If you have any questions about any of the Sacraments, you are most welcome to contact us on email@example.com
The Catholic Church recognises key moments in our faith journey, and the community celebrates these moments in liturgical rites known as sacraments.
In this section, you can read a little more about the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and specifically how we celebrate them at Maria Assumpta.
Sacraments of Initiation
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
The sacrament of Baptism marks the beginning of our life of faith.
In Baptism, we are welcomed into God’s family and begin the journey of getting to know and understand the meaning of God’s love.
At Maria Assumpta, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of Baptism depending on the age of the person to be baptised.
If you want to know more about the programme please scroll down or book online here.
For more information on baptism for children (8-12 years old), please contact the Office .
For a baby to be baptised there needs to be ‘a well founded hope’ that the child will be nourished in the knowledge and practice of the faith. Parents might ask themselves about the ‘dream’ they have for their children and how belief in Jesus Christ and the practice of faith is going to be nurtured in their child’s life.
At Maria Assumpta, the baptismal preparation program for a child is in three parts:
1. Participation in a Baptism Preparation Programme. Please contact the Office to book into the preparation course. This is essential.
2. Presentation of your child to the Christian community of Maria Assumpta at either the 8 am or 10 am Sunday Mass. The presentation is a simple ritual within the Mass that involves presenting your child, the naming and the usual anointing with the Oil of Catechumens (no special clothing is required and godparents are not required to be present but are most welcome). Please sit towards the front so we are able to easily identify you. The priest will guide you through the ceremony itself at either the 8 am or the 10 am Sunday Mass.
3. The Celebration of Baptism then takes place the following Saturday, usually at 11 am (different times can be arranged with Father Aleki)
If this is not your first child to be baptised and you have already completed a preparation programme, you are not required to participate in another programme. You will need only to take part in the Presentation and Baptism steps as outlined above.
Please book directly online.
We would ask that if you are able, you make a donation of $50 which would help us cover expenses. Please can you deposit this into our account thanks. (If, for any reason, this causes hardship please do not hesitate to speak to the Secretary). If you are already taking part in Maria Assumpta's Cathedral planned giving programme then the donation is optional.
Baptism of an Adult
The majority of Catholics are baptised into membership of the Church as a baby or child and grow up in an environment where the Church is always part of their lives.
Some people, however, are moved by the Holy Spirit to consciously and freely seek baptism later in their life journey.
During the first centuries, the growth of the Church came largely through the baptism of adults. In recent years, the Church has returned to many of these first-century ceremonies for welcoming adults who seek baptism into the life of Christ.
This journey of faith, of reflection, discovery and the ceremonies that accompany it, have been brought together in a programme the Church calls ‘The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults’ or ‘RCIA’.
Please contact the Office for further information.
The Celebration of Baptism
Gathering – those who are being baptised, their families, friends and the church community gather together.
Welcome – words of welcome are exchanged. The names that have been chosen for Baptism are announced and the parents desire to have their child baptised is expressed.
The Word – everyone present listens to the Word of God (Readings from Sacred Scripture)
Prayers – prayers are offered to those who are to be baptised, for their families, friends and all who are present.
Oil of Catechumens – to prepare for Baptism, the candidate is anointed with Oil of Catechumens as a sign of Christ’s protective power.
Vows – all present renew their own baptismal vows. Therefore all God-parents need to be baptised Christian with at least one a practising catholic.
Water – the Baptism takes place as the priest pours holy water over the forehead three times as he says the words of Baptism.
Oil of Chrism – the newly baptised are then anointed with Sacred Chrism as a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Like Christ, the one baptised in now an “anointed one”.
White clothing – as a sign of being a new creation clothed in Christ, the one who has been baptised is now covered with a white cloth.
Candle – as a sign of the light of Christ now present in the newly baptised, a candle is presented and lit from the paschal or Easter candle.
Blessing – final prayers and a blessing are given that all present may love and serve the Lord in peace and goodwill.
“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17
Confirmation (or Chrismation) is the Sacrament that graces one with the Holy Spirit.
The rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead with chrism, together with the laying on of the minister’s hands and the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The recipient receives the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2-3) and on occasion may receive one or more of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
The ecclesial effect and sacramental grace of the sacrament give the recipient the strength and character to witness for Jesus.
At Maria Assumpta, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation, depending on the age of the person being confirmed:
Confirmation of Children
The policy in the Auckland Diocese is that children receive the sacrament of Confirmation at around 8-12 years old, before receiving First Eucharist. At Maria Assumpta, parents who wish to have a child confirmed need to attend the Children’s Sacramental Programme. Contact Stephanie Martin via the parish office for further information.
Confirmation of Adults
The RCIA programme is a wonderful series of steps that can lead an adult to participate in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (Communion).
The Celebration of Confirmation
Regardless of the person’s age, the blessed sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated as follows:
Gathering – those who are being confirmed, their families, friends and the church community gather together.
Welcome – words of welcome are exchanged and all present unite in the opening prayers.
The Word – everyone present listens to the Word of God read from Scripture.
Vows – all present renew their own baptismal vows.
Hands – a prayer is offered, calling on the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Bishop then lays his hands on the head of each candidate.
Presentation – the sponsors each present their candidate to the Bishop giving their candidate’s chosen confirmation name.
Oil of Chrism – each candidate is then anointed by the Bishop with Oil of Chrism, calling them by their chosen name, to be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Prayers – prayers are then offered for all present, for the Church and all men and women.
