Sanctifying All of Life’s Milestones

Holy Baptism

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 298)

  • Holy Baptism is celebrated at Grace Epiphany in the context of the principal Sunday Eucharist at 9:30 AM and usually aligned with the Major Feasts during the year, including the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January); the Easter Season and Pentecost (late March to May/June); and All Saints Day (November).

Holy Matrimony

All Christians are called to bear witness to the good news of God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are empowered for such witness by our covenantal relationship with God. (I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, p. 2)

Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the woman and man 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. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 861)

Our covenantal life with God is expressed in relationships of commitment and faithfulness, including those of same-sex couples. It is the Church’s joy to celebrate these relationships as signs of God’s love, to pray for God’s grace to support couples in their life together, and to join with these couples in our shared witness to the gospel in the world. (I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, p. 2)

  • Those who wish to be married in church should contact the parish clergy as soon as they have settled on a date.
  • An advance notice of at least three months is requested so that the clergy and the engaged couple can set times for pre-marriage counseling.
  • The Episcopal Church allows for the marriage of those who may have previous marriages. In these instances, the clergy will request a copy of the final decree of divorce or annulment so that the appropriate permission may be obtained from the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Prayers for Healing & Anointing of the Sick

Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God’s grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 862)

… As you are outwardly anointed with this holy oil, so may our heavenly Father grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit. Of his great mercy, may he forgive you your sins, release you from suffering, and restore you to wholeness and strength. May he deliver you from all evil, preserve you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 456)

  • Prayers for Healing and anointing of the sick or Holy Unction are offered to anyone desiring these sacramental after all Sunday services—they are simply asked to make themselves known to the parish clergy.
  • Family or caretakers or friends of persons who are hospitalized or homebound are also asked to call the church office or the parish clergy directly so that a hospital or home visit could be arranged as soon as possible.

The Reconciliation of a Penitent

The ministry of reconciliation, which has been committed by Christ to his Church, is exercised through the care each Christian has for others, through the common prayer of Christians assembled for public worship, and through the priesthood of the Church and its ministers declaring absolution… The Reconciliation of a Penitent is available for all who desire it. It is not restricted to times of sickness. Confessions may be heard anytime and anywhere. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 446)

  • Those who are feeling burdened by great spiritual distress should contact the parish clergy, especially if they wish to avail themselves of the sacramental rite of reconciliation; or if they wish to seek spiritual or religious counsel as a means of reconciling themselves with God’s presence, abiding grace and forgiveness.

Christian Burial

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 507)

  • The family or caretakers of the deceased should contact the parish clergy as soon as possible so that the clergy and church community might provide spiritual and religious support for the bereaved.
  • Our parish has funeral guidelines to assist the bereaved in planning for the funeral or memorial service of their loved one.