Sacraments & Rites

There are seven sacraments which Christ instituted and entrusted to the Church. They are sacred signs of God’s presence and channels of grace to those who receive them with the proper disposition. Throughout our lives we celebrate the power of God through these life giving actions. The seven sacraments celebrate our initiation into God’s life (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist), God’s call (Marriage and Holy Orders) and God’s healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick).

For adults who have not been initiated into the Catholic Church the sacraments are usually received after careful preparation.

Baptism is the sacrament by which we are born again of water and the Holy Spirit, and by which we receive a share in the Divine Life and become children of God.

Before having your child baptised, you should be attending Holy Mass regularly in our parish. Having your child baptised is an important step and it needs to be thought about carefully. As parents, you are undertaking to bring up your child to know and practise the faith of the Holy Catholic Church.

The first step is to pick up a Baptism Application Form from the church

The Eucharist is at the heart of our parish. The details of times for the week of Mass and times of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament can be found in the Bulletin.

The majority of Catholics are baptised as children before they are old enough to understand what it really means. Their parents and Godparents promise to bring them up in the Catholic Faith following the example of Jesus and His teaching made clear to us through the Holy Catholic Church.

When a young person reaches an age where he or she is able to understand the difficulties and challenges of living out the Christian faith, they are invited to confirm the promises made on their behalf at Baptism through Confirmation.

Confirmation is one of seven Sacraments instituted by Christ. The effect of the Sacrament of Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Through Confirmation we receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: reverence, understanding, courage, knowledge, wisdom, awe and wonder and right judgment.

Candidates for Confirmation take the name of a saint. The saint will act as a patron and guide to the person. Candidates will usually devote time during their Confirmation classes to choosing a saint who particularly inspires them.

Details of the Confirmation course dates in the Parish are published in the Church’s weekly bulletin. If you are aged thirteen or over and wish to be confirmed, you should write to Fr Keith at the Presbytery address stating your desire to receive the sacrament and your intention to attend the preparatory course for all candidates.

Please note that all candidates should be attending Holy Mass each Sunday at the time of application.

This great opportunity to encounter with the Lord his mercy and forgiveness is normally available on Saturday mornings from 9am in Bridport and again after Mass, if necessary. It is also available at other time by arrangement with Fr Keith – and in all our churches.

For Catholics, marriage is a sacrament, a sacred sign of God’s unconditional love for us all, and the way to celebrate the union of a man and a woman in the context of that love.

The Church will do everything possible to help the couple gain every grace and blessing from the sacrament, both during the time of preparation, and afterwards.

Sickness often presents a great challenge and reminds us of our human frailty. The sacrament of the sick strengthens us during these times and if necessary forgives us of our sins.  The sacrament of the sick involves an anointing with holy oil and a prayer for healing. The priest is the minister of this sacrament.

The priest or an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may also visit a sick person to bring them Holy Communion.

If you are interested in exploring a call to the priesthood or the permanent diaconate then please speak to Fr Keith.

When a Catholic dies it is possible to arrange a Funeral (Requiem) Mass to be celebrated at the church. If a Requiem Mass is not requested, then a funeral service may be celebrated in the church or at the crematorium or cemetery.

It is best, in the first instance, to begin arrangements for the funeral through your undertaker. This is because it is necessary to co-ordinate the availability of the priest, the church and the cemetery or crematorium.

The undertaker should be aware that no firm arrangements can be made for the funeral until they have spoken to your priest. This is important as your priest may have other arrangements which he cannot change for the time you would like the funeral, or the church may have already been booked for something else.

In planning the service please bear in mind that secular music and readings are not permitted during Holy Mass. If you should wish to have the organ played, the undertaker and Parish Priest will help you to find an organist. The choice of music and hymns will need to be approved by the Parish Priest.

Regarding fees for the funeral, your undertaker should be able to make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

If you require further information on the sacraments or wish to arrange for a baptism, wedding or funeral in this parish, please contact Fr Keith.