Eucharist – the celebration of the Eucharist may follow.
Eucharist (Holy Communion)
“Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”
The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the heart and summit of the Church’s life. The Eucharist is the source of community within the Church. The essential signs of the sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked during the Sacrifice of the Mass.
The bread and wine through Transubstantiation become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
We receive the Real Presence of Jesus when we receive Holy Communion.
Our soul is nourished, helping us to become like Christ.
Receiving Holy Communion with others during the Sacrifice of the Mass brings unity of the Church, the Body of Christ.
At Maria Assumpta, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of the Eucharist depending on the age of the person receiving first communion:
First Communion for Children
At Maria Assumpta, parents who wish to have a child receive First Communion need to enrol their child in the Children’s Sacramental programme (8-12 years old). It is policy in the Auckland diocese that a child must have received both First Reconciliation and Confirmation before preparing for First Communion.
The Children’s Sacramental Programme prepares children with Catholic baptism for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion).
Keep an eye out for the notices concerning the sacramental programmes in the Sunday parish newsletter in Advent and Lent when enrolments will be available.
Contact Stephanie Martin via the parish office for further information.
First Communion for Adults
The RCIA programme is a wonderful series of steps that can lead an adult to participation in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Communion (Eucharist). For adults in the RCIA, these three might be celebrated together at Easter.
Sacrament of Healing
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as the sacrament of Penance or Confession.
In this sacrament, the penitent confesses his sins to the priest in the reconciliation room or confessional. The priest then gives absolution to the repentant soul, making the Sign of the Cross, and saying the words “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
It is God, through the priest, who forgives someone’s sins.
As the penitent must make restitution or satisfaction for his sins, the priest gives a penance to the forgiven one – usually prayer, fasting, or almsgiving.
Confession gives one a wonderful sense of freedom and peace from the burden of sin. Sorrow, affliction and a desire for conversion follow the remorse of sin in those with a contrite heart.
The experience also brings a sense of gratitude to our generous Lord for his love, compassion and mercy.
Reconciliation is available at Maria Assumpta on Saturday 10am to 12pm (except on public holidays).
At Maria Assumpta, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of Reconciliation depending on whether the sacrament is being received by a child or an adult.
For children, the sacrament is usually celebrated towards the end of the year in Advent. Diocesan policy requires children to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before being confirmed or receiving First Communion. Parents will need to enrol their child in the Sacramental Programme for Children. Please keep an eye on the notices in the Sunday newsletter for details near the time.
Contact Stephanie Martin via the parish office for further information.
For adults, receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation is part of their RCIA (Becoming Catholic) journey.
Anointing of the Sick
If you or a loved one is sick or about to have surgey you may ask for the sacrament of the sick.
If you are going into a Public Hospital there are Catholic Chaplains who will arrange the anointing, as well as bring Holy Communion.
Let the hospital know that your are Catholic during admission. At any time you can ask nursing staff to call for the Catholic chaplain.
“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
The Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament given to seriously ill Christians, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ.
The sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehead and hands of the patient with blessed oil with the priest saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”
The ecclesial effect of this sacrament is incorporation into the healing Body of Christ, with a spiritual healing of the soul and, at times, healing of the body.
The sacramental grace helps us to accept sickness as a purifying cross sent by God, and the grace even to accept death if that is God’s will.
This sacrament has been practised since the earliest days of the Church. Until recently, the emphasis was on preparation for death, and it was referred to as “Extreme Unction” (the Last Anointing) or “The Last Rites”. However, the Second Vatican Council restored an emphasis on prayer for the physical and spiritual healing for all seriously ill persons. The sacrament should not be deferred until the person is dangerously ill and on the point of death.
Sacrament of the Mission
“Do this in memory of me.”
Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church to the end of time. This holy vocation provides the Church with priests for the faithful.
A priest is ordained to act in the person of Jesus Christ in three principle ways:
1. He teaches – the priests’ first duty is the proclamation of the Gospel of God to all.
2. He makes holy – priests unite their people to God by the administration of the sacraments, especially the celebration of the Eucharist.
3. He governs – imitating Christ, priests lead those in their care to a deeper understanding of their own vocation and so build up a true Christian community.
There are special preparation programmes for men seeking to become priests. To find out more about that programme, please visit the website of Holy Cross Seminary.
To speak with the Auckland diocesan Vocations Director about your vocation to the priesthood, call Mons David Tonks, who is based at St Joseph's parish, Takapuna
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
For details on receiving the sacrament of Marriage at Maria Assumpta, please read our wedding information booklet.
To book your marriage at Maria Assumpta, please complete this form and return it to the Parish Office.
For information on Maria Assumpta's preferred florist and process, please view this document.
The sacrament of marriage celebrates the love and friendship between a man and a woman.
The sacrament gives the couple the grace to grow into a union of heart and soul, to provide stability for themselves and their children. Children are the fruit and bond of a marriage.
The bond of marriage between a man and a woman lasts all the days of their lives, and the form of the rite consists of the mutual exchange of vows by a couple.
The bond is compared to God’s undying love for Israel in the Old Testament, and Christ’s love for his Church in the New Testament.
The importance of marriage is substantiated by the presence of Christ at the wedding feast of Cana, where he began his public ministry at the request of his mother Mary by performing his first miracle.
Marriage Preparation Programme :
For all Sacraments please contact the parish priest:
Father Aleki Piula at 09-483-5919.