Baptism

“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC 1213).

If you are a parishioner of St. Peter's and are interested in having your child baptized, please contact the rectory for information about scheduling, Baptism preparation classes, and godparent requirements.

Baptisms are celebrated on the second Sunday of every month at 12:30pm, after the 11am Mass.

A child who is baptized should be given a godparent (or two godparents) to help teach the faith and to provide prayers and support as your child strives to be a follower of Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states “ ...the godfather and godmother... must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized—child or adult—on the road of Christian life.” (#1255). There are certain requirements in Canon Law to ensure that godparents are able and ready to take on such a task:
-must be at least 16 years old
-must not be a parent of the child to be baptized
-must be Catholics who have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation
-must be practicing Catholics who attend Mass regularly on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and receive the sacraments of the Church
-if they are married, they must be in a valid, sacramental marriage
-if you have two godparents, you must choose one man and one woman (but it is also an option to have only one godparent)

We would be happy to assist you in finding a suitable candidate to serve as godparent. While a baptized, non-Catholic Christian may not be a godparent, he or she may fill the role of Christian witness at the baptism. (Please note that a Catholic may not be a Christian witness.)
If you have any questions about the suitability of your candidates for godparents please call or e-mail the rectory at 202.547.1430.

A baptism preparation class is required of both parents and godparents. Our classes are held the Saturday before the 2nd Sunday of the month and take place in the basement of the rectory from 10am-11am. The class may be taken at another parish; we ask that you provide a letter of class completion from that parish. Please contact the rectory to schedule a baptism or to inquire about classes.

When a baptism is celebrated, it is customary for the family to make a donation of thanksgiving to the parish. We ask that you take time to prayerfully consider the amount of your donation. It can be given to the priest or deacon on the day of the baptism, mailed to the rectory, or dropped in the offertory basket during Sunday Mass.

First Communion

The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, and is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (LG 11). Here at St. Peter's, First Communion takes place when a child is in the second grade. Preparation for the Sacrament occurs either in a Catholic school or in St. Peter’s Sunday School. If your child does not attend a Catholic school, he or she should be enrolled in Sunday School in September in order to be prepared for First Communion in the spring. Please see the Sunday School section of this website for more information about registration.

Please know that children of all ages can receive their First Communion. If your child has already completed the second grade but has not received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, please be in touch with the rectory for information about how your child can be prepared to receive this important sacrament.

 

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion and perfection of the graces of Baptism. The faithful are fully initiated into the Catholic Church once they have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. Here at St. Peter’s, children begin their preparations for Confirmation in the seventh grade and are confirmed when they are in the eighth grade. These preparations take place either in a Catholic school or in St. Peter’s Sunday School. If children are not attending a Catholic school, they should be enrolled in Sunday School in September of their seventh grade year in order to be prepared for Confirmation in the spring of their eighth grade school year. Please see the Sunday School section of this website for more information about registration.

Confirmation is an integral part of the Christian life, and we encourage anyone who has not received this sacrament to email the rectory at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  

Marriage

Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church whereby a Christian man and woman join together the whole of their lives in Christ.  Marriage is a means of grace in the life of the couple and, as the “domestic church,” the family is the foundation of the Christian community.

Marriage between a Catholic and a non-Christian is non-sacramental, but it is a valid marriage that may be celebrated in a Catholic Church with proper dispensation.

Preliminary Information for Celebrating Matrimony at St. Peter’s

Wedding donations for St. Peter’s parishioners* - $750 ($500 deposit to reserve a date)

* registered parishioners without 6 months of demonstrated parish support will be asked to contribute at the non-parishioner rate; requested donations may be reduced once 6 months of parish support is demonstrated

Wedding donations for non-parishioners - $1500** ($750 deposit to reserve a date)

** donations for non-parishioners may be reduced if marriage preparation is completed apart from St. Peter’s and a visiting priest is officiating

The above donations help to defray the costs for use of the church and other facilities, plus appreciable administrative and pastoral workload that goes along with the wedding preparation.  These donations are tax-deductible. Additional wedding costs will include musician/cantor fees and flower arrangements, if desired. These fees are not tax-deductible.

Catholics celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage in their own parish church, unless the pastor grants permission otherwise. Registered parishioners at St. Peter’s may reserve a wedding date after meeting with a priest at St. Peter’s and with a deposit of $500. The priest will determine freedom to marry and availability of clergy before permitting scheduling. The pastor at St. Peter’s will determine the priest or deacon to officiate at each wedding or must provide the proper delegation for a visiting priest to officiate.

If you are not a registered, active parishioner at St. Peter’s, you will need to obtain the permission of your proper pastor to be married at St. Peter’s. With that permission, you may contact St. Peter’s to determine the possibility of a wedding at St. Peter’s. If it is determined that you are free to marry and a St. Peter’s priest/deacon is available, you may then reserve a wedding date with a $750 deposit. If you are bringing a priest from outside St. Peter’s to officiate at your wedding, the pastor at St. Peter’s must grant delegation to him before the wedding.

If you are not registered in any parish, are an active-duty member of the U.S. military or have unusual pastoral circumstances, please contact St. Peter’s for assistance in determining the availability of St. Peter’s for your wedding.

Celebrating Matrimony away from St. Peter’s (for registered parishioners only)

If St. Peter’s is your parish, then you must obtain the permission of the pastor to be married elsewhere. Please contact the rectory to obtain this permission. If the wedding will be away from St. Peter’s, but you will require the marriage preparation at St. Peter’s, you will be asked for a contribution of $200 to St. Peter’s. Additional costs will apply based on the pre-Cana program you choose to participate in and for weddings which will take place in foreign countries.

Marriage Preparation at St. Peter’s

Catholic marriage preparation consists of the following elements:

  • one-on-one meeting with a priest or deacon (typically 2 or 3 meetings)

  • collecting pertinent documents (our wedding administrator will help with this)

  • pre-Cana workshop (marriage preparation classes)

The first step in the process of preparing for marriage is to make an appointment to meet with a priest at St. Peter’s.This is a pastoral meeting and there is no cost. The priest will use this occasion to get to know you a bit and offer encouragement. He will make a preliminary determination that you are free to marry and find out the circumstances of the couple/wedding. He will answer your questions about the preparation process and help you to make important decisions that will help you prepare well for your marriage. If you are a registered parishioner of St. Peter’s, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment, or call the rectory at 202-547-1430.

At St. Peter’s we offer a series of Pre-Cana classes*** three times a year: in the fall, winter, and spring. You must have met with a priest or deacon prior to registering for the class. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PROGRAM CONSISTS OF FOUR CLASSES ON CONSECUTIVE SATURDAYS, typically 9:30am – 1:00pm.Couples attend all four classes; attendance is mandatory to receive the certificate of completion.

To register for our classes, you must have met with the priest or deacon who will be completing your preparation. To register for our classes, please return the completed registration form (below), along with your check made payable to St. Peter's Church, to Pat Devenney at 313 2nd St SE, Washington DC 20003.  Our classes do fill up. You may wish to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about the availability of space in the upcoming classes before registering.

pdf Pre-Cana Class registration form 2018 (425 KB)

*** If you are unable to participate in our pre-Cana sessions, consider these other options:

The"Three to Get Married" program at Our Lady of Bethesda Center for Family Development, or the Diocese of Arlington Marriage Preparation program.

Anointing of the Sick

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “by the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them” (CCC 1514). The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is for anyone who is seriously ill or who is preparing for major surgery. If you or a loved one would like to receive this sacrament, please call the Rectory office at 202.547.1430.