According to the Book of Common Prayer, sacraments are "outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace." In the Episcopal Church we celebrate two primary sacraments of the gospel, Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, along with several other sacramental rites developed in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which we are adopted as God's children and made members of Christ's Body, the Church. In the Episcopal Church both adults and children may be baptized. In Baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and begin our journey of following Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The outward and visible sign in Baptism is water, in which the person is baptiz…Read More »
The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. In various Christian traditions it is called the Lord's Supper, the Mass, Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy, or the Great Offering.
The outward and visible sign in the Eucharist is bread and wine, given and received according to Chris…Read More »
Holy Baptism is once-and-for-all, full and complete initiation into Christ's Body, the Church. Yet throughout our lives we find ourselves reaching turning points when we may be called to reaffirm the covenant God makes with us. The Episcopal Church provides a rite for the solemn reaffirmation of baptismal vows, with the laying on of hands by a bishop. When this is done for the fi…Read More »
During his earthly ministry, it was not only Jesus’ miraculous power that astounded and transformed people, but also his willingness to forgive sins. Our Sunday services of Holy Eucharist regularly include a prayer of confession, after which the presiding priest pronounces God's forgiveness of our sins. Yet it is also true that sometimes we benefit from the opportunity to confess…Read More »
In Marriage, otherwise known as Holy Matrimony, two people enter into a lifelong union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows. We believe that marriage is a sacred, lifelong covenant, made in the presence of God and the community of faith. In the Episcopal Church, marriage is available to both same-gen…Read More »
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, or body” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 861). Healing is a physical, spiritual, and mental reality. Jesus was known as a healer in his earthly ministry, and the Church continues his work of healing through prayer.
Healing prayer and anoint…
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all 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…Read More »
Every baptized Christian is called to be a minister—that is, one who serves God and others. As God calls various people in various ways, some are called to serve in specific roles of servant leadership in the Church. Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons. In the Episcopal Church peopl…Read More »