the domestic church" (CCC: 1655-1658; Compendium: 350), as Pope John Paul II reminds us in the words of Pope Paul VI:
The family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates. In a family which is conscious of this mission, all the members evangelize and are evangelized. The parents not only communicate the Gospel to their children, but from their children they can themselves receive the same Gospel as deeply lived by them. And such a family becomes the evangelizer of many other families, and of the neighbourhood of which it forms part.
4. Why is there a cost associated with this preparation?
While there is absolutely no fee associated with the Sacrament of Eucharist, our parish families help cover such expenses as program materials, refreshments, and so on, through voluntary donations.
5. What if my child is not ready to celebrate the sacrament?
Please speak to the pastor or coordinator.
6. If my child did not receive First Communion in Grade Three, can they receive it when they are older?
Yes, but please speak to your parish pastor for their preparation for First Communion.
7. How may validly baptized non-Catholic children receive First Communion?
The pastor will be able to speak to your particular situation.  Validly baptised non-Catholic children between seven and fourteen years should be enrolled in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children of Catechetical Age.
8. Can a non-baptised or non-Catholic child receive First Communion if they are enrolled in a Catholic school?
No. Eucharistic communion is reserved to those who are in the fullness of ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church.
9. Can an Eastern Catholic or an Orthodox child receive First Holy Communion?
First Holy Communion is usually the first celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Because baptised children from these ecclesial communities normally received First Communion along with Baptism and Confirmation, these children do not usually celebrate First Holy Communion again. Orthodox children are usually not presented for First Communion even if they are enrolled in Catholic schools.
Speak to your pastor about your particular situation, especially if the child has a Roman Catholic parent or if the parents would like to be received into the Catholic Church.
WAtch this amazing video on the eucharist (11 Min)
faqs on reconciliation (confession)
1. When is it necessary for me to go Confession?
Generally speaking, besides the obligation of annual Confession (Canon Law: 989), the Church encourages its faithful to make use of the sacrament frequently and regularly.
Specifically one should confess all his/her sins, and especially mortal sins which destroy the sanctifying grace in the soul. While Confession of venial sins is not always necessary, one must confess mortal sins.
Mortal sin is (1) a grave matter that turned one away from God in (2) full knowledge of the evil of the act, and with (3) full consent of the will. All three conditions must be met for a sin to be mortal. (CCC: 1855, 1857)
Venial sins do not destroy the sanctifying grace in the soul, but it diminishes and wounds it (CCC: 1855). Venial sin injuries one's relationship with God or with the neighbour or with oneself, in lesser matters of the moral law, or in grave matters acting without full knowledge or complete consent (CCC: 1862).
2. What if after receiving the Holy Eucharist I became aware of some sins that I failed to confess?
You must go to Confession at your earliest opportunity.
3. Can a priest reveal what has heard to others?
No. "It is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason." This is called "Confessional seal". (Canon Law: 983 §1.)
4. What if I feel nervous about going to Confession? Or what if I haven't gone to Confession for many years?
True contrition turns one to God and the Church in the sacrament (CCC: 1453-1454). Simply go to the Confessional prayerfully in the faith when you are ready, by telling a priest what sins you are sorry for with all your heart. "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear" (1 Jn 4.18). Recall, for example, the reassuring story of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke (15:11-32) and the embrace of the loving father. If necessary, speak to your pastor, and he will be able to guide you in your preparation.
5. I have difficulty in memorizing the Act of Contrition by heart in the Confessional …
Bring a copy of it with you to the Confessional. Sometimes pastors have a copy ready. It is important that you understand the prayer. It is not meant to be a memory test. Express it in your own words when your memory of it fails. You can always ask a priest to help you.
6. Can I be forgiven of the terrible sin of abortion?
Yes! Pope John Paul II once wrote to women in your situation.
The Church is aware of the many factors that may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong, but do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (Evangelium Vitae, 99.)
Come, begin the process of healing. If you would prefer to confess to a priest who has experience ministering to women who have abortions, please contact Spiritual Affairs.
7. May I receive the sacrament if I'm divorced?
It is possible that you may receive the sacrament, but you may wish to consult your pastor first who would be able to speak to your particular situation. Generally speaking, one may receive the sacrament if they are civilly divorced but have not remarried or were validly married in the Church after receiving a declaration of nullity for their first marriage.
