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 Good Shepherd Parish, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of Baptism depending on the age of the person to be baptised.
Baptism of a Child
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.
For more information on the Good Shepherd Parish Baptism procedures and dates, please click here.
It is necessary to complete a Baptism Record form (Click Here) and send to Parish Office so we can prepare a baptism certificate and register your child in the parish baptism register
People often ask how much it costs to have a baptism. There is no charge but donations are gratefully received! If you wish to donate by direct credit, details are on the booking form.
Parents—One parent needs to be a Baptised Catholic. Please supply copy of your Baptism Certificate.
Godparents ~ At least one must be a Baptised and Confirmed Catholic and copy of Baptism Certificate is required.
All godparents need to be Baptised Christians and over the age of 16.
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 very 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, this period of reflection and 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’.
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.
The right of Confirmation is anointing the forehead with chrism, together with the laying on the minister’s hands and the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
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 before receiving First Eucharist. At Good Shepherd Parish, parents who wish to have a child confirmed need to attend a number of preparation sessions with the child. The child will need to have already received the sacrament of First Reconciliation. Confirmation preparation usually takes place between Easter and Pentecost. Keep an eye on the Parish newsletters for the dates of the next session. Contact the parish office for further information.
Confirmation of Adults
The RCIA programme is a wonderful series of steps that can lead an adult to participation in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (Communion).
The Celebration of Confirmation.
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)
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 Good Shepherd Parish, 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 Good Shepherd Parish, parents who wish to have a child receive First Communion need to enrol their child in the sacramental programme. A child must have received both First Reconciliation and Confirmation before preparing for First Communion. First Communion sessions are usually held after Easter with the celebration of First Communion taking place on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). The usual age is about 8 years old. Keep an eye out for the notices concerning the sacramental programmes in the Sunday newsletter in Lent when enrolments will be available.
Contact 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.
Mass Times: The main celebration of the Eucharist, Holy Mass, takes place Tuesday to Saturday, Mass is celebrated at 9am. Saturday Vigil is at 6pm. On Sunday, the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, Mass is celebrated at 9:30am (English).