Sacramental Life

The 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.

We have also included below information about arranging a funeral in the parish.



Following the notification of a death in the parish, the Parish Priest will arrange a visit to the relatives of the deceased. At this point, our dedicated funeral team can assist with the planning of the funeral Mass should their help be requested. The funeral team can advise on funeral liturgy and can also assist on the day of the funeral if necessary.

A guide to your funeral liturgy can be found here.

Suitable funeral gospels can be found here.


The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is a beautiful sacrament and ceremony at which your child is especially graced by God and is welcomed by our Parish into the Christian Community that we call Church.

Baptisms are held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. If you would like to make a booking for your child to be baptised or for further information, please contact our Parish Secretary Barbara at 01 839 7398 or email:  Following a booking, parents will be contacted by a member of the Baptism team regarding the preparation arrangements for their child’s Baptism, especially the rich symbolism involved in this rite that dates back to the earliest Church.


We want to help plan and prepare for your child’s baptism so that the occasion adds to the sense of celebration and joy that a new baby brings to a family. Through baptism your child is a new baby in the family of the parish and the universal Church – the family of God.


Your faith is important

Your most important preparation is to look at your own faith. Your baby will be born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms. As he or she gets older your child will grow up, too, with your faith. That is why, when you approach the church about having your child baptised you will be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life. The very fact that you have asked to have your baby baptised shows that you recognise the importance of God in your life. From the earliest days children too young to answer for themselves have been baptised, usually as they accompanied their parents into the Church. For the church recognises the desire of Christian parents to share the life of Christ with their children. Jesus Christ, like you, wants the best for your child.


Growing in God’s Love

Your efforts will not only help your baby to grow up in the love of God: they will also help you to grow. As you teach your child to pray your own prayer will deepen. As you teach your child to appreciate the Mass your own faith will be enriched. Your baby’s baptism is only the beginning of a new life in which you will grow closer to one another in the family and closer to God. The Church welcomes your child into its midst with love and prayers for the future peace and happiness of your family in the years ahead.


The signs and symbolism of Baptism:


Sign of the Cross

A sign on something shows its origins or ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians, followers of Jesus Christ who died on the cross. Parents and God-parents trace the sign of the Cross on the child’s forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers His help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.



Water is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, and in the baptism of adults, of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the risen Christ is ours.



Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves with oil to strengthen and prepare for the challenge ahead. Oil of Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is rubbed on the crown of the head immediately after the pouring of the water. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The profession of faith which you make on behalf of your child at baptism will later be confirmed personally by your child in the sacrament of confirmation when Oil of Chrism will be used again. The oils are blessed by the bishop at the Chrism Mass in the cathedral on Holy Thursday.


White Garment

This garment (usually a white shawl) is a relic of the new clothes worn by Christians after baptism in the first centuries. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection.



These symbolise Christ – the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit form the paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as a sign of the risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life; and its flame symbolises the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.


Baptismal Register

Your baby’s baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in the form of a certificate issued on the basis of this registration. Your child’s confirmation, marriage or ordination will also be noted alongside this entry in the register.


The sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession, is available after the 10am mass on Saturdays. Reconciliation can also be arranged privately at a more suitable time by contacting the parish office at



The preparation for First Holy Communion usually begins when the candidate is in 2nd class in primary school. The preparation involves the cooperation of the school, the Church, the family and the wider parish community. This partnership enables children to gain a richer understanding of the sacrament and engage more comprehensively in the programme for preparation. Preparation for First Holy Communion includes preparing and receiving the sacrament of First Reconciliation (or First Confession).

Our Parish Sacramental Preparation Team works with the candidate, their family and the school throughout this year to develop a deeper understanding of the Mass and the sacrament of First Holy Communion. In Howth, the sacrament usually takes place in the month of May.


The sacrament of Confirmation celebrates the acceptance of the Holy Spirit; it compliments Baptism by completing the process of initiation into the Catholic community. It usually takes place when the candidate is in 6th class in primary school. Preparation for Confirmation is supported through the school, and involves the Church, the family and the parish community.

Our Parish Sacramental Preparation Team works with the candidate, their family and the school throughout this year to develop a deeper understanding of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the meaning of the sacrament of Confirmation. In Howth, the sacrament usually takes place in the month of May


Congratulations on your engagement! We are more than happy to help you plan your wedding here at Howth Parish – Please click here for a copy of the Parish Booking form to begin the process of booking your wedding in Church of the Assumption, Howth.

We advise booking the church well in advance of the wedding date as there can be high demand. Note that in the Dublin Archdiocese weddings are not permitted on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligations or during the Easter Triduum (i.e. Thursday, Friday and Saturday prior to Easter Sunday). A minimum of three months’ notice is required in the case of those over 18 years of age and six months’ notice for those under 18 years of age.

Please click here to find a full description of the Sacrament of Matrimony (Marriage) including all the church and civil requirements for you both.

Anointing of the Sick

Sacrament of the sick – Housebound

If you would like to receive the eucharist or the sacrament of the sick in your own home or know someone who would please contact the Parish Office at 01-8397398


What Is the Sacrament of the sick

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is exactly what it says. It is a prayerful celebration for someone or for a group of people who are ill and are blessed by the priest with Holy Oil. It is not a sign that someone is dying as it was perceived in olden times. It is not a magical ritual; the person doesn’t automatically get better immediately after an anointing. God’s healing and loving presence are called upon that the sick person might be raised up and restored to health.


The words of blessing over the oil say it all. It is “oil intended to ease the sufferings of your people”. Oil soothes and heals. Oil blessed for the sick is a sign of the Anointed One (Messiah) of God. The person so anointed receives the healing, saving power of the One who saves (Messiah).


The oil that is used is Olive Oil. The Bishop and priests bless it at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday in the Cathedral together with the Oil of Catechumens and Oil of Chrism. The holy oils are then taken each year to each parish and hospital for use throughout the year in the Sacrament of the Sick.


A person is anointed on the forehead and the palms of the hands while the priest says:

Prayer of Anointing

“Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you by the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up.

Who Can Be Anointed?

Anyone in ’serious illness’, those who are infirm, in advanced years, or anyone prior to surgery.  (It is not only for when a person is in ‘danger of death).