“Parish Sacramental Guidelines and other Parish Directives”
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Baptism is administered after the infant’s birth according to your decision. Only Children of catholic parents, who are registered with the Parish (holding parish ID) are baptized. Exceptions are made to this rule, if there is no objection letter from any parish priest of another Catholic Parish. Parents of the child being baptized and Godparents should attend a Pre-Baptism Course conducted by the Parish. They should submit the course Certificate as well as a fresh Marriage Certificate. Parents can avail of the Application Form for Baptism and submit the same along with the above certificates at least one week before the Baptism. Baptism is given on Saturday after 6.15pm mass and on Sunday after 11:15am mass.
Adult Baptism: This is a one year program, in which the non-Catholics desirous of practicing the Catholic faith are trained in the catholic and Christian Doctrine of the Church. Please get the details in the parish office.
Every time we sin, we hurt ourselves, other people and God. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called Penance or Confession) was given to us by Christ to help us reconcile with Christ and his Church when we have committed harm. Through the Sacrament, we acknowledge our sins, express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done and resolve to do better in the future. During his public life, Jesus both forgave sins and reintegrated sinners into the community. This is the goal of the Sacrament of Confession: to forgive sins and to provide reconciliation with the Church. The Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation involves four parts: contrition, confession, penance and absolution.
1. Contrition: a sincere sorrow for having offended God and the most important act of the penitent. There can be no forgiveness of sin if we do not have sorrow and a firm resolve not to repeat our sin.
2. Confession: confronting our sins in a profound way to God by speaking about them — aloud— to a priest.
3. Penance: an important part of our healing is the “penance” imposed in reparation for our sins.
4. Absolution: the priest imparts the words which reconcile a sinner to God through the merits of the Cross.
First Holy Communion is one of the seven Sacraments. It is administered to a child who is studying in the 4th grade. First Holy Communion is given during the second week after Easter. In line with directives from the Diocese, candidates are required to undergo a full year’s training. Further, before actually receiving the Sacrament, candidates must undergo two weeks’ intense preparation in the Church, conducted by the Catechists and the Parish Team.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is a very conscious and committed step in the life of a young Christian. Confirmation is administered to the youth studying in the 11th grade. Bombay Archdiocese strictly advises that Confirmation be received during 11th grade. It is conferred by the Zonal Bishop or by the Parish Priest in exceptional cases, with a valid delegation from the Bishop.
Matrimony is a holy sacrament, officiated by a priest, of uniting a man to a woman. Through this holy sacrament, the man and woman become one, for as the Lord Jesus said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5,6).
- Along with parents, the would-be bride and bridegroom should meet the parish priest/Asst. Priests, three months before the marriage. They will discuss about marriage preparation course, pre-nuptial enquiry and banns.
- A Recent Certificate of Baptism from the Parish where one has been baptized.
- The prenuptial inquiry form is to be filled with all sincerity and under oath.
- ‘Justification status liberi’-A written oath of free state is to be made in the presence of two reliable witnesses, if a contracting partner has lived or is living outside Mumbai for more than six months after completion of sixteen years of age, in case of boy and fourteen years in case of a girl. If one party is a non-catholic, this party also has to obtain an affidavit.
- The Certificate of Civil Registration obtained from the civil authority need to be submitted if they have done the civil marriage.
- A Death Certificate of the former spouse or declaration of nullity of previous marriage from the ecclesiastical marriage Tribunal, if one was previously married.
- Two banns have to be published: One in the church and the second on the notice board.
- If the bride or bridegroom is from another parish, he/she should bring all relevant papers from his/her parish, atleast one week before the nuptials.
- Kindly consult the priest regarding the liturgy of the mass, prayer of the faithful, mass readings, offertory gifts(useful for the church)etc. The whole liturgy has to be approved by the priest at least one week before the wedding.
- There can be more than one couple celebrating their nuptials at the same mass. No assurance or priority shall be given to any one couple irrespective of when the booking was done. No complaints/discussion shall be entertained. The decision of the Parish Priest will be final.
- The wedding timings are: Week days 4.30pm. Saturday 4pm, Sunday 3.30pm & 6.15pm.
- The nuptial Rite of Disparity of cult/mixed marriage is conducted half an hour before the celebration of the Eucharist. The couple can participate in the ordinary mass of the day which follows.
- Nuptial Day
- Kindly come on time for the wedding. If any of the party comes later than 15 minutes of the schedule time, then the time deposit of that party will be forfeited.
- Guest Priest
- Inform the parish priest in writing atleast 30 days before the wedding if there are guest priests.
- Please get prior permission from the parish priest if you wish them to celebrate, preach, bless the nuptials
- Please request them to be present in the church atleast ten minutes before the mass
- Holy Mass
- Celebrant welcomes the bride and bridegroom at the main door and leads them in the church
- Best man, flower girls should be practicing Catholics
- Witnesses should be informed about their role well in advance. They should be practicing Catholics.
- The bridal couple should come well prepared as to read the nuptial vows or should inform Celebrant Priest in case they have difficulty in reading.
- Two witnesses need to be kept ready.
- Readings are to be done or proclaimed from the lectern.
- Get the readings and prayers of the faithful approved by the priest at least half an hour before the mass. Please practice them well.
- If the families of the bride and bridegroom prepare the nuptial liturgy, get the prior permission of the parish priest/Asst. Priests.
- Offertory gifts
- Please don’t bring the religious articles (Bible, rosary etc.)
