A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace. Our prayer book defines grace as “God’s favor towards us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.” (BCP 858).
A sacrament is described as an external manifestation of something that happens internally, or an earthly sign of a heavenly activity.
In the Episcopal Church, there are seven sacraments. The two taught by Jesus are Baptism and Eucharist. The five sacraments taught by the church are confirmation, healing, reconciliation, marriage, and ordination.
Baptism is the sacrament of beginning for all new Christians. When you are baptized, you become a member of Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church – which is made up of all Christians everywhere. Our prayer book says baptism is “union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and the new life in the Holy Spirit.” (BCP 858). People of all ages can be baptized, from infancy to adulthood. All baptisms are performed as part of the regular Sunday worship service, with a special liturgy for the event. Please speak to a priest to arrange for baptism.
The Sacrament of Baptism is generally offered on the following days:
- The First Sunday after the Epiphany – First Sunday after January 6
- The Easter Vigil – Easter Eve, 7:00 PM
- Pentecost Sunday – 7 weeks after Easter
- All Saints Sunday – First Sunday after November 1
- Other dates as arranged with priest performing the ceremony.
Holy Eucharist is the principal worship service at Christ Church and throughout the Episcopal Church. The term Holy Eucharist refers to both the sacrament and the worship service surrounding it. In the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, the priest blesses bread and wine—representing Christ’s body and blood—and shares it with the congregation. The worship service we call Holy Eucharist goes back to the first century, when the early Christians combined the Jewish religious practice of holy readings and prayers with the sacrament of the Eucharist. At Christ Church and throughout the Episcopal Church, the Eucharist is not optional. It’s core to our Christian tradition, tying us back each week to the Last Supper, to Christ’s personal sacrifice, to Christ’s resurrection, and to two millennia of Christian religious practice. For us, Christ is truly present to us in the Eucharist. Eucharist comes from a Greek word that means Thanksgiving. The entire liturgy is our offering of thanks to God. We welcome you to participate with us in this ancient and holy tradition.
In the Episcopal Church, marriage is a solemn and public covenant, in the presence of God, and it is a sacramental rite. Marriage is a legal contract between two people being married. Christian marriage is not merely a legal contract but a covenant. It is a sacred promise involving not only the two people being married but also God and the gathered community. All marriage ceremonies will conform to the liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer. All persons wishing to be married in the Episcopal Church must complete the Prepare and Enrich program with a trained advisor. If you wish to be married at Christ Church or by a clergy member of Christ Church, please contact them personally.