Sacraments are ways that God extends God’s grace to us.
As part of the Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and under the jurisdiction of the Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutierrez, our bishop, Holy Apostles offers the Sacraments of the Church. The principle sacraments of the Church are baptism and Eucharist. Please read below, and follow the links for more information. Clergy and others at Holy Apostles are happy to answer any questions, or meet regarding more information at any time [Rector’s email].
The word baptism comes from a Greek word that means “immersion.” It is an ancient practice, with Jewish roots, instituted by Christ himself, in which a person of any age is covered in water (usually we pour some water over someone’s head), and words worn by the centuries are spoken over them. Vows are made by the person being baptized, and the congregation vows to help and uphold them in any way they can. The person being baptized is anointed with oil, and prayers are prayed over them and by them.
Baptism is how a person becomes a member of the Church, Christ’s body. This membership is not limited to Holy Apostles in Penn Wynne. Baptism is entrance into the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. If you have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in any Christian tradition or denomination, we recognize you as a sister or brother in Christ’s Church.
[more on baptism at Church of the Holy Apostles]
In the Episcopal Church we baptize infants, because we believe that grace comes from God and is available to all, no matter their age, no matter if they completely understand it. Adults among us recognize that even we do not fully understand the great mystery of God’s grace, and yet we have experienced in working in our lives.
[more on children and the mystery of baptism]
Eucharist is a Greek word that means “Thanksgiving.” It is double offering: we offer our thanks to God, and God offers us grace and God’s presence in the simple elements of bread and wine. We believe that in Holy Eucharist, Christ becomes truly present in our midst. All baptized Christians are invited to receive Holy Eucharist.
Other Sacraments and Sacramental Rites
Holy Matrimony (Weddings)
Holy Matrimony is celebrated at the of a couple’s choosing, after an appropriate period of preparation by the Rector. Weddings are not usually scheduled during Lent or on Sundays.
Confirmation is the way in which we express a mature commitment to CHrist, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on hands by the Bishop. Confirmation is offered to those who were baptized as children and who are now ready to make this mature commitment. Adults who come from into the Episcopal church may be confirmed, or may undergo a similar act depending on their experience in other Christian traditions, if any.
Corporate confession and absolution (the offering of God’s forgiveness) occurs in the context of normal Sunday morning worship.
Any person who cannot quiet their conscience, but whose sin or grief ways heavily on their soul is encouraged to contact the Rector for the sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation. After a time of confession and council, God’s forgiveness and reconciliation is offered. Private confession in the Anglican tradition follows the maxim: “All may, none must, some should.”
Holy Unction (Healing)
Holy Unction is for the healing of body, mind, and spirit. It is the ancient practice of anointing with oil specially blessed for the purpose, the laying on of hands, and of prayer for God’s healing Grace. Holy Unction is offered on the first Sunday of each month, and at any other time by arrangement with the Rector [ask for holy unction by email].
Blessings are offered in the homes of those who wish to formally ask God’s blessing on their dwelling place, families, and rhythms of daily life. The normal time for such blessings is during the season of Epiphany (starting January 6), but a home blessing may be requested at other times.