Penance, also known as Confession and Reconciliation, is one of the Sacraments of Healing in the Church. The sacrament encompasses four parts: contrition, confession, satisfaction or penance, and absolution.
Contrition means that we are sorry for our sins, and we intend to try to do better. Confession is the act of stating our sins to a priest. This is always required with mortal or serious sins, but is also a good and pious practice with venial or less serious sins. Satisfaction or penance consists of prayers or particular actions the priest assigns to us to show our sorrow, and to make some amends for our actions. And finally absolution - the words Jesus Christ speaks to us, through the priest - freeing us from our sins.
Jesus gave us this sacrament as a way for us to heal our sin and human weakness. He told the apostles: "Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:21-22).
Confessions are heard at 4:30 PM every Saturday in the Church.
Baptism is an incredible gift from God. In this Sacrament we receive the grace of the forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, and become the adopted sons and daughters of God and members of His family, the Church.
A child should be baptized within the first few months after birth. We provide a baptism preparation class that you can attend that either before or after the birth of your first child. Baptismal preparation classes are scheduled through Fran Arnold. For parents and godparents whose child will be baptized at another church, a letter of attendance will be given at the class. This class does not have to be repeated for subsequent children.
After attending a baptism preparation session, please call or e-mail Deacon Dave to arrange the date for your child's baptism, allowing 30 days for the baptism to be scheduled.
Baptisms are celebrated as a community at the Saturday or Sunday liturgies. However we understand sometimes there are special circumstances. If that is the case for you, please talk to Deacon Dave to arrange a private baptism.
If you are going to serve as a sponsor for baptism at another church and need a letter, please call or e-mail the parish office.
Baptismal Certificates can be obtained by contacting the office.
For information on adult baptism please see the RCIA section of this website.
Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion is the third Sacrament of Initiation in the Church. In it we are nourished and strengthened for our daily lives. We believe that Jesus Christ is fully present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The bread and wine are not symbols, but signs of his Real Presence.
The Church asks two simple things from each of us in order to receive the Eucharist. First, we must be in a state of grace - free from all serious sin. Second, we must fast from all food and drink (other than water or medications) for one hour prior to receiving.
You may receive the Eucharist in the hand or on the tongue. It is appropriate to make a gesture of reverence prior to receiving the Eucharist, such as bowing the head. The priest, deacon, or Extraordinary Minister will say, "The Body of Christ," and the correct response is "Amen." When offered "The Blood of Christ", the response is again "Amen."
Although we normally receive Communion during Mass, if someone is homebound by illness, a Priest, Deacon or Extraoardinary Minister of the Eucharist will bring the Eucharist to that person. A simple phone call to Deacon Dave at 540-710-3364 can arrange it.
Preparation for First Communion takes place at St. Mary of the Annunciation during the Second Grade and is coordinated by Annette Wisneiwske.
Religious Education is scheduled on Sundays from 9:45am - 10:45am.
Confirmation is the second sacrament of initiation, although it is normally received third. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), "By the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed" (par. 1285). Like Baptism, Confirmation can only be received once since it imprints on our soul an indelible spiritual mark. At Confirmation, we are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit.
In the diocese of Richmond, Confirmation is conferred in the tenth grade. Preparation begins in the 9th grade. Classes focus on the sacrament itself and on Church teachings so that students are fully prepared to be members of the Catholic faith. The candidates choose a patron saint and a sponsor. The patron saint is chosen based on attributes he or she exhibited in life that the candidate wishes to emulate, or for some other similar reason. A man or woman, faithfully living out the Catholic faith, is chosen as a sponsor - to be a support and a role model of Christian living. It is appropriate to choose one's baptismal godparent as one's sponsor, with the connection that Confirmation and Baptism truly have.
To register for Confirmation classes, please contact Anita Jansch the Religious Education Coordinator at 540-310-0770.
Sacrament of Marriage - You're engaged and excited about getting married. Where do you start? What's the process? Who should you call?
Many folks start by finding a place for the reception and then go church shopping. Your first call should be to the church, both to make sure it is available and, more importantly, because your wedding day is about entering a sacrament and only secondarily a social event.
Weddings are scheduled through Deacon Dave. To begin the process please contact the office or Deacon Dave to schedule an appointment to set a date and time and obtain fee information. You will also begin the paperwork and be apprised of other requirements such as FOCCUS Inventory, Engaged Encounter, etc. The exact process will depend upon your situation. The paperwork is necessary wherever you’ll be married. If you are being married somewhere other than St. Mary of the Annunciation, the paper work will be completed and sent to the designated chruch.
To be married in the Catholic Church, one party to the marriage must be Catholic and both must be free to marry, i.e. either not previously married, or if one was previously married, he/she has received through the Catholic Church a declaration of nullity for that previous marriage.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is meant to strengthen those who are seriously ill. Many mistakenly think of this Sacrament as "Last Rites." The Church's teaching is that the Anointing of the Sick is for everyone who is "in danger of death" from sickness or old age. Most serious illnesses and any surgery that requires general anesthetic put us "in danger of death."
These introductory words said by the priest in administering the sacrament are:
"My dear friends, we are gathered here in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who is present among us. As the Gospels relate, the sick came to Him for healing; moreover, He loves us so much that He died for our sake. Through the apostle James, He has commanded us: "Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up; and, if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them." (Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum. The Roman Ritual.)
For more information contact Deacon Dave.
Ill health should never separate a person from the Sacraments or from the Holy Spirit community. If you, or a member of your family, is home bound please contact Deacon Dave at 804-448-9064 or 540-710-3364. He will insure that the home bound person receives Communion on a weekly basis.
If you would like to receive the Sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick, Penance or Holy Communion while you are hospitalized, you can simply call the parish office and it will be arranged. In an emergency outside of ordinary office hours, please call Deacon Dave at 540-710-3364.
If you are scheduled for surgery, you should Deacon Dave before you go into the hospital to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.