The Sacraments

The Sacraments are chosen instruments of divine power. The exact definition of a sacrament is that it is “an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” There are three distinct ideas contained in this short definition:

Outward sign
Instituted by Christ
To give grace

The “outward signs” are God’s way of treating us like the human beings we are. He conveys His unseen grace into our spiritual souls through material symbols which our physical bodies can perceive—things and words and gestures. The outward signs of the sacraments have two parts: the “thing” itself which is used (water, oil, etc.), and the words or gestures which give significance to what is being done.

We know that no human power could attach an inward grace to an outward sign—not even the divinely guided but humanly applied power of the Church. Only God can do that. This highlights the second element in the definition of a sacrament: “instituted by Christ.” Between the time He began His public life and the time He ascended into heaven, Jesus fashioned the sacraments.

With respect to the third element in the definition of a sacrament, we have its essential purpose, “to give grace.” The sacraments give sanctifying grace, which is that marvellous supernatural life, that sharing-in-God’s-own-life that is the result of God’s Love, the Holy Spirit, indwelling in the soul. They deepen and intensify the spiritual life of sanctifying grace which already pulsates through the soul. As each additional sacrament is received (and repeated, when it can be) the level of spiritual vitality rises in the soul.

The Parish and the Diocese have a range of programmes aimed at preparation for the Sacraments.


There are many ways in which we accept God´s forgiveness when we sincerely take part in the penitential act at the beginning of Mass; when we receive Holy Communion; when we pray for forgiveness; when we forgive others; when we perform acts of charity; and more solemnly and clearly when we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sure sign that we are forgiven by God and are accepted by his people, the Church. It is a means of repairing and strengthening our relationship with God and our fellow men.

Confessions are heard in Innishannon weekly on Saturdays before the 7:00pm Vigil Mass.

They are also heard monthly before the first Friday Mass at 7pm and in Knockavilla after the 9:30am Mass on the first Friday.


Baptism is a sacrament of welcome. Jesus invites everybody to come to him and share his life. He especially loves children and wishes them to be close to him. We welcome enquiries from parents about the baptism of their children. We invite them to attend a meeting to explore the meaning of baptism and its implications for the life of the child. The person who is baptised is invited to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Psalm 34:8). It takes a lifetime to grasp the riches of the mercy and love of God. When the person being baptised is a child the responsibility of forming the child in the faith falls on the parents and the parish community.

Contact the Parish Office for information on preparing for Baptism.


Arranging your wedding may seem a huge undertaking, however, it is very straight forward, particularly with regard to the Church. You should allow plenty of time to make your arrangements. It is best to book the Church as early as possible. Please contact the Parish Office.

If you are intending to marry in the Republic of Ireland you must give 3 months notice (90 days) to the registrar of the District in which the marriage ceremony is to take place.

Following registration you will receive a Notification of Intention to Marry Certificate, a copy of which you must give to the priest responsible for your wedding papers.

Catholic partners are required to produce a recent Certificate of Baptism (dated within six months of the wedding). You will also need a Certificate of Confirmation. You may also need a Letter of Freedom if you are marrying outside your own Parish.

You will need to book your pre-marriage course and it is advisable not to leave this until the last minute.

Your next step will be to arrange to meet your local priest to have your Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Forms completed. All documents are sent to the Church where the wedding is to take place.

Your priest will answer any questions you may have. Additional information on website .

Holy Communion and Ministry to the Sick

First Communion ceremonies take place in the month of May. A programme of preparation takes place throughout the year.

Every First Friday of the month, the priests visit the housebound with Holy Communion. If you are unable to attend Mass due to illness or frailty and would like to be visited by a priest on the First Friday, please feel free to contact the Parish Office.