Sacraments and Life Transitions
Episcopalians believe that Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as God’s children and makes us members of Christ's Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.
Every week, Episcopalians celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament where Christ is really present in the mystery of his life, death and resurrection. The service consists of two parts: the Word of God and the Holy Communion. During the Word of God, readings from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are proclaimed and a sermon is preached. The Holy Communion involves the presentation of the Bread and Wine which are consecrated by the priest. All Baptized persons are invited to receive Holy Communion.
Confirmation and Reception into the Episcopal Church
Confirmation is a rite when a person makes an adult commitment to Christ and receives the strength of the Holy Spirit to witness to Christ in the world through prayer and the laying on of hands by the bishop. Persons who were confirmed in a Church whose ministry is in the Apostolic Succession and who desire to become members of the Episcopal Church are prepared by the priest to be received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop.
Episcopalians believe that Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the two adults enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows. We marry both opposite gender and same gender couples. If a person desires to be married in the church, they must attend church for at least 6 months prior to their marriage. At least one person must be a baptized Christian. If either person was previously married, they must present to the priest the reason for their divorce and the priest would determine if the person can make the lifelong committment to enter into a second marriage. The Bishop would have to agree with the priest’s decision. The couple would have to attend at least 4 meetings with the priest.
Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests and deacons. A person who believes they are called by God to ordination begins a process of discernment with the priest of the church who, is a call is discerned, organizes a discernment committee in the parish who continue that process which then moves to the Commission on Ministry in the diocese. Ordination in the Episcopal church is open to women or men, married or single, without consideration of sexual orientation.
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing the sick with oil and laying on of hands is offered for healing of spirit, mind and body. Every Sunday after the reception of Holy Communion, a minister provides Anointing in the Lady Chapel of the Church. When a person requires Unction of the Sick in a hospital, please contact the priest.
Reconciliation of a Penitent
At every Holy Eucharist, the congregation confesses their sins and the bishop or priest gives an absolution. Persons can also individually confess their sins to God in the presence of a priest who assures them of pardon and absolves them of their sins.