The seven Sacraments were instituted directly by Christ and are administered by the Church.
In order to receive any of the sacraments it is ordinarily required that a person go through some period of preparation in order to insure the person understands the meaning of the sacrament, and to help them make a sound decision whether or not to receive the sacrament(s). There may also be some requirements that must be met before the reception of a sacrament.
This period of preparation can be a great occasion of spiritual enrichment for the intended recipient and for his or her entire family. It is unique, in that the type of preparation and the time required depends partially on the individual person.
Below are some links that can give you additional information about preparing yourself or your child for the sacraments.
Baptism of Infants(birth-age 6)
Baptism is a visible sign of God’s work and presence in your child’s life and a child’s entry into membership of the Church; a life-long journey of faith.
It is in the context of the family that we first learn who God is and to prayerfully seek His will for us. Parents of infants and small children are their child’s first teachers of faith. As Pope Francis stated, “How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith!”
Parents are required to prepare for their child’s baptism by attending a baptismal preparation class prior to the baptism of their child.
St. Ann offers these classes every three months on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm. Parents who would like to have their child baptized should call JoAnna Keller in the Office of Faith Formation at 302-539-5443 or email her in order to register for the class and for further information regarding baptism.
Sacramental Preparation-Children Baptized as Infants
Children who were already baptized as infants are prepared for the reception of further sacraments within the parish CCD (Religious Education) program. But, since this takes place in the context of the entire parish community, the classroom is only one element of this preparation. There are gatherings for parents as well as out-of-class gatherings for children.
First Penance and First Eucharist
For children baptized as infants, the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist are celebrated during the 2nd grade or during the second year of preparation if the child joins the program after 1st grade. It is the policy of the Diocese of Wilmington, that each child has one full year of religious instruction before the year in which she/he is prepared for these sacraments.
For children baptized as infants, the sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in 8th grade. It is required that the child has celebrated First Penance and Eucharist and has two consecutive years of religious instruction before the year in which she/he is prepared for Confirmation.
Sacramental Preparation–Unbaptized Children 7 to 18
According to the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, unbaptized children between the ages of 7 and 18, are baptized according to the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults. Children will need one year of preliminary instruction and then in their second year of instruction, will celebrate the rites of the catechumenate (the Rite of Acceptance, the Rite of Sending, the Rite of Election, and the 3 Scrutinies) before celebrating the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil.
For additional information regarding Sacramental Preparation, please contact JoAnna Keller at 302-539-5443 or email her.
Adults or Children Over Age 7 Becoming Catholic
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
There are many things that lead individuals to the Catholic Church: a visit to a Catholic Church; attending a Catholic wedding, baptism or funeral; a conversation with a Catholic friend or coworker. Many people reach a point where they find themselves asking questions about life’s meaning, world issues and their own direction. Some individuals are seeking a richer spiritual life.
Adults are invited to explore membership in the Roman Catholic Church. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process of inquiry, learning and sharing. Most importantly it is a journey of faith.
RCIA is designed for:
- adults and children over the age of 6 who are unbaptized
- those who were baptized as infants in the Catholic faith but have little or no formation within the Church or have never prepared for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist
- individuals baptized in another Christian tradition who find this process helpful in their discernment of becoming Roman Catholic and in their preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Sessions are held in a group setting and provide support for individuals to discuss faith, ask questions and pray. The RCIA meets on Tuesday evenings at 6pm or attends Mass on Sunday as a group and remains afterward to ask questions and learn more about the Mass and the Church. Inquirers will have the opportunity to observe and take part in parish events and prepare for the sacraments of initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist and full communion in the Catholic Church.
Arrangements for the sacrament of Matrimony must begin at least one year before the proposed wedding date. This preparation for marriage includes the couple meeting with priests or deacons as well as their participating in the PreCana Program. All of this serves to support the couple in approaching the sacrament of Matrimony with attention to the commitment they are preparing to make. To schedule an appointment with a priest or deacon to begin the process, please call the Parish Office at 302-539-6449.