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Baptism 

A Reason to Rejoice!

The birth of a new baby is a great event for you as a parent and for your whole family. The Church wants to rejoice with you at the arrival of a new unique person created in the image and likeness of God. As parents you have the great privilege - and responsibility - of bringing up your child and helping that child to grow to become a mature and independent person.

Why Baptism?

As parents, you will be concerned that you do everything that is best for your child. You will have spent a long time thinking and talking about the best way to bring that child up, and all that you want to share. One of the most important things you will want to share with your child will be your faith, your own relationship with the loving God who has shown us love in Jesus Christ.

We believe that in Baptism a child is brought into a special relationship with that loving God by becoming Christ-ened, becoming like Christ. Baptism makes a child a member of the Church, someone who belongs to God, and who God nourishes and supports through the graces given through the Church. Baptism is the beginning of that life with God that continues on through all our earthly life and beyond.

A time for preparation.

All the important events in life need preparation, so that we make sure that everything is clear and everything goes as we hope. As the beginning of your child's life with God, Baptism too will need careful preparation.

As parents, and godparents, you will make certain promises in the celebration of Baptism. It is important that before you take on such solemn promises you have been helped to think it all through. During the ceremony, you are asked to profess your own faith in God, the faith that your child will be baptised into. That is something you need to have time to reflect on.

Godparents

It is common to ask all sorts of friends and relatives to be godparent to your child, and there are all sorts of reasons for this. The godparents however, are really there to represent the whole Church community into which your child is being baptised. They make promises on their own behalf as part of the Church, that they will take seriously their responsibility to help your child grow in the knowledge and love of God. This is an important promise. It makes sense therefore to insist that at least one of your chosen godparents should be a practising Roman Catholic

The Ceremony

As Baptism is about becoming part of the whole Church, and especially the local Catholic community some parents ask to have their children baptised during the main Sunday Mass. This can be a great time of celebration, especially when the family are well known in the Parish, and the whole Parish family can join in the celebration.

At other times, when perhaps many of the family and friends of the parents of the child are not involved in the Catholic Church, Baptism is celebrated quietly on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The priest will help you think about which of these might be best, and will help prepare for the Baptism and plan the ceremony - thinking about readings and making sure that everything goes smoothly and that everyone feels welcome and involved. The ceremony itself is full of symbolism. After the actual Baptism with water, the child is clothed in a white garment as a sign of putting on Christ, and there is the giving and receiving of a candle as a sign of passing on the light of Christ. It is most important that you shoud be able to experience your child's Baptism as what it is - God's act of saving love celebrated in the Church which rejoices with you!

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The Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

All the important events in life need preparation, so that we make sure that everything is clear and everything goes as we hope. At this important point in your child's life with God, Reconciliation and First Holy Communion too will need careful preparation. The preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist is a very special time in the moral and spiritual development of your child.

Thoughts for parents to ponder...
Is your child ready?
This has nothing to do with age; some children at this age are very aware of their faith, whilst others need a little more time. But minimum age is 7.

Does your family have a regular commitment to the Church?
This is part of the family commitment to this programme. Your child will be taught about their relationship with God, the Church, and with our wider faith community, therefore they need to feel part of their Christian family and be familiar with and regularly attending Sunday Mass.

Are you ready?
This is probably the largest commitment. The programme is spread over 6-9 months, involves 2 - Parent sessions and a regular commitment not only to the sessions, but also to Sunday Mass.

What does the Course involve?
The Course is contained within the catechetical programme followed in this parish during term-time. Please contact Parish office for details of dates and times.

When are First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion celebrated?
First Reconciliation takes place at the end of February or the beginning of March, and is the first important milestone on the journey towards First Holy Communion. First Holy Communion normally takes place in May/June, and is a time of great celebration for your child, their family, and indeed for the whole of the parish family as they all join in the celebration.

Parental Involvement
It is most important that you feel able to participate in and contribute during the course of the journey your child is making towards Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. To help parents feel involved in this process, Parent Information Evenings are held in January and May. These evenings are an opportunity for parents to get together with the priest, the catechists, and each other, to discuss the programme that their child has been following, and to allow for a general sharing of information, including the practical arrangements. The evenings also give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about your child's First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.

What to do next...
Keep reading the Newsletter during the summer for the date of the new term of ‘Walk With Me', as the Reconciliation and First Holy Communion course will start at the same time as 'Walk With Me' begins. 

Natural Family Planing

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Confirmation

Confirmation is a call to live by God's Spirit. It is conferred at a later age having clear connotations of Christian maturity. The candidates are acknowledging the adult commitment to faith, literally ‘confirming' the promises made on their behalf at baptism.Young people should be 14+ to enter the programme which usually begins in the Autumn and, if the candidate feels ready, confirmation will be during Eastertide the following year. There will usually be a residential retreat during that period.

Marriage

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Something to celebrate!

Deciding to get married is a great decision for both of you - and for your families and friends. The Church wants to rejoice with you in your commitment to each other. This decision is the most important one in your life, as you resolve to give yourself to each other for always. This is not something you have decided lightly and it is right that we should all celebrate this decision of yours.

Christian Marriage

By choosing to get married in Church, you are saying some very clear things about how you understand marriage. By Baptism you have become part of Christ's people, in marriage, Christ blesses your commitment and strengthens you by a special sacrament so that you can undertake the privileges and responsibilities of marriage.

Your wedding day will always be very special. It is the day that sanctifies your love that has grown together over time. It is also the day that you make a commitment for the future and all that it brings. The Catholic Church sees Christian marriage as exclusive, for always and as the normal place for raising a family. These are very important matters to undertake, that is why we want to support and encourage you in this great undertaking, and that is why prayer should always be part of this decision.

A time for preparation

All the important events in life need preparation, so that we make sure that everything is clear and everything goes as we hope. As the beginning of your married life together, your wedding ceremony will need careful preparation, but so will preparing for life together. Your commitment to each other will be without qualification and for always, and that needs some reflection if it is to be made seriously. We hope that we can help you to do that.

In order to ensure that all the appropriate preparation, paperwork and booking has enough time we ask for at least six months notice for your wedding.

Music and Flowers

You are welcome to provide your own organist and flower arrangers if you like. These will be guided by the priest on what is appropriate for St Margaret Mary's Church. If you prefer, we can arrange for an organist and flower arrangers from the parish at modest cost.

The Ceremony

When both partners are committed members of the Church, it is good to celebrate the wedding with a Nuptial Mass. For others, a simpler wedding service can be arranged.

You will need to choose suitable readings and music for your wedding. It is always good to involve members from both families in the service, and you can do this by asking them to be involved in the readings, prayers and so forth. All this will be discussed with the priest who will celebrate the marriage, and there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss many other things if you wish. It is most important that you feel very comfortable and content with the wedding ceremony itself. Rehearsals and all else will certainly be arranged with you.

Charges

There are certain legal fees for the Registration of your marriage. It is also usual to make a donation to the Church and the priest presiding at your wedding.



Confession

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The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions) will be held before and after Mass each weekday. Please check Parish Newsletter for any changes.



Anointing of the Sick

The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. As soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him or her to receive this sacrament has already arrived.
 

If you are in Derriford hospital you can request a Catholic priest and they will be paged. There is Mass every Sunday at Derriford Hospital. Bed pushers are available to get patients to Mass.

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St Margaret Mary's Roman Catholic Parish Church, Quarry Park Road, Plymstock, Devon PL9 9DW