The Seven Sacraments celebrate Christ's love and grace being given to Catholics at sacred moments in their lives. They are an outward, visible sign of an inward, invisible grace.
The Sacrament of Baptism, the first of the three sacraments of initiation, is also the first of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. It removes the guilt and effects of Original Sin and incorporates the baptised into the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ on earth.
The act of baptism usually occurs shortly after the birth of a child and symbolises that the child now shares in the Resurrection and salvation of Jesus.
Water: The Baptismal water symbolises purity, washing away an old way of life and entering into the Christian way of living. Entering into the new life of Jesus and becoming a resurrected person.
Candle: The candle the family holds symbolises the Light of Christ and that Jesus dispels the darkness for the child.
Oil: The Oil of Catechumens is used to symbolise the beginning of the Christian journey, a journey of mission to the world. The Oil of Chrism in used to show witness to being called a Christian and to give strength for the continuing mission.
To find out more information on how to organise & schedule for Baptism in the parish of Kilrush/Askamore, please contact Parish Office on 053 93 77262.
The Sacrament of Confession is one of the least understood, and least utilised, sacraments in the Catholic Church. In reconciling us to God, it is a great source of grace, and Catholics are encouraged to take advantage of it often, even if they are not aware of having committed a mortal sin.
Keys: Keys criss-crossed in the shape of an 'X' are the most common symbol for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The symbol originates with Jesus' words to Peter, "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19), by which He established the Sacrament of Reconciliation and gave the Church the authority to forgive sins.
Stole: The Stole is the primary symbol of the ordained priesthood. It is the priest in persona Christi, as a representative of Christ who grants Sacramental absolution. Christ is the High Priest behind the priest. A stole is a long, narrow strip of cloth worn over the shoulders, which hangs in front in equal lengths on the right and left sides. The stole signifies the priest's authority to preside over the Sacraments in general, and his authority to absolve sins in particular. When a priest hears confessions, he wears a purple stole, which symbolises repentance and sorrow.
A Raised Hand: During the Sacrament of Reconciliation, after the penitent makes the Act of Contrition, the priest offers the Prayer of Absolution, the blessing that removes the person's sins, and as he does so he extends his right hand over the penitent's head.
Sign of The Cross: The priest makes a Sign of the Cross over the penitent as he recites the final words of the Prayer of Absolution, "And I absolve you from all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
To find out more information on this years First Penance programme for the parish of Kilrush/Askamore, please contact the school your child attends or the Parish Office on 053 93 77262.
"The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship." Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation is "usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation." Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true "spiritual resurrection", restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1468.
While Catholics in Ireland today normally make their First Communion before they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the reception of Christ's Body and Blood, was historically the third of the three sacraments of initiation. This sacrament is the source of great graces that sanctify us and help us grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Bread: Otherwise known as the "Host", bread is used to symbolise the body of Christ during the Eucharist.
Wine: Otherwise known as the "fruit of vines", the wine in the Eucharist is used to symbolise the blood of Christ.
Altar: This is the table of the Lord, the table of the sacrafice of Jesus on the cross. We celebrate the Last Supper and remember Jesus' command.
To find out more information on this years First Communion programme for the parish of Kilrush/Askamore, please contact the school your child attends or the Parish Office on 053 93 77262.
Although the sacrament can be bestowed at any age, generally in Ireland Confirmation occurs at ages eleven or twelve. The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three sacraments of initiation because, historically, it was administered immediately after the Sacrament of Baptism. Confirmation perfects our baptism and brings us the graces of the Holy Spirit that were granted to the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday.
Dove: The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In Mk 1:10, the dove is representing God's Spirit descending on Jesus during his Baptism.
Tongue of Flame: The tongue of flame is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to the disciples as tongues of flames above their heads.
Oil: The Oil of Chrism symbolises the giving of Christ's strength for the journey to be a dedicated Christian.
Words & Gestures: The words & gestures used by the bishop during the sacrament are significant: "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit!" and laying of hands - a symbol of responsibility.
Candle The candle each recipient of the sacrament holds symbolises the Light of Christ present within the Church and for the Christian life.
To find out more information on this years Confirmation programme for the parish of Kilrush/Askamore, please contact the school your child attends or the Parish Office on 053 93 77262.
Marriage, a lifelong union between a man and a woman for procreation and mutual support, is a natural institution, but it is also one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. It reflects the union of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Rings: The rings symbolise God's unending love, depicted by the fact a ring has no start and no end.
Coins: The coins are used to symbolise wealth and blessing for the couple.
Unity Candle The unity candle symbolises the coming together of husband and wife through marriage and that their home will now serve as light to all.
We would be delighted to host your wedding in either of our Churches in the Kilrush/Askamore Parish.
Please note that when booking for your wedding, six months notice is preferable with a minimum notice of three months (three months notice is required by law to organise the civil requirements for marriage).
If you would like to book for your wedding within the parish, you can contact the Parish Office on 053 93 77262.
Pre-Marriage Course: It is highly recommended that couples would attend a Pre-Marriage seminar. Details and dates of these courses may be found by visiting www.accord.ie or referring to our parish newsletter.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ's priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles. There are three levels to this sacrament: the episcopate, the priesthood, and the diaconate.
The ongoing life of the Catholic church depends on vocations to the priesthood. The Diocese of Ferns has a director of vocations and we as a parish be delighted to introduce any interested parties to the director.
Traditionally referred to as Extreme Unction or Last Rites, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is administered both to the dying and to those who are gravely ill or are about to undergo a serious operation, for the recovery of their health and for spiritual strength.
We are always wanting to visit any member of our community who cannot attend Church celebrations due to sickness, handicap or age. Arrangements to receive the sacraments at home can be made by calling the Parish Office on 053 93 77262. Kindly notify us of any parishioners who are housebound or hospitalised so they can be visited.
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