Sacraments

Sacraments

As Episcopalians, we believe that we are a part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church that Christ created with his death, resurrection, and giving of the Spirit.  As God’s Church, we believe that the community of faith (the Church) is a visible sign (sacrament) of God’s presence to his world.

Almost everything we do involves making Christ really present to the world in order that Christ can reconcile men and women with God and with each other.  Traditionally, there are seven sacramental signs that the Church celebrates.  Not all are required of every Christian.

HolyBaptism

Baptism

This is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of the Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.  This is necessary for all people in the Church.  In order to be prepared for baptism, a person needs to contact the priest and undergo a period of instruction.  Normally, the sacrament of baptism is reserved for the Great Vigil of Easter, Pentecost, All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, and the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus.  It is also customary to celebrate baptisms when the Bishop visits.       

The Holy Eucharist

This is the focus of the church’s liturgical life.  It is the principal act of worship on Sundays.  It is commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death and resurrection, and his coming again.  A person who is not baptized may attend the Holy Eucharist, but in order to receive Holy Communion a person must be baptized.  Other names given for the Holy Eucharist are:  the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy, the Mass, and the Great Offering.

Confirmation

Baptism

This is the sacramental rite in which a person expresses a mature commitment to Christ, and receives strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and laying on of hands by a bishop.  Normally, no one under the age of 16-years old is presented for confirmation since it is meant to be a mature, public acceptance of a person’s baptismal vows.  Twice a year the Rector offers Confirmation Classes for adults and older teenagers. 

Reconciliation of a Penitent (Confession)

This is the rite in which those who repent of their sins confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. This sacrament is available for all who desire it. It is not restricted to times of sickness. Confessions may be heard anytime or any place. The secrecy of a confession is morally absolute for the confessor (the priest) and must under no circumstances be broken. If you wish to make a confession, contact the priest-in-charge.

Unction of the Sick

This is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God’s grace is given for healing of spirit, mind, and body. This sacrament is administered in hospitals, nursing homes, and in peoples’ homes

Holy Matrimony

This is the sacrament of 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 fulfil their vows. A man and woman must undergo a period of preparation with the priest before this sacrament can be celebrated. The congregation of Trinity requires that at least one of the parties have an official relationship with the Episcopal Church

Holy Orders (Ordination)

Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons, through prayer and laying on of hands by bishops.  In order to be ordained, a person must undergo an intensive period of discernment within his/her parish, be recommended by the Vestry and priest of his/her congregation, and undergo further discernment with the Commission on Ministry and the Bishop.  The regular path to ordination involves attending an Episcopal Seminary for three years in order to receive a Master of Divinity Degree.