The Sacraments and related ceremonies
LocationOur clergy generally offer the sacraments within the areas where they are based. Occasionally they may be able to travel further afield.
Policy on donationsClergy of the Old Catholic Apostolic Church will request donations for certain services, fully in line with the normal practice of other mainstream churches. All donations are made directly to the clergyperson concerned. No clergy member of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church receives any form of stipend or financial contribution from central funds. Each serves on a strictly self-supporting basis.
In principle, clergy should not refuse a request for the Sacraments, with the necessary exception of Holy Orders. However, it is at the discretion of the clergyperson involved as to the time and place when they can be administered properly and with the required dignity. In addition, clergy do have the right to refuse in the event that their reasonable expenses will not be covered.
Policy on meetings with members of the publicIt is the policy of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church that clergy who are meeting with members of the public for purposes connected with ministry shall have the right to nominate a public location for such a meeting if they prefer not to meet at the home of the inquirer. Clergy are neither expected nor required to use their own homes for these meetings, particularly when the meeting is a first face-to-face contact between the parties concerned. This policy is in order to protect the safety and reputations of our clergy.
No clergyperson should allow themselves to be in the company of a child under the age of 16 in the context of ministry without being accompanied by another adult.
MembershipThe Old Catholic Apostolic Church does not maintain a specific membership for laity, instead regarding with equality all those who choose to receive ministry. It does not seek to impinge on the freedom of individuals to belong to other organisations, or none, at their choice, and does not regard such membership or non-membership as incompatible with full participation in the activities of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church. However, those who wish specifically to make an affirmation of their adherence to the Church may undergo the Ceremony of Admission to the OCAC. This is a short ceremony that welcomes the member to the church. It does not make the person any more of a member of the Church than a person who has not undergone the ceremony, but it may be a helpful step in a personal path of faith.
The clergy of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church are pleased to baptise into the Christian faith any adult presenting him/herself with the sincere wish to received into the Church, and any child whose parents wish sincerely for him/her to enter the membership of the universal Christian communion via The Old Catholic Apostolic Church.
No examination of the marital status of either parent, or of the beliefs of any involved party will take place before the administration of the sacrament of baptism, and the candidate or his/her parents will be given as much choice in the style and nature of the baptismal rite as possible.
The clergy are willing to baptise at any suitable and accessible venue by negotiation with the involved party/parties.
The clergy are also pleased to devise and conduct Naming Ceremonies for parents who do not want a traditional service of Baptism, but who want a formal, public ceremony to mark the arrival of their child or children.
The suggested baptismal/naming ceremony donation is £150 (waived or decreased in cases of genuine need), which includes both the service and the planning process. To this donation may be added travelling expenses and other costs incurred. An estimate of the full costs will be given at the earliest possible juncture.
ConfirmationIndividuals who have been baptised (in any Christian rite) may receive the sacrament of Confirmation as members of our community.
Holy CommunionThe Mass is celebrated every day for the community at one or more of our oratories. As well as the rites of the Ancient Catholic Church and Liberal Catholic Church, other liturgies are also used. Complin is also said regularly. Those wishing to attend Mass or Complin should contact a clergyperson near them (see the Directory) to arrange an informal meeting.
Marriage (Religious ceremonies)The clergy of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church perform ceremonies of marriage between members of the same or the opposite sex provided that such ceremonies are in full conformity with secular law in the jurisdiction concerned.
The legal and formal requirements for marriage vary from country to country and are legally complex. Please consult with the member of our clergy whom you would wish to perform the ceremony for further advice and guidance. The clergy person will also ensure that candidates make the required presentations to the registration authorities in the state concerned.
The suggested donation to the clergy, which includes both the ceremony (but NOT the venue charges) and the planning process, is not less than £200, plus any other expenses incurred, which can increase costs considerably. The couple will be informed of the full costs at the earliest possible juncture.
Blessings of Religious or Civil Marriage and Civil PartnershipsThe clergy of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church are pleased to offer to bless existing civil partnerships, civil marriages and other legally appropriate relationships according to liberal Christian principles. They do not discriminate on the grounds of a lack of conventional Christian belief on the part of either partner.
The clergy put at the disposal of each couple their considerable liturgical expertise, and are very happy to work closely with them in designing a customised rite. Equally, they are perfectly willing to use existing Christian rites of marriage, adapting them where necessary to suit the needs of each couple.
The clergy require couples to choose their own venue, and are happy to advise on the suitability of any venue for the ceremony to be performed.
The standard donation to the clergy, which includes both the ceremony (but NOT the venue charges) and the planning process, is not less than £200, plus any other expenses incurred, which can increase costs considerably. The couple will be informed of the full costs at the earliest possible juncture.
Legal information about registering civil partnerships can be found online by searching the registration authority's website in the country concerned.
Holy OrdersPlease see the specific guidance for those seeking ordination or incardination.
Confession/Pastoral CounsellingBecause of limited resources, we offer confession and pastoral counselling only within our immediate communities at present.
Healing ministryOur clergy are happy to offer a healing ministry of directed prayer for those enduring physical or mental suffering. This is neither a physical nor a pharmaceutical form of ministry and must not be used as a substitute for medical care. We work in co-operation with medical care to bring about spiritual healing through supplication to God and anointing (unction). This ministry is undertaken face to face and usually requires two clergy in attendance.
FuneralsThe clergy of The Old Catholic Apostolic Church prepare funeral or memorial services tailored to the needs of individual families, or to fulfil the requests of the deceased. The clergy do not discriminate on the grounds of lack of Christian belief, or the nature of any beliefs held, either by the deceased him/herself, or the family and friends of the deceased, believing the comfort of the bereaved and their aid in the grieving process to be the primary purpose of the funeral service. The clergy are dedicated to serving the needs of the bereaved and are flexible and understanding.
The clergy are at ease with both traditional-and modern-language rites, and are also happy to use a rite of your choice should you have a preference, or to design a customised rite. They place at your disposal considerable expertise in liturgy and music. Where practicable, they are happy to make personal visits to families in order to discuss service arrangements and to offer pastoral support, but are equally willing to communicate via telephone or email. They make no extra charge for discussion and support.
The donations to the minister are usually set by the funeral director concerned, and tend to be in the region of £150. If no funeral director is used, or if extra travel or difficulty is involved, the clergy may need to cover additional expenses. Families will always be informed of this at the earliest possible stage.
There is generally a nominal donation for the funerals of babies or children.