- Prayers of the faithful and offertory gifts are not to be blended
- You are welcome to bring fruits, vegetables and things pertaining to mass (chausible, chalice, Albs, Altar Clothes etc.)
- Please avoid all plastics.
- You are welcome to decorate the altar or church with fresh flowers. Please get the suggestion of concerned church personnel (assistant parish priest , sacristan)
- Avoid decorating kneelers in the church
- Choose your choir group in consultation with the parish office.
- If family people wish to sing the responsorial psalm, get the permission of parish priest/Asst. Priests and practice in advance.
- If you wish to prepare nuptial booklets prior permission and approval of parish priest/Asst. Priests is important
- Photo/ Video
- Let there be only one photographer/videographer.
- Photography is not permitted in the Sanctuary.
- Care should be taken that he doesn’t disturb the sacredness of the liturgy.
- Videography is permitted only at 4 points: 1.Entrance Procession; 2.Nuptial Rite and offertory procession; 3.Reception of communion by the couple; 4.Signing of Marriage Register
- Dress code
- Dress code is obligatory.
- All those who come to the sanctuary have to be especially modest.
- All should use formal dress-pants and shirt, saree, chudidhar or anything modest.
- Girls, ladies by all means should avoid spaghetti or mini or body-hugging dresses.
- No fire crackers during mass.
- No announcements or thanksgiving speech is allowed after the mass.
- Wishing the Bridal Couple should be outside the Church.
- The entire amount has to be paid in cash at the time of booking. If there is more than one couple the amount will be shared accordingly and refunded back within a week after the Nuptials along with the time deposits if no breach is committed under-clause A.
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the sick is one of the seven sacraments. Anointing is NOT a sacrament only for those at the point of death. Hence as soon as any catholic begins to be in the danger of death, from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him/her to receive this sacrament has already arrived. N.B. if a sick person who receives this anointing recovers his health he can receive this sacrament again, in case of another grave illness. This anointing is also called Viaticum, when the Holy Communion is given.
The members of the sick/aged parishioner requesting anointing must accompany the priest to his/her home. The family members must actively participate in the sacramental prayer session. The priest anoints the sick/the age, prays over him/her with a final blessing.
Rite of Funeral
Death is a passage to a new and fuller life, to resurrection and eternal union with God. The Church, through its funeral rites commends the dead to God’s merciful love and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins. The celebration of the Christian funeral brings hope and consolation to the living.
In accordance with Catholic teaching the funeral service for a Catholic usually consists of three parts:
First Station- in the Home of the Deceased,
Second Station- in the Church i.e. celebration of Mass followed by the Rite of Final Commendation and Farewell
Third Station- at the Grave or Tomb. The entire funeral service is a one continuous rite.
- Upon the death of a loved one, only a family member must contact the priest in the parish before fixing the date and the time of the funeral.
- Kindly get a photocopy (Xerox) of the Doctor’s Certificate and of the Municipal death certificate for our parish record.
- The burial depends whether the family has submitted the duly filled Parish Census form. If the name of the deceased person is verified in the Parish Census, the burial rite will take place in the Church cemetery. If the name of the deceased person in not found in the Parish Census, then a letter is obtained from the community coordinator.
- If an unbaptised child or an unbaptized adult living with Catholic parents expires, there will only be burial and no funeral Mass will take place. The same is applicable to unborn/still born babies.
- If a family would like to invite a priest or a deacon from another parish to preside at the funeral rites, they are welcome. However, the family must inform the priests in the parish about the same.
The funeral Mass timings are as follows: Weekday 4pm and on Sunday’s 03.30 pm.
A eulogy is a short tribute to the life of the deceased loved one, offered by a family member or close personal friend, who knew the deceased well. A eulogy is not part of the funeral Mass. If a eulogy is to be given at the Funeral Liturgy, it must follow the prayer after Communion. According to the Guidelines sent by Bishop Bosco Penha in the Circular titled “Liturgical Renewal” dated 4th August 2009, there should be only ONE tribute/eulogy and a brief word of thanks. Only one member of the family can express the sentiments and thank the people after communion. The celebrant should be informed of this before the Mass begins.
Care for Creation -Say No to Coffin:
Keeping in mind the rising cost of coffins and the long time it takes for the body to decompose, it is advisable that coffins are not used for burial. The alternative to a coffin is to bury the body in a shroud. The body is wrapped in a cloth and then buried in the grave. This has its advantages, the body decomposes faster, you save ecology and it is economical. The choice is given to the person. In our church we also have a common coffin. This coffin is carried to the church and after Mass during burial, the body is wrapped in the white sheet and then lowered in the grave and covered with earth. The coffin is later cleaned and kept to be used as and when needed.
Say no to too many wreathes and flowers
Your loved one whom you are burying cannot see or smell flowers. It’s a good tradition, but often for a show!. If the money saved from both the above “Loving gifts” you give it to the deceased, is used for a worthy cause, like helping Aids children, poor widow, that definitely would go a long way in expressing your genuine love to your loved one and to the Lord.
New Members to St. Joseph Church, Parish (Parish ID)
If you are a new to the Parish, please introduce yourself to the parish team of pastors at your convenience. Please obtain a letter from your earlier parish, stating that you and your family have moved from that parish to Mira road. Please submit this letter at the parish office together with the duly filled form provided. You will be then registered in our parish and obtain your family ID. This is a free service. You will need your ID card for all services thereafter.
Please contact your SCC coordinator of your community and get yourself and your family introduce to your cluster /community.