8. Can my sins be forgiven outside of the sacrament?
In the sacrament God in his unbound mercy reconciles a contrite person not only to Himself, but also to the Church, through the ministry of priests. In Baptism God washed away all your sins. For post-baptismal sins, the members of the Catholic Church are bound by the sacrament as "the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession" (CCC: 1484).
First Reconciliation, Confession, and Penance
The parishes normally prepare our children and families for this Sacrament prior to their First Holy Communion. This is their first celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation: their first sacramental acts of Confession and of Penance. The Church's proclamation and celebration of God's loving mercy through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is the broad framework of the parish catechesis. Like adults children have a right to an ongoing catechesis in this Sacrament and to be encouraged to approach the Sacrament freely and regularly. Regular reception of the Sacrament is a beautiful way of co-operating with God the Father as the Holy Spirit graces us with what wholesome virtue we need in our continuing, lifelong conversion to Christ.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Must a child receive this Sacrament before he/she can receive First Holy Eucharist?
The Church teaches that it is “the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental Confession, are refreshed with this divine food as soon as possible” [canon 914]. The same canon of the Code of Canon Law teaches that it is “for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach Holy Communion”. In the Archdiocese of Toronto, it is normative that children and adults preparing to receive Holy Communion for the first time also participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation beforehand, as a means to prepare themselves most appropriately, and to inculcate a desire for Reconciliation throughout their life.
2. When should a child start going to Reconciliation (Confession)?
In consultation with the pastor, a child normally starts going to Confession as he/she prepares for First Holy Communion and after he/she has received instruction (catechesis) on this sacrament from the parish.
3. Is it the school's responsibility to prepare the children for this Sacrament?
No, the preparation for this Sacrament is the parish's responsibility.
4. How can we, the parents, help our children prepare for this Sacrament?
This is a very important question that requires constant turning to Christ's presence especially in the Sacraments. Like every child, every family is unique. Parents are privileged teachers of the faith in the family, and this profound privilege requires you to 'walk the talk'. Active participation at Mass on Sundays is always essential. In consultation with your parish, these ideas may help if you do them: being present at your children's parish preparation when appropriate; going to Confession regularly; praying for and with your children and bless them; loving the Church, the people of God, publicly and privately.
watch this amazing video on reconciliation (2 min)
The marriage preparation requires a weekend (Friday and Saturday) and 3 additional meetings. Please note that attendance to every meeting is required to complete the marriage preparation. Please contact the parish office to find out when the next classes are.
The liturgy of the Sacrament of Marriage in the Church is full of beautiful symbols and blessings. Discerning this sacrament as a divine calling for you is more crucial than one's consideration of many well-known social benefits of marriage. The Church believes and teaches marriage as "a special sacrament" for "the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity" and "mutual help and service" between a baptized man and a baptized woman in the unique, life-long partnership of total and mutual self-giving love. Marriage and married love are by their nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, so that a man and a woman by their union in Christ are "no longer two, but one flesh" (Matt. 19ff).
Do you want to get married at sacred heart?
The parish community of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church wishes to congratulate you on your engagement! We rejoice with you that God has blessed you with a special love. We commit ourselves to do our very best to make your wedding a special and sacred moment in your lives. Understandably, the excitement of an upcoming wedding is naturally coupled with a need to begin planning for this big day.
Obviously, planning has begun since you have already contacted the parish or picked up these wedding guidelines. We thank you for considering our parish in this most important occasion of your life and, as already stated, we will seek to assist you in any way possible.
Within the folds of these guidelines, you will find many commonly asked questions regarding the celebration of your marriage within our parish community. Because your marriage clearly involves the entire parish community, wedding policies are set in place to respect the common good of the entire parish. These policies are meant to assist you as you prepare for your marriage. Please be assured of our prayers and support as you journey towards the celebration of the sacrament of marriage. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the preparation of your wedding, please do not hesitate to contact our Parish Pastor.
At this first appointment, we will open a marriage file and complete a “Prenuptial Investigation and Inquiry” – about 1 hour will be required. The priest must meet with both future bride and groom together at this appointment. Please make sure to bring with you the following items:
Written Permission of Pastor from outside our parish jurisdiction—if applicable
The parties who are baptized must provide the priest with a baptismal certificate during the first meeting regarding your wedding.
If either party was baptized either at Sacred Heart Cathedral we will already have your baptismal information in our records.
Certificates for those who are baptized in the Roman Catholic faith can be obtained from the parish of baptism and must be issued by that parish within the last six months. Please also make sure to include your confirmation information on this certificate, if available.
