We baptise believers and we baptise the children of believers. In all of our conversations with people we talk about ‘baptism’ and not ‘christening’ because we do not hold that the sacrament actually makes the person a Christian. You can download a leaflet on ‘Baptism of Children in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’ by searching ‘Presbyterian Church in Ireland’ and selecting ‘Reports, Guidelines and Leaflets.’ This leaflet provides a broad framework for administering baptism but if you are thinking about baptism for yourself or for your child please contact the Minister. We would point out that a preparation course is normally required, so advance notice must be given. Whilst we are happy to meet in the family home to pray with and to bless any child, we do not perform such blessings in the church service as this may confuse people in respect of our Baptismal practice.
We usually celebrate Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper/ Eucharist) five times a year. Our standard practice is: first Sunday in January, October and December, last Sunday in June and on Easter Sunday. Everyone who loves Jesus as their Saviour and Lord is invited to join us, regardless of the particular branch of the Christian Church from which they come. We also welcome any enquiries in respect of the Sacrament; especially from those who are considering coming for the first time (sometimes referred to as ‘Confirmation’). We do not have a set age for ‘Confirmation’ as we do not regard this as a rite of passage or a coming of age; instead we conduct a preparation course to anyone regardless of age. Please contact the Minister for further information.
Because we regard marriage as a gift of God for the strengthening of society, we welcome opportunities to meet with couples and talk with them about the important life-long commitment that they are considering. We know that an increasing number of couples are ‘living together’ before they marry (sometimes for many years before), but we still believe that marriage itself is a special and sacred thing that is honourable in all, so we include them in our invitation. The State sets the terms and conditions under which a legal marriage must be conducted and registered, so official notification must be made by the couple according to law beforehand (currently at least three months notice is required). Details of legislation will be supplied by the Registry Office. If you are considering Abbey in this regard please contact the Minister as soon as possible to arrange an initial meeting. Once again we encourage couples to participate in our Marriage Preparation Course to strengthen their understanding and commitment. Our desire is not to be a wedding venue, but to be an extended family of faith to those that come. We should also point out that an increasing number of couples are getting married in the Registry Office and then considering some form of Church Blessing thereafter; we are happy to talk this through and explore the possibility of providing such a blessing.
Many people continue to find comfort and consolation in church services; especially when a loved one has died. We trust that a century and a half of prayer and worship has imbued our building with a sense of reverence and that our understanding of God’s purposes will offer genuine understanding and hope. Others may want the assistance and service of the church but are uncomfortable with the intimidating scale and design of the church building – something we fully appreciate. Since we are called by God to comfort those who mourn, we are always ready to meet with the family and consider how best this might be done: in the church building, in a funeral home, in a chapel area, or in the family home itself. For further details please follow the link to ‘Suffering & Bereavement’ and to ‘Funerals.’
Life is full of special occasions for which we want to give special recognition and thanks. For example, some people may wish to celebrate a wedding anniversary before God, perhaps even renewing their vows. We have had the joy and honour of arranging such a wonderful moment. Perhaps it is not a matter of arranging a special service, rather a family might like us to include their prayer requests in our corporate praying; again this is an honour and joy for us. If you have any particular request please contact the Minister to discuss this and we will explore the possibilities.