Sacramental Policies

a Catholic community in south St. Louis city


Baptism is the first of three Sacraments by which a person becomes Catholic. In the Sacrament the person becomes a child of God, and an heir of Heaven. The journey of faith and discipleship begin in Baptism, Original Sin is removed, and the newly baptized becomes part of the family of the Church.

Children of Catholic parents should be baptized soon after birth so that after the gift of natural life, the supernatural life of grace may begin. As Catholics we believe in the process of salvation that begins in Baptism. A person is “saved” in the waters of Baptism and continuesbaptism-web-pic-1 throughout life to be saved again and again as they grow in grace. Our ultimate salvation comes when we enter eternal life in God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

For a child to be baptized at Our Lady of Sorrows, the parents should be registered, practicing members of the Parish. As a parent requests Baptism, the Church has a minimal expectation that they will see to it that their child has the opportunity to grow in faith.

To arrange for a Baptism, call the rectory to register for the Baptism Class, held on the first Monday of each month. At this class parents will be instructed on the signs and symbols of this welcoming Sacrament, as well as a brief theology of the Sacrament as celebrated in the Catholic Church. If parents have already attended a Baptism class with a previous child they will not need to attend a second class. They may make arrangements over the phone, giving the necessary information for the Baptismal register.

According to Church Law, a child must have at least one godparent who is a baptized, confirmed, practicing Catholic. Parents may not be sponsors for their own child’s Baptism. One who is not Catholic, but certainly a Christian, may act as a witness to the Baptism.

Those who are not members of Our Lady of Sorrows, but have family in the parish, or a genuine pastoral reason, may request their child be Baptized at OLS. A letter of permission from their proper pastor is requested attesting to their participation in the life of their proper parish.

Baptisms are normally held on the Second & Fourth Sundays of the month following the 10:00am Mass. For pastoral reasons and special circumstances, other arrangements can be made.


In the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist we truly become one with Christ as we receive His Body and Blood. His Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, is a gift not only for the Church, but for all of us as we journey in faith to be His disciples. He is given as real food for our journey to His eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church signifies and is a communion with Christ and His Mystical Body, the Church.

As regulated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church States:

For Catholics: Catholics fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when they receive Holy Communion in fulfillment of Christ’s command to eat His Body and drink His Blood. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, communicants should not be conscious of grave sin, have fasted for one hour, and seek to live in charity with their neighbor. Persons conscious of grave sin must first be reconciled with God and the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is encouraged for all.

For other Christians: We welcome to the celebration of the Eucharist those Christians who are not fully united with us. It is a consequence of the sad division in Christianity that we cannot extend to them a general invitation to receive Communion. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is an action of the celebrating community signifying a oneness in faith, life, and worship of the community. Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness that does not yet exist, and for which we must continue to pray.

For those not receiving Communion: Those not receiving Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

* We also welcome to our Church those who do not share our faith in Jesus. While we cannot extend to them an invitation to receive Communion, we do invite them to be united with us in prayer.

* Ordinarily speaking, Catholics may receive Holy Communion any time they attend Mass, even if it is more than once a day.

* Catholics may not receive Holy Communion in non-Catholic Churches.

* If you have any questions, please consult the Pastor.

Reconciliation (Penance, Confession)

Jesus Christ gave His apostles and their successors the “power of the keys” on the night of His Resurrection, saying to them, “Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven them. Whose sins you shall retain are retained in Heaven.” Knowing all too well our sinful human nature, the Lord left us the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the healing of our souls.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available each Tuesday morning before both the 6:30 am Mass, and on Saturday afternoon from 4:00 to 4:45pm, before the 5:00pm Mass. It is also available anytime by appointment.

Catholics are encouraged to make confession a regular part of their spiritual lives, especially during Lent, and in preparation for Christmas. By Church Law, those conscious of grave sin must confess their sins as soon as possible and may not receive our Lord in Holy Communion until they have been reconciled and received absolution in the Sacrament.


With Baptism and Holy Eucharist, Confirmation completes the Sacraments of Initiation. In Confirmation we are anointed as adult members of the Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit to profess, defend, and explain our faith. Confirmation is a Sacrament of mature discipleship.
Young Adults: Children of Our Lady of Sorrows are prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation in 7th Grade. The date for Confirmation is determined by assignment from the Office of the Archbishop.

Adults: Those adults who have been baptized and made their first Communion, but who have not been Confirmed can arrange to celebrate this Sacrament by contacting the Parish Office. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Adult Confirmation is celebration on the feast of Pentecost each year at the Cathedral-Basilica. Shortly after Easter, a notice will appear in the parish bulletin inviting any adults who have not been confirmed to contact the Pastor to register for this Sacrament. A brief instruction will be presented to all those who will participate in the Sacrament.


In the Sacrament of Marriage, a man and a woman, commit themselves to a perpetual, faithful, and fruitful life together. In so doing, the two become one in Christ and live the vocation ordained for them by God.

For a complete copy of the Marriage Policies of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, please contact the Parish Office. In brief, however, the following should be kept in mind:
The Common Marriage Policy for All Dioceses in the State of Missouri was written to guide and direct marriage preparation in every Catholic parish in Missouri. What is not covered in this Common Policy is governed by the universal laws of the Catholic Church.
The Common Policy calls for the couple to contact the Church at least six (6) months prior to the proposed date for the wedding. This is no guarantee that the couple has enough time to adequately prepare for this Sacrament or to complete the following:

A Pre-Marriage Inventory (PNI) administered by the priest/deacon to determine a couple’s eligibility to be married in the Catholic Church.

A Compatibility Assessment (FOCCUS) administered by the priest/deacon to help the couple determine their readiness for marriage.

Marriage Classes (Pre-Cana) which serve to instruct the couple on the spiritual, emotional, financial, relational, child rearing, and everyday aspects of married life.

Planning the Wedding Ceremony:

For Parishioners: one of the parties to be married must be a registered member of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish or be the son or daughter of a parishioner. Couples may reserve the Church after meeting with the Pastor.
Catholics marrying another Catholic are normally married at a Nuptial Mass. When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic, the marriage takes place at a liturgy that does not include the Mass.

Catholics marrying someone other than a Catholic need to request a dispensation from the Archbishop. In their request, the Catholic party promises not to abandon their faith and to see that any children born of the union are baptized and raised in the faith.

Should a Catholic wish to marry a non-Catholic and have the wedding take place in a non-Catholic Church, special permission must be obtained from the Archbishop for the marriage to be valid. Please contact the Pastor if you have any questions.

While weddings are permitted during the season of Advent, Lent remains a special season of penitence in the Catholic Church. It is the policy of OLS that NO weddings are permitted during the Lenten season.

Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of the Sick is given to us by Christ to strengthen us in body and soul when we experience the affects of serious illness. Generally speaking, those who are advanced in age, (75 and above), those facing major surgery, those with a terminal illness, or those facing life-threatening situations may request the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. One may be anointed again each month for the same illness or immediately in danger of death.

Families with a member who is dying should notify the priest and make arrangements for the Sacrament to be administered. In special cases, this Sacrament can bring great peace and comfort to those entering the final stage of life.

Call the rectory, day or night in any emergency.