For those of other Christian churches, proof of baptism can most likely be obtained from the place of baptism.
Written permission of Pastor
If both parties who are to be married currently reside outside of our own parish area, one Catholic party must provide the priest with written permission of their proper pastor (i.e. the pastor of the parish where they currently attend and worship) giving his permission that this sacrament be celebrated outside of the proper parish’s jurisdiction.
Church law requires that every couple getting married in a Catholic Church must take a marriage preparation course. Courses are offered as follows: after Easter 2017. If a couple cannot attend the local marriage preparation course, it is their responsibility to ensure that they attend a course in another parish . If the marriage preparation is done outside of the parish, a certificate indicating marriage preparation has been completed is required.
All couples will be required to obtain a marriage licence from the local Municipal Office. Application can be made no sooner than 90 days prior to the wedding and dropped off at the parish office no later than one month before the wedding. At the same time, please bring with you the pre-addressed envelope provided by the Municipal Office together with your marriage licence.
Must be over 16 years of age. We need names and addresses of your two witnesses. Please provide this information, in writing, no later than one month before the wedding.
Dear Future Bride and Groom! If you want your marriage to last, in spite of obstacles and difficulties, you have to learn how to forgive each other. Only the love that is based on forgiveness can overcome every misunderstanding. Where is such a love to be found? How to learn it? You can get it for free in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Therefore, it is advised that you to go to confession – as soon as possible or a few days before your wedding.
Times of weddings
Weddings that are planned on Saturday will be booked between the hours 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, as mutually agreed upon between the priest and the couple who is to be married. Wedding dates are booked on a first-come, first-served basis, and only upon completion of the couple’s first interview together with a priest.
Rehearsals will be booked at a time arranged with the parish priest when the church is available. The usual time for wedding rehearsal is either the Thursday or Friday evening prior to the wedding day.
Celebration of the wedding
Generally speaking, two Catholics will want to be married with a wedding Mass.
However, where both may be non–active Catholics, it may be best not to have a Mass.
In the case of a mixed marriage (i.e. a Catholic and non-Catholic), a liturgy without Mass
Music for your wedding
The choice of who is to play at your wedding is up to you. However, the people that you choose must have some experience in liturgical worship. You must make these arrangements and the fee for service is to be worked out directly between the couple and the musician whom you contact. You are welcome to arrange music with the musicians who are already connected with our parish, if you so choose. Please call the Parish Office and we can provide you with their contact information.
However, should you choose someone other than our parish musicians, you will still be required to meet with them at your expense to discuss the selection of your music and the use of the parish sound system.
Second interview - no later than one month before the wedding.
Please bring with you:
Certificate of marriage preparation
Marriage Licence, together with pre-addressed envelope
Information about witnesses, including names and addresses for each
Liturgy and reading selections
You will be given a book which contains various scripture readings for the celebration of your wedding. You may choose either two or three readings and 1 or 2 readers. You should also choose one person who will read the Prayers of the Faithful during wedding ceremony. Please choose people who can read effectively in Church.
You are, of course, permitted to decorate the church keeping in mind the following points:
You are responsible for the set up before the wedding and take down immediately after the wedding. Keep in mind that there are often other celebrations in the church prior to and following your wedding.
Nothing is to be attached to the altar or placed on the altar.
Candelabra are not permitted.
Floral arches are not permitted.
Rice and confetti are not permitted.
Flowers for the wedding liturgy are the responsibility of the couple.
If you wish, you can leave flowers on altar.
Pew bows are permitted, but no tacks or nails may be used. String, elastics or masking tape are permitted.
Following the celebration, it is the responsibility of the couple to clean out of pews any discarded material such as wedding programs.
Pictures may be taken discretely during the wedding ceremony. Photographers are not permitted to enter the sanctuary area (i.e. raised area) nor interrupt the wedding ceremony. Couples are to ask the photographer to speak with parish priest before the wedding begins.
Video is also permitted as long as it is done from a stationary position with any extension cords being taped to the floor.
Finally, flash photography, auxiliary flashes or floodlights are permitted.
An offering to the parish shows gratitude of the couple to the parish community in its pastoral work. This is not a gift to the parish priest but an offering made to the parish. The suggested offering is not a requirement of marriage in the Church. The offering can be given to the parish office at the same time as the marriage licence is delivered. It is up to the couple whether or not they make an offering to the priest.
If used, the parish does provide this unity candle or you may provide one yourself, with permission of the priest.
