Sacramental Life

The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for us as Catholics. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence. This page provides information about preparing for, celebrating and receiving the sacraments in our Parish.


Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing 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.” (Matt. 28:19)

Baptism is the ‘door’ to life and to the kingdom of God. It marks the beginning of the Christian’s journey of faith and his/her formal acceptance into the Christian community. Through Baptism, the believer is freed from sin, reborn as a child of God, made a member of Christ and of the Church, and given a share in the Church’s mission to proclaim the Good News. The word ‘Baptism’ means to plunge or immerse. This emersion into water symbolises burial with Christ, followed by the rising up as a “new creature” clothed in Christ. Through Baptism the believer is consecrated for Christian worship, is invited to participate in the Church’s liturgy and to bear witness to Christ by a holy life.
Information for Parents: Baptism is the first step for your child’s journey to God. By seeking baptism for your child you are taking on the responsibility of teaching your child about God and the Christian faith and making a commitment to bring your child to participate in the liturgical life of the faith community on a regular basis. Throughout the ceremony you will speak on your child’s behalf, promising in the name of your child to renounce sin, and live the faith according to the teachings of Christ. In seeking baptism you will be supported by the Godparents, that you have chosen to be an example and guide for your child, and by the parish who will be praying for you and will be represented by the members of the Baptism Team.

When choosing a Godparent certain guidelines are to be followed:

  • A Godparent should be not less than 16 years old
  • A Godparent should be baptised, confirmed and have received their First Communion
  • A Godparent should be someone who lives a life of faith and understands the role they are undertaking
  • Although only one Godparent is required, traditionally parents choose a Godmother and a Godfather.

Steps for having your child baptized in Our Lady of Dolours:
1. Register your baptism with the Parish Office. When you register you will be put in contact with someone of the baptismal team. The Parish Office will also give you information regarding the forms needed for baptism and can provide you with the baptism form.
2. Complete the baptism form and return it to the Parish Office, along with a copy of your child’s birth certificate, before the baptism. If you are resident in a different parish and would like your child to be baptized in Our Lady of Dolours church, you will also need a letter of release from your parish of residence.
3. You will be asked to supply a white baptismal garment (blanket or shawl) and a Baptismal candle and to prepare a couple of prayers for the Baptism ceremony.
4. The Baptism Ceremony is held on the First Sunday of the month immediately following the 11:00am Mass. Parents and godparents are strongly encouraged to attend this Mass. Following the baptism your child’s name will be entered into the baptismal register. Your child can then receive a baptismal certificate at any future date.
5. A donation of approx. €50 is welcome. This can be handed on the day to a member of the Baptism Team.
6. We discourage the taking of photographs during the ceremony, but families are welcome to take as many photos as they wish around the altar or baptismal font after the ceremony.

More information:
If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone during parish office hours (Tel. 017979153) or e-mail (
Baptisms take place on the first Sunday of the month following the 11:00am Mass


According to the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’. The Sunday gathering to celebrate Eucharist is the defining action for Catholics. It is here we pray, listen to the Word of God together, are nourished at the table of the Eucharist and are sent forth to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our daily life. It is at our weekly Mass that we encourage and challenge one another to deepen our Christian faith and our commitment to our fellow human beings, particularly those who are in any kind of need.

Ministers of the Eucharist assist the celebrant of the Mass with the distribution of Holy Communion. They usually come forward from the congregation at the ‘Sign of Peace’ and stand on either side of the altar to receive the Eucharist. We are always looking for new ministers of the Eucharist. If you would be interested in assisting with this ministry, you are invited to make contact with the parish administrator through the parish office (Tel. 017979153) or by email

People who are coeliac can receive a gluten free host by request from the priest/minister distributing holy communion.

Children, who have not yet made their First Communion, or adults, who for whatever reason do not feel ready to receive Communion, are nevertheless invited to come forward to receive a blessing from the celebrant or minister of the Eucharist. They don’t need to say anything but simply approach the minister with their arms folded across their breast.

Children normally celebrate their First Communion at the age of eight and normally do it as part of the Primary school programme in second class. The ‘Grow in Love’ programme in Our Lady of Dolours Parish is centred around the 120+ children from the parish who celebrate the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion each year. The programme involves the schools, the church and the parents working together during the year, guiding and supporting the children along the path to these two very special sacraments. The children are from the following schools: St Brigid’s, Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin National School, Drumcondra National School, Glasnevin Educate Together and NDNSP Glasnevin. Central to the programme is the participation of the children and their parents in a monthly ‘Grow in Love’ Mass at 11.30am on Sundays from September to June. These occasions assist the children’s understanding of the Mass and enable parents to renew their own faith and appreciation of the centrality of the Eucharist in the Christian life.

