Ceremonies

Baptism

Baptism is the sacrament that all Christians share. The church administers baptism by the authority of Our Lord: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:11).

Baptism establishes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It also incorporates us into the community of believers, the Church. It brings about the forgiveness of our sins. It marks the beginning of a new life as a brother or sister of Jesus himself and as the son or daughter of God.

Baptism imposes the obligation on the person who is baptized, on his parents and godparents to receive Christ in their lives.

Parents as role models

It is extremely important that parents of the child to be baptized consider the meaning of being a Christian. A child can only learn by example. The decision to have your baby baptized requires the parent to accompany the child on it´s path to faith in the community of the Church. To accompany the child at First Communion and later at Confirmation and indeed wherever your child asks questions about God. The parents are always obliged to take a stand up for and act on the basis of their faith.

Godparents

A child brought to baptism normally has one godmother and one godfather. A godparent serves a special role for the person to be baptized, whether child or adult. Godparents represent the Catholic community, the Church. They are to assist in the preparation of adult candidates for Baptism and to be supportive of them afterwards. When it comes to infant Baptism, godparents are to assist the child’s parents in raising their child in the Catholic faith, so that, in the future the child will profess and live their faith as an adult.

Preparations for Baptism

For more information, contact your local parish priest.

Name Giving

A child must be given a name, according to the Icelandic civil law, before the age of six months.

The Personal Names Register includes all Icelandic names that have been approved. A special law applies to the giving of names.
Further information is available at Island.is

Confirmation

The term “Confirmation” is derived from the word ” firmare ” which in Latin means “to confirm.” Confirmation involves the decision to confirm one´s own baptismal promises and the decision is made freely and voluntarily. For someone who is baptized and has received the Eucharist, Confirmation marks the moment of full Christian initiation with all the rights and obligations involved.

Another important aspect of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2, 1-4).

Through the Sacrament of Confirmation the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon the baptized. “To experience the Holy Spirit ” means, according to the Bible, to meet God and allow him to speak to us. To realize that his power is at work in our lives and can work in us and through us. The Holy Spirit provides power and encouragement to people to take responsibility for themselves and their community. Thereby Confirmation deepens, in a special way, the meaning of being an adult.

Confirmation classes

Confirmation preparation includes lessons about the Christian faith. In these classes those to be confirmed have the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on their faith and life. Priests, sisters and lay people take care of the instruction. The Diocese has issued a catechism and workbooks in Icelandic. Priests or Religious Sisters organize special classes in all parts of Iceland for those children who only speak and understand Polish or English.

Children who live far away from the places where organized catechesis takes place can participate in correspondence courses.

For more information, contact your local parish priest.

Marriage

Marriage is also one of the seven sacraments. It is a symbol of the love that God has for mankind. In the couple´s love for one another, God´s love for mankind becomes visible. In the sacrament of marriage God gives the spouses his protection, blessing and support for them to live the common life.

But since marriage involves not only the couple´s love for each other but also the love of God for them, they (if at least one of them is Catholic) are joined in marriage publicly in the presence of a priest and two witnesses.

4 pillars of marriage

Indissolubility

Marriage is a lifelong covenant. Jesus says “what God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk 10.9).

Unity

When a man and a woman give themselves to each other freely, “they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mt 19.6).

Collaboration

Marriage is based on the cooperation of the couple on the basis of equal and mutual support and respect, both in joy and sorrow.

Parenting

In marriage, the willingness to have children must exist. Furthermore, one primary responsibility of parents is to raise their children in the Christian faith.

Information on how to practice natural family planning in accord with Catholic moral principles: Natural Family Planning International and The Billings Ovulation Method

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But there is no guarantee of a successful marriage. People may misjudge each other. Love can fade, and those who loved each other do not understand each other anymore. Marriages can break down. Christians must trust that God’s love does not leave them when they find themselves in this situation and they will also not be excluded from the church of Jesus Christ.

Preparations for marriage

For more information, contact your local parish priest.

Dying, death and funerals

Death is a definite end. Often when death is approaching we can prepare for it, but sometimes people die suddenly. For relatives and friends it is always painful to say goodbye. In these difficult times people find comfort in the compassion of others and the assurance that death is not the end. The hope appears on Easter, when the Lord transforms death into new life. This expectation is reflected in the prayers and in the worship of believers.

Pastoral care for the dying

It is desirable that all Catholics receive the sacraments before death. The Anointing of the sick and dying is of extreme importance in the Catholic faith. The priest administers it by anointing the forehead and hands of the sick person. The anointing brings spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death.

If death is near or imminent do not delay to contact your local parish priest or any catholic priest.

Preparations for the funeral

For more information, contact your local parish priest.