Wedding Including Mass
Seating of the parents
Second reading (optional)
Exchange of vows
Blessing of rings
Exchange of rings
Prayers of the Faithful
The Eucharistic prayer
Sign of peace
Signing of the register
Presentation of couple
Wedding Without Mass
Seating of the parents
Second reading (optional)
Exchange of vows
Blessing of rings
Exchange of rings
Prayers of the Faithful
Sign of peace
Holy Communion (optional)
Signing of the register
Presentation of couple
watch this amazing video on marriage (7 min)
Anointing of the Sick
If you or someone you know would like to receive the anointing of the sick please call the parish office.
In the love of God His Father, Jesus Christ has come to heal the whole human person, soul and body. He continues to show his faithfulness and compassion and solidarity towards the sick: "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." (CCC: 1505) As St. James says, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call the presbyters of the Church and let them pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14-15). The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick confers a special grace of the Holy Spirit on Christians who are suffering from serious illness, and not exclusively on the faithful who are at the point of death (CCC: 1514).
Here is a registration page for our marriage prep course.
1. What do Catholics believe about the Sacrament of the Sick?
In solidarity with the sick, the Church believes and confesses "the life-giving presence of Christ, the physician of souls and bodies" in this "sacred anointing" (CCC: 1509; 1511). "But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses." (CCC: 1508) The liturgical actions signify what grace the sacrament confers upon the sick: (i.) a gift of the Holy Spirit who grants fortitude and renewal of trust and faith in God especially against the temptations of the evil one; (ii.) union with Christ in His redemptive suffering and death; (iii.) the restoration of health if it is conducive to their salvation; (iv.) an ecclesial grace sanctifying the Church on earth; (v.) sacramentum exeuntium that completes all the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life and prepares the final journey of those who are at the point of departing this life.
The sacrament is connected to divine absolution through the Church: as administered by the priest, the anointing has effects of "the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance".
(CCC: 1520-1523; 1532)
2. Is the Sacrament called the "Last Rites"?
No. The Church believes and teaches that the sacrament is not a sacrament only for those who are at the point of death but for those among the faithful, including children reaching the age of reason, who "begin to be in danger of death from sickness or old age". (CCC: 1514)
3. May someone receive this Sacrament more than once?
Yes, and at the discretion of the priest. (Cf. CCC: 1515) One should ask for a priest to confer the sacrament again in any situation of grave illness, whether the situation is persisting, recurring, worsening, or a newly developed one and so on.
4. Who should confer the Sacrament?
Only a validly ordained priest should confer the Sacrament.
5. What is physically done in this Sacrament?
The "priests of the Church"—in silence—lay hands on the sick; they pray over them in the loving faith of the Church in the hope of Holy Spirit to come and act; they then anoint them with sacred oil. (CCC: 1519).
6. Does the Church ever anoint someone who is already dead?
No. Sacraments are for the living. The Church cares deeply about who are present at the death of a loved one and the family of our faithful departed. Please get in touch with your pastor or deacon or lay assistant if you wish to receive pastoral care and the prayers of your parish family.
7. How do I arrange for the Sacrament?
Current practices at Ontario hospitals make it easily the responsibility of the patient or their families to declare the patient's religious affiliation at admissions. For the Sacrament to be arranged, it is absolutely crucial that you or your immediate family let the hospital administration (e.g., a nurse or a physician) or the hospital chaplaincy know
that you are Roman Catholic and that you would like to ask for a priest especially if his immediate visit is desirable.
A Roman Catholic priest is necessary to confer the sacrament.
Make sure your parish know about your wish to receive the Sacrament. If you are not attending a parish currently, phone one of our many parish families to discuss your circumstance.
8. Should children receive this Sacrament?
When a baptized child is in danger of death, he/she may be confirmed, and celebrate First Holy Eucharist at the time of Anointing by the priests of the Church.
watch this amazing video on anointing of the sick
Last rites and funerals
In the face of death, the Church confidently proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life and that Jesus, the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity.
At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The celebration of the Christian funeral brings hope and consolation to the living. While proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to Christian hope in the resurrection, the funeral rites also recall to all who take part in them God's mercy and judgement and meet the human need to turn always to God in times of crisis.
How can I have a funeral for my family member at sacred heart?
You will need to contact the parish office.
However, here is a link to the archdiocese of Toronto's funerals page. While we may have a slightly different approach or process this may give a sense of what is the process within the catholic church.