Baptism is the ritual through which God claims us as God’s own, connects us to a vast community of Christians and launches us along the Christian “way;” a way of life that is committed to peace, justice, reconciliation, and respecting the dignity of every human being as well as all of creation. Baptism is replete with layer upon layer of images: dying and rising with Christ, going down into the waters and coming up a new person, passing through the waters as a way to liberation, being washed and renewed for our lives.
At St. Paul’s we typically offer baptism on major feasts designated in The Book of Common Prayer: The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus (mid-January), Easter Vigil, The Feast of Pentecost, and The Feast of All Saints. We also baptize on our patronal festival: The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (late January)
Those interested in being baptized or having their children baptized typically attend Enquirer’s Classes that orient the individual or the parents to St. Paul’s and its particular form of the Christian faith as well as a separate class on baptism to include the specifics of the way we engage in baptisms at St. Paul’s.
Confirmation is the ritual through which people express a mature commitment to Christ and receive the strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. To prepare for confirmation or reception in the Episcopal Church, people typically participate in our Enquirers’ classes to learn more about the Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s as an Anglo-Catholic parish within the Episcopal Church.
In the Holy Eucharist we come together, share a meal and experience our deepest selves in community with others and with a loving God in the person of Jesus. Through the Eucharist we gain strength for our lives and participate in the pattern of all Christian life: letting go and turning our lives over to God to be used in service to the world. Baptized Christians of all ages or denominations are welcome to participate in and receive communion at St. Paul’s. See a list of services where we celebrate the Eucharist.
The Burial of the Dead is a liturgy which affirms the power of the resurrection in the face of loss. It is a liturgy that both acknowledges the experience of loss while witnessing to the fact that “neither death, nor life,… 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.”
Properly hosted in the Church, the liturgy draws on readings appropriate to the occasion and typically includes Holy Communion. At St. Paul’s, in addition to the funeral, we offer parishioners and families of parishioners the choice of the burial of a loved one’s ashes in our Bolster Memorial Garden.
We encourage parishioners to plan their funerals well in advance of the need to do so. To facilitate this, email the parish office for a funeral planning form or registration forms for the Bolster Garden.
The unction of the sick it the ritual in which we lay our hands upon those who are sick, anoint them with oil and pray for God’s grace to be given to them for the healing of spirit, mind and body. At St. Paul’s we offer the laying on of hands and anointing with oil during our Saturday 9:15 AM Mass in the Chapel.
Rite of Reconciliation
In the Rite of Reconciliation a person confesses his or her sins to God in the presence of a priest and receives assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. This rite is offered throughout the year by appointment. There are additional opportunities for confession scheduled during the seasons of Advent and Lent. To be connected with a priest to schedule an appointment, contact the parish office.
Marriage is the ritual through which two people enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to fulfill their vows. Typically at St. Paul’s we host and officiate weddings of people who are either current members or intend to make the parish their home. For more information about being married at St. Paul’s, contact the parish office.
Blessing of Same-Sex Unions
At General Convention in 2012 the Episcopal Church authorized the blessing of same-sex unions within the Episcopal Church. At St. Paul’s we are pleased to do this for members of our Church. Same-sex blessings are also celebrated for those intending to become members of the church who, working with the rector, complete the preparation required and are interested in using the authorized rites the Church provides.
In the rite of ordination God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to men and women who are being made bishops, priest and deacons, through prayer and the laying of hands by bishops. We at St. Paul’s have raised up a number of people for ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood, and one former Rector to the episcopacy.