Baptisms

Weddings

Memorial Services

Baptisms

What is baptism?

Baptism is the sacrament (an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace) by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. Baptism is union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit (BCP, 858).

What about infants and children?

In the Episcopal tradition, a person may be baptized at any age. Parents who bring their young children to be baptized make an additional commitment to raise these children within the Church, to know Christ & to be able to follow him. According to our Catechism, infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God (BCP, 858).

When can I be baptized?

Each baptism is a celebration of the whole church. Baptisms are celebrated on Sundays as part of our regular service, and on special occasions when the meaning of baptism can be particularly highlighted. There are four times in the year when baptisms are particularly appropriate: The Easter Vigil, Pentecost Sunday, All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, and on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the first Sunday after the Epiphany). Baptisms on Sundays other than these times can be arranged by talking with the clergy.

How do I prepare for baptism?

A baptismal rehearsal is scheduled for each baptismal Sunday on the Saturday before. Baptismal candidates and their sponsors should be present. In the case of children who are being baptized, parents and godparents are asked to attend this rehearsal. For adults, the Adult Membership/Confirmation class (Episcopal 101) is required. Please speak with the clergy if you have any additional questions about preparation.

What about sponsors or godparents?

Consistent with the ancient tradition, it is required that every baptismal candidate have a sponsor (this can be a parent or what is commonly called a godparent for children). Sponsors are typically present at the time of the baptism, and will serve as a Christian friend and mentor throughout life. Sponsors must be baptized Christians. We additionally recommend that you select someone who is active in their faith community, and with whom you can anticipate a long-term relationship. 1-4 sponsors per candidate is appropriate.

Weddings

Congratulations on your engagement!

We are delighted to chat with you about having your marriage celebrated here at Christ & Grace. All weddings at C&G are celebrated using the Book of Common Prayer. Weddings are scheduled on the church calendar only after a conversation with the church office and the clergy. If your wedding does take place at C&G, our parish family will do whatever we can to make your wedding day a blessed one for you.

There are certain guidelines we follow concerning weddings at C&G. For example, at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian. The Book of Common Prayer states that the “bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation” and that marriage is “not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.” Therefore, premarital guidance sessions are required with a member of the clergy prior to the wedding. This usually entails four meetings (once/week for 4 weeks) at which the couple must be present and then one final meeting with a member of the clergy as the wedding date approaches.

It is important for you to know that your desire to be married at Christ & Grace means to us that you are committed to being active members of a community of faith. If your home after your marriage is to be in another community, our hope is that you will become a member of the church in that community.

If one or both of the parties have been married before, church canons guide us to assure that a subsequent remarriage is built on solid ground, and that the wounds of the prior relationship have been fully healed. Additional counseling sessions may be required to assess that this is indeed so. A remarriage can occur no sooner than twelve months after a prior divorce. If there are any children from the prior marriage, their care must be assured.

Please feel free to call so that we may discuss your plans.

Memorial Services

The passing of a loved one is a time of sorrow, but as Christians we also know that even as we grieve, we celebrate the gift of our loved one’s life.

Christ & Grace Episcopal Church holds funerals or memorial services for parishioners and for family members of parishioners. On occasion we also carry out these services for nonmembers.

Please contact the Rector if you have suffered the loss of a loved one. The Book of Common Prayer reminds us that “the death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to, and arrangements for the funeral should be made in consultation with the Priest of the Parish. Baptized Christians are properly buried from the church. The service should be held at a time when the congregation has the opportunity to be present.“

We have a booklet that outlines the planning process in detail, and we encourage you to read it thoroughly so that you are fully prepared. A bit of wisdom from the Rector: it’s always a good idea to preplan your memorial service, particularly considering what passages from Holy Scripture or what hymns would be particularly meaningful. This is one of the things that you can do (along with having a will, a durable power of attorney, and an advanced medical directive) to save your family members the task of making decisions when they are in the midst of grief.

We also have a memorial garden where the cremated remains of the deceased may be interred.