In Baptism, we are joined to Christ in his death and resurrection and made members of his body the Church. A period of preparation, decided on by the candidate and the priest, precedes baptism of adults. Parents of infants or children will discuss the service and its meaning before hand as well. Christ Church, as do most Episcopal churches, regularly administers Baptism as part of a Sunday Mass, with the congregation present, although Baptism may also be administered privately. Adults are often baptized at the Easter Vigil, a liturgy held on the evening before Easter Sunday. If you are considering baptism, any of the parish clergy would be happy to meet with you.
CONFIRMATION or RECEPTION INTO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Confirmation provides a means by which those who have been previously baptized may reaffirm their baptismal vows and by which the grace of the Holy Spirit is given to support the person in his or her life as a mature Christian. Young people are usually prepared by a series of classes and are most often confirmed at some point after 7th grade. Those who have been confirmed by bishops in the apostolic succession are not confirmed, but rather received by the Bishop into membership in the Episcopal Church. Confirmation and Reception is offered each spring, at a joint service with other area parishes.
WEDDINGS and blessingS of civil unions
"Dearly beloved..." So begins the Prayer Book's liturgy for the celebration and blessing of a marriage. It goes on to state the intentions of God for marriage and asks for the couple's whole-hearted and free consent. Christ Church's liturgy and building makes it an ideal setting for a wedding of great beauty and depth. Couples (including same-sex couples) interested in being married or having a civil marriage blessed should contact one of the parish priests. There will be a series of conversations beforehand to plan the service and to explore a Christian understanding of marriage. The Episcopal Church is open to the re-marriage of divorced persons, but it does require the consent of the Bishop of Connecticut. To be married in the Episcopal Church, one of the couple must be a baptized Christian (of any Christian tradition).
CONFESSION: RECONCILIATION OF A PENITENT
One of the great gifts of the Gospel is forgiveness and the confidence that God's love welcomes our repentance. Christ Church offers sacramental confession as a means of dealing with a troubled conscience or as part of a regular pattern of self-examination and repentance. At the great festivals, times are regularly announced when the clergy will hear confessions. Confessions can be made at any time by appointment with one of the parish priests. Any of the clergy would be more than happy to talk with you about this sacrament.
The burial rites of the Church provide a means by which friends and family can acknowledge faith and hope in the midst of loss, and a means by which we can commend those we love to God's keeping. There is not really a typical pattern these days, but most often the funeral service at Christ Church is a Requiem Mass, celebrated with the body or ashes present. At the end of the Mass, prayers are said over the body or ashes, and interment follows. The parish offers interment for ashes in its own garden. It is possible, and encouraged, to make plans for one's own burial, and the parish priest would be happy to discuss such plans.