I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
- John 11:25-26
When a member of our Church family dies, the clergy and congregation should be notified as soon as possible so we can offer support and assist in the planning of arrangements, including a service.
Among the most beautiful liturgies in The Book of Common Prayer is the service for the Burial of the Dead. These are Easter liturgies because, even in our grief, we find our hope and meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall be raised. That is why these liturgies are 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 creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This joy does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus. While we rejoice that the one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
And so, the two shall become one flesh.
- Mark 10:8
Holy matrimony is the only sacrament that serves both a civil and religious purpose. While couples can choose to be married legally anywhere, those who seek a service of marriage in the church do so with a spirit of both celebration and reverence.
Holy matrimony was established by God in creation for the purpose of joining together two people into a holy, lifelong union. With the gathered community present, the couple makes vows to each other, and to God, and is assured of the community’s prayers and support, and of God’s blessing.
Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, and as such, the couple engages in pre-marital counseling with the officiating priest prior to the celebration and blessing of the marriage.
A marriage ceremony that takes place at Christ Church implies an ongoing relationship with the couple and the church. Persons who wish to be married in Christ Church must be a member for one year, or be the child of one who has been a member for at least one year before a wedding can be scheduled.
We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.
- Holy Baptism, The Book of Common Prayer (page 306)
Infant/Young Child Baptism
At Christ Church, having a child baptized includes attending one baptism class for parents and godparents, selecting sponsors/godparents and a period of prayer prior to baptism. To begin, contact Anderson Davis via firstname.lastname@example.org for available baptism dates.
Preparing for Baptism
Parents are required to attend one baptism class, not only to learn more about baptism, but also to reflect on their own faith journey and hopes for their child’s life of faith. The class also provides an opportunity to build community with other parents in the parish. During the class, families will have an opportunity to walk through the service and rehearse for the baptism.
The role of sponsors and/or godparents is a special one. In the case of infants and young children, they make a vow on behalf of the baptized to support them in the Christian faith and life. A godparent is a baptized Christian, someone with whom you share your faith, and one who will support your child throughout their lifelong faith journey. Godparents are encouraged and invited to attend the baptism class with the families when possible.
We baptize both adults and children, as did the earliest Christian church. Baptism for adults (and older children) is distinct from infants and young children in that candidates are asked to answer for themselves at the baptism. They are also invited to prepare for the sacrament through self-examination, prayer and inquiry with the support of the congregation. As with infants and their godparents, adults are asked to chose at least one sponsor who has already been baptized and who will vow to support the baptismal candidate in his or her faith within the wider faith community. If you have been baptized in another Christian denomination, we honor and celebrate that. You do not need to be baptized again; however, if you choose to reaffirm your faith we have a similar rite in which you may do so. For more information, contact Anderson Davis via email@example.com.
Notify us of a birth or adoption by sending an email to Karen Connor McGugan.
O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that whoever receives a little child in the name of Christ receives Christ himself: We give you thanks for the blessing you have bestowed upon this family in giving them a child. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a child, from the Book of Common Prayer (page 443)
The Bible tells us that the birth of a child is both a joyous and solemn occasion in the life of a family. It is also an occasion for rejoicing in the Christian community. Whether the child joins a family through birth or adoption, the church is here to welcome, support and witness the new and sacred relationship that has commenced.
May God the Father, who by creating us adopts us as his children, grant you grace. Amen.
May God the Son, who sanctified a home at Nazareth, fill you with love. Amen.
May God the Holy Spirit, who has made the Church one family, keep you in peace. Amen.