Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals, et al —
Parish Regs and Practices
In the Catholic tradition, the parish church is the place where the sacraments are celebrated. Catholics have the right to the sacraments in the parish church where they live. Everyone has a parish in virtue of their residence. Baptisms, like marriages, are among a family’s happiest events. And we invite you to celebrate these occasions with us. People who are not members of the parish but who might wish to be a part of our community and celebrate these sacraments here should esablish an active presence here for six months or so prior to checking into schedules, possibilities, etc. The Webpage for the Diocese of Oakland has a map showing the boundaries of every parish within Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Parishes are territorial, and have boundaries – and if you have any doubts you can find your peoper parish by checking on the map.
Infant and Child Baptism
The parents, or legal guardians, wishing to arrange for the baptism or other sacraments of an infant or child should contact the pastor. We cannot make plans involving children except with the custodial parents or legal guardians. Baptisms may take place during Sunday Mass, or at another time to be arranged. Because of our small numbers, we are able to schedule baptismal ceremonies on an individual basis.
First Communion for Children
Children commonly receive Communion for the first time in the Spring, within the Easter Season. Again, because of our small numbers, we are able to help parents prepare their children for this sacrament on an individual basis. Contact the pastor for more information.
Baptism is the sacrament by which adults who are not Christian enter the Church, or become converts. There is a special rite for celebrating this event, which usually takes place at Easter. For information, again contact the pastor. And adults who are already baptized Christians and wish to become Catholics should also contact the pastor. We speak of them making a full entry into the church, since through their baprism they are already members of it.
The essence of the Catholic Rite of Marriage, in itself, is very simple – the couple’s public statement of their intention to marry; the recitation of the wedding vows; and the blessing and exchange of rings. But many couples obviously prefer the more festive settings, like the Wedding Mass, that are traditional. And our beautiful, century-old church is a wonderful place for this happy celebration. Couples wishing to be married here should contact the pastor to learn more about the marriage preparation procedures, and expectations for celebrating their wedding here. And they should contact us at least six months in advance of any proposed date, and before any definitive arrangements are made. As in most parishes, there are regulations for musicians and photographers assisting at weddings. They are important, and the couple is responsible to see to it that the musicians and photographers contact the pastor well before the wedding.We add, for the sake of clarity, that we do not perform wedding ceremonies outside of the parish church, and all the arrangements have to be made by the couples themselves. And again, we presuppose that Catholics will be married in their parish church. The phrase “parish church” can have more than one point of reference, normally family connected – the church where either party resides, or where their parent or parents may live, etc. But the presupposition is that peoole will be married in their proper parish, however defined. The Webpage for the Diocese of Oakland has a map showing the boundaries of every parish – parishes are territorial, and have boundaries – and you can find your peoper parish by checking on the map.
All Catholics, at the time of death, have the right to have a Mass celebrated for them in the parish church where they live. We try to accomodate the scheduling as best we can. However, it is really necessary for the family to contact us before any scheduling takes place. Otherwise we may not be able to accomodate the family. Often, the funeral takes place on a weekday morning, followed by burial in one of the local cemeteries, at which we will also assist. Or families may prefer to have a Memorial Mass at a later date. When there is a cremation the choices are relatively the same. Please note that the Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese have a low-cost funeral plan, and also provide free-of-charge a place to deposit or bury cremated remains in each cemetery. Please make sure to contact the pastor right away, before setting any fixed plans either with other family members or with a mortuary. And any arrangements with the parish are to be made by the family, not by the mortuary. We need to make sure that the family’s wishes can be scheduled, are appropriate, and possible. Please note that we do not perform funeral rites, vigil services, and blessings at mortuaries, private homes, or other places.
E-mail Father O’Rourke at firstname.lastname@example.org.