In the Anglican Church we take part in certain regular acts of worship. These are called sacraments or reenactments of Christ’s ministries on earth. The two primary sacraments are Baptism and Holy Communion.
We believe that God is actively present in the world and in us. In the sacraments we realize his presence and his favour towards us. Through the sacraments, which are freely given us by God, our sins are forgiven, our minds are enlightened, our hearts stirred and our wills strengthened.
These sacraments are contained in the worship services found in the Book of Common Prayer and Book of Alternative services, books used for worship and as a guide for Christian life. Your questions are encouraged and always welcome.
What is Holy Baptism?
Baptism is the means by which we become members of the community of believers, defined in the New Testament as the Body of Christ. Just as Jesus was baptized with water by John the Baptist, we include people in the community of faith by baptizing them with water. Following a series of questions, responses and prayers, the priest pours water on the candidate. The sign of the cross may be made on the candidate’s forehead with blessed oil. In the Anglican Church, a person is baptized only once.
What is Holy Communion (Eucharist)?
It is a reenactment of the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples before his death on the cross. Any baptized person is welcome to share in this meal of bread and wine.
What else does the church offer?
The church offers confirmation, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, unction and ordination.
What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is when a baptized person, who has been instructed in the Christian faith, makes a mature commitment to God within a worship setting and receives a special blessing and prayer from the bishop.
What is Holy Matrimony?
Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which a two people enter into a life-long union and make their promises before God in a worship service.
What is Reconciliation of a Penitent?
While private confession of sins is not a requirement, anyone may request the reconciliation of a penitent from a priest and receives assurances of God’s forgiveness. The confession is always made in private and kept in strict confidence.
What is Unction?
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.
What is Ordination?
Ordination is the sacrament whereby God empowers trained persons for special ministry as deacons, priests, or bishops. The service always includes the laying on of hands by bishops.
Dear Lord, in your sacraments you fulfill your promise to be with us always and you strengthen us to continue in communion with you in a community of faith: bring us we pray into a closer relationship with you. Amen