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The Sacramental Life


Preparing for Sacraments

The reception of a sacrament is a most important moment in the life of a member of the Church community, and careful preparation should be made. The Cathedral offers a time of preparation for those who are to receive sacraments, to enable them to enter more fully into these great mysteries of our faith.


If you would like your child baptised, and you live in the Cathedral parish, please see one of the Cathedral Chaplains. Parents are usually asked to attend a short preparation course.

Feel called to become Catholic?

Each year, the Cathedral receives adults who are seeking baptism as well as Christians of other denominations who would like to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. The process begins with a short period of enquiry where, together with a Cathedral Chaplain, you can explore what you are seeking. This is followed by the ‘Catechumenate’, which is the period of preparation involved in becoming Catholic. This period varies for people depending on their needs and circumstances. It usually involves a course, generally known as RCIA (which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). Do call Clergy House Reception on 020 7798 9055 or mail us at chreception@rcdow.org.uk for more information.

First Holy Communion

The course for children in the Cathedral parish aged between 7 and 10 begins in September every year. Details of how to apply are announced at Masses, and available in the Cathedral parish newsletter in the early summer.


For those aged 15-16 years. The  course begins in January. Applications open in the autumn each year: please see the notice board in the Cathedral, or the parish newsletter, for details.
We also receive adults for Confirmation, who, for whatever reason have been baptised, but not been Confirmed earlier. This involves a separate process of preparation. Please call Clergy House Reception on 020 7798 9055 or mail us at chreception@rcdow.org.uk for more information.


Cathedral parishioners who would like to be married in the Cathedral must give six months' notice, to allow the necessary preparations to be made. Please see one of the Cathedral Chaplains for more information.

Marriage Preparation Course

Couples getting married in a Catholic church are required to attend a marriage preparation course. The Cathedral runs a Marriage Preparation Course three times a year. Each course consists of four weekly sessions on Thursday evenings, and one Saturday session which includes the 6pm Vigil Mass. It is not necessary to be a Cathedral parishioner to attend the course here, and all are therefore welcome. It is also not necessary that both members of the couples are Catholic to participate in the course. For more information, email Julie Hanssen: juliehanssen@rcdow.org.uk

Confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation)

Available daily in the Cathedral. Please click here for more details.

Returning to the Faith after a long time?

Welcome back! Why don’t you come in and have a chat with one of our chaplains, and we will do our best to help you.
Do call Clergy House Reception on 020 7798 9055 or mail us at chreception@rcdow.org.uk for an appointment.

Visiting the sick (including Anointing)

If you, or anyone you know, needs a visit from a priest, Holy Communion or Anointing, please speak with one of the Chaplains or contact Clergy House Reception. In an emergency when someone is gravely ill or has died and a priest is required outside reception opening hours please call 07340 288 978

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

Exposition takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel from Monday to Friday after the 1.05pm Mass (approx. 1.45pm) till 4.45pm.