Sacraments are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace. The two primary sacraments in our common life are Baptism and Holy Eucharist.
Baptism is initiation into the community of Christians and is understood as a communal event and therefore scheduled during the main Sunday worship service on the following feasts during the year: All Saints Day, The Baptism of our Lord, Easter Vigil and Pentecost. The dates for 2012 are:
January 8, 2012 - The Baptism of our Lord
April 7, 2012 - Easter Vigil
May 27, 2012 - Pentecost
November 4, 2012 - All Saints' Day
A baptism may be scheduled during a Bishop's visitation, as well. Talk to a priest for more details and complete the Application for Baptism at least two weeks prior to the desired date. Our baptismal font is pictured at right.
Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ's body and blood, and the principal act of Christian worship. The term is from the Greek, "thanksgiving." Jesus instituted the eucharist "on the night when he was betrayed." At the Last Supper he shared the bread and cup of wine at a sacred meal with his disciples. The eucharist is also called the Lord's Supper, Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy, the Mass, and the Great Offertory.
In addition to the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist, we observe the following as well:
Reconciliation of a Penitent, or confession of sins, is not a requirement in The Episcopal Church. Anyone, however, may request the reconciliation of a penitent from a priest and receive assurance of God's forgiveness. The confession is always made in private and kept in strict confidence.
Unction is a special blessing for those who are sick or desire special prayers. A sign of the cross is made on their forehead with blessed oil. Unction is offered each Wednesday morning at our mid-week Eucharist and Healing Service and by request at home or in the hospital or nursing facility.
Confirmation is an adult affirmation of Christian faith and signifies intention to join The Episcopal Church. Classes are taught every year for teenagers and adults. They are scheduled prior to the Bishop's annual visit or prior to our diocesan confirmations held at the Cathedral. We announce dates in advance. Please make your desire to be confirmed known to the Rector.
Holy Matrimony, or Christian Marriage, is scheduled with the Rector. There are specific guidelines and expectations for marriages held at St Paul's. A detailed explanation of our guidelines, called a "customary," describes details of marriage in the church.
Ordination is the sacrament where God empowers trained persons for special ministry as deacons, priests or bishops. The service always includes the laying on of hands by bishops.