Sacramental Preparation

Welcome to Sacramental Preparation

On this page you will find the policies on the Sacraments of Initiation-Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. If we can assist you in learning more about these sacraments and their availability at Our Lady of the Valley, please feel free to contact the parish office at (607) 324-5811.


Baptism is a precious gift given to us by God. It is through the waters of Baptism that God enables us to participate in the life of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit. At Baptism where we are freed from original sin and become incorporated into the Body of Christ, the Church and thus share in the Church’s mission.  Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation within the Catholic Church. The sacraments of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and Confirmation complete the Sacrament of Initiation. A person is considered fully-initiated into the Catholic Church once all three sacraments are completed.

If this is an emergency situation where death is imminent and baptism is needed please contact the parish office immediately. 

Baptisms for Adults / Families -  Adults, couples or parents with children wishing to be newly baptized into the Catholic faith generally do so by entering the Rite of Christian Initiation program. Through the program the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation are studied by the candidate and then administered through the Church at the Easter Vigil. To be put in contact with our program coordinator, please contact the parish office.

Baptisms for Children - Perhaps you are expecting a new arrival, have a newborn at home or maybe you are already enjoying the blessings of a child. Whatever your situation is, you are probably also thinking about the next step, Baptism. 

Children are welcome at the Sacrament of Baptism at any time throughout the year. You can make an appointment for the Sacrament of Baptism by calling the parish office

Choosing Godparents - Godparents are also a very important part of the Baptismal process.Only a Catholic can be a godparent because they are asked to promise to help support raising the child in the Catholic faith.  A godparent must:
  •  be a fully-initiated Catholic (have received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation)
  •  be at least 16 years old
  •  have intention of fulfilling the function
  •  be practicing the Catholic faith
  •  not be bound by any canonical penalty
  •  not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized
There must be at least one godparent for the child baptized. There can be only one male godparent or one female godparent or one of each. If a godparent cannot be present at the baptism, a proxy can stand in for the godparent. The name of the proxy will appear on the certificate. 

After Baptism it is the responsibility of the parents and sponsors (godparents) to assist the child to know God, whose adopted child he/she has become, to prepare the child to receive Holy Communion and Confirmation. In this duty they are helped by the pastor by suitable means.

Christian Witnesses - A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community can be a witness to the Baptism but only together with a Catholic godparent. A non-baptized person cannot be a godparent or a witness.

A very good video explaining the Sacrament of Baptism can be found at the Busted Halo web site. Click here to view the video Sacrament of Baptism.

First Eucharist (First Holy Communion)

Eucharist is the only Sacrament of Initiation that Catholics receive more than once. It is at Eucharist that we are nourished spiritually, brought closer to God and where we become united to the person of Christ again and again.

This sacrament is open to children 7 years old and older who have been baptized in the Church and who have completed First Penance. Children for First Eucharist are also expected to have participated regularly in a religious education program or Catholic School for at least one year preceding enrollment for First Eucharist.

The First Eucharist program is completed in two steps and begins with at-home preparation in the fall for Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance). Once the sacrament is received in late fall, preparation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist begins with at-home preparation in mid-winter. The Sacrament of the Eucharist is received in mid-spring.


Confirmation “perfects baptismal grace and incorporates us more firmly into Christ and strengthens our bond with the whole Church and the mission of Christ. At Confirmation, one is strengthened in the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us live more fully as disciples of Jesus Christ.” 

Teens - Confirmation for teens is a two year program and is open to 8th graders (13-14 years old) and above who are baptized, have completed the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist and who can complete program. It is expected that youth enrolling in the program have previously developed their Catholic faith by attending religious education classes or by attending Catholic school. 

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation requires attending formal classes and Mass on a regular basis and participation in Confirmation retreats. It also requires the completion of a church and local community service project and a final readiness evaluation.

Adults – The Sacrament of Confirmation is open to Catholic adults who have been baptized and receive Holy Communion and who have a serious desire to be confirmed. Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation for adults does require a path of study on the faith and the sacraments, pastoral counseling and evaluation for readiness. Contact the parish office for more details.

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