Reconciliation or Penance

One of the very first gifts of the Risen Christ to his apostles was the authority to forgive sins in his name: ‘for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven…’ (John 21: ) This is an enormous gift to the Church for both priest and penitent. We all need to be reconciled from time to time with God, with other people and with ourselves. The Sacrament of Reconciliation offers us a unique experience of God’s compassion and healing love. We should never be afraid to seek the grace of this Sacrament, even if it is a long time since we last availed of it. God is always waiting for us, waiting to offer us the grace of a new beginning. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available in our church every Saturday, immediately following the 10.00am Mass, or by appointment with one of the priests. Special celebrations of Reconciliation are held in Advent and Holy Week. Children celebrate the Sacrament of First Reconciliation as part of their preparation for First Communion.


Along with Baptism and Eucharist, Confirmation is one of the three sacraments through which someone becomes a full member of the Catholic Church. Where someone has been baptised as an infant or young child, they normally celebrate the Sacraments of First Reconciliation (Confession), First Eucharist and Confirmation as part of the religion programme in the local Catholic primary school. Parents, whose children attend a non-Catholic school, usually arrange for a teacher/catechist to come in to the school after normal school hours to teach a sacramental preparation class once a week.

Early in the school year, children and parents are invited to participate in a Ceremony of Enrolment at the church, where they make a commitment to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Whereas it is the parents’ decision for their child to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, children are invited to regard Confirmation as their opportunity to commit themselves to becoming a full member of the Church and to take more responsibility for their own faith development through prayer and regular Mass attendance. Of course they cannot realistically be expected to do this without the active support of their parents.

Parents and children come together to celebrate the Ceremony of Light in the church before the actual Confirmation. In our parish, Confirmation is usually celebrated in March.

The parish programme ‘You Shall Be My Witness‘ is currently run in the parish to compliment the work done in the schools and give the parents an opportunity to become more involved in their child’s preparation for Confirmation.

Adults wishing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation or who wish to become a member of the Church through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist should contact the parish administrator via the parish office (Tel. 017979153) or email . The R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) programme is designed to support adults prepare for the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.


Here is a guide to the steps you should take once you have become engaged and have decided to seek the Sacrament of Marriage. Make contact with Fr. Richard Sheehy, parish administrator, to discuss your wedding plans. 3 months’ notice is required, but it is advisable to make contact at the earliest opportunity. Book the church where you wish to celebrate your wedding. Book a Pre-Marriage course. ACCORD, the Catholic Marriage Advisory Service, offer a range of courses, weekends and mid-week. A course can be booked directly online at .The earlier you book and participate in a pre-marriage course the better; it is never too soon. Ask the priest of the parish, where you are currently resident, to fill out a Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form with you. To assist him with this, you should provide him with a copy of your Baptismal certificate (issued not more than 6 months prior to the date of the wedding), a copy of your Confirmation certificate and evidence of your freedom to marry. The priest can guide you on this. Arrange to meet with the priest, who has agreed to officiate at your wedding, at the earliest opportunity in order to begin planning the marriage ceremony. To assist you in selecting the particular marriage rite, readings, prayers and music etc, you will find resources on the ACCORD website or on . If you are planning to celebrate your marriage in the Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Fr. Richard can advise you on what resources are available within the parish, as well as regulations, with regard to both music and floral decoration. It is customary to make an offering to the church of €300 and €50 to the sacristan. A separate offering should be given to the celebrant of the marriage ceremony.

Civil Requirements

Make an appointment to meet in person the Civil Registrar not more than 3 months prior to the wedding to give notice of intention to marry. In Dublin the Office of the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths is at Lombard St, Dublin 2. You will be required to supply the registrar with details concerning the date and venue of the wedding, the names and addresses of your two witnesses and the name of the priest (solemniser), who has agreed to officiate at your wedding. The couple will also be required to give a verbal declaration that there is no civil impediment to their marriage. They will be required to give this verbal declaration again in front of the priest/solemniser and their two designated witnesses not more than two days before the date of the wedding. In practice, this declaration is often given at the wedding rehearsal. The Civil Registrar will present you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). You should show this form to the priest/solemniser, so he can verify the details, and bring it to the church on the day of the wedding, as this is the civil document that the couple sign, together with their witnesses, at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony. It is the responsibility of the couple to retrieve the MRF immediately after the ceremony and to return it to the Office of the Civil Registrar within a month. For further details see

Holy Orders

Any male parishioner, who is interested in considering the possibility of a vocation to priesthood, religious life or to the permanent diaconate, is welcome to contact any of the priests of the parish or to contact directly Fr. John Gilligan, the Diocesan Vocations Director, at Tel. 808 7561 or

Consecrated Life

Any female parishioner, who is interested in exploring the possibility of a vocation to religious life, is welcome to talk with a representative from the two religious congregations in our parish: the Holy Faith Congregation (contact Sr. Rosaleen Cuniffe at Tel. 837 3427 or email: ) or the Bons Secours Sisters.

Sacrament of the Sick

If you know of a parishioner, who is housebound or ill, please let the parish know. A minister of the Eucharist can arrange to bring Communion to that person at their home after Mass on Sunday. If someone is in hospital, a priest or representative of the parish is willing to visit. A priest can also visit the parishioner at home to bring them the sacrament of anointing with blessed oil. Once a year there is a celebration of Mass with Anointing of the Sick in the church, and the anointing with oil really brings the sick person an experience of Christ’s presence and healing love.