Sacramental Registers and Sacramental Records

Sacramental Registers in Parishes

Sacramental records are important in the life of a Catholic. The maintenance of parish sacramental registers is critical. There are protocols to follow to ensure accurate sacramental records. If you have questions about recording information, sending information to other parishes, information that is missing or incorrect, or issuing sacramental certificates, we can help!

Norms for Sacramental Registers

Sample Sacramental Certificates

Witness Affidavits

Sending Notification to Parish of Baptism

When a parishioner receives a sacrament at your parish (First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage), a letter of notification must be sent to that person's church of baptism (Catholic Church only).

Sample Notification Letter

Finding Your Sacramental Records

Are you looking for your sacramental records? A recently-issued baptismal certificate is required to receive other sacraments. For those preparing for marriage, getting your sacramental records is necessary.

All sacramental records for the Diocese of Sacramento are kept at the parish where the sacrament was celebrated and received.

Note: Sacramental records are private and not part of the public domain. Therefore, they are not open to the general public for genealogical research.

Obtaining Records from a Parish

If you know the name of the parish, contact that parish directly. Click here for the diocese's directory. Or, if you have a general idea of which parish it may be, or know the geographical area, click here for a map of parish boundaries in the diocese.

When you contact a parish to request a baptismal certificate, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your name at birth
  • Date of birth
  • Date of baptism (or approximate year), if known
  • Mother's full maiden name
  • Father's full name

Records from Military Bases

If you were baptized - or received any other sacrament - on a U.S. military base, either in the United States or abroad, your records should be at the Military Archdiocese:

Archdiocese for the Military Services
Office of Sacramental Records
PO Box 4469
Washington DC 20017-0469
202-719-3605 phone
202-269-1002 fax

To request sacramental records online: click here. 

Send a request to the Archdiocese for Military Services by mail, fax, or online - but not by phone. It takes two to six weeks to process a request, with their busiest time from mid-January through mid-June. Each certificate costs the Military Archdiocese approximately $25 to produce, process, maintain, and mail. A donation would be accepted gratefully.

Tips for Finding Records

  1. If you do not know the name of the parish of baptism, do you know the name of the parish where you received another sacrament - First Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony? Consider contacting one of these parishes; they may have your parish of baptism information. Note: Sacramental certificates are only available from the parish where the sacrament was celebrated and received.
  2. If you have siblings, where were they baptized? Sometimes siblings are baptized together or at least at the same parish.
  3. Do you know the name of the priest or deacon who baptized you? If you have an approximate date/year, we can check the clergy records and see where he was assigned at that time.
  4. At what address did you live when you were baptized? Click here to see a map of our parish boundaries. Find out in which parish your address geographically belongs.
  5. If the parish has closed or was destroyed by fire, etc., contact the Tribunal. We can assist you in determining the status of sacramental records from that location.

For Further Assistance

If you need additional help in your search for a sacramental certificate, feel free to contact the Tribunal.