Sacramental Life

The Episcopal Church is a sacramental church.  That means that we adhere to the seven traditional sacraments: baptism, the Holy Eucharist, confirmation, marriage, confession, unction, and holy orders.  Please scroll down to learn more about each of the sacraments.

 

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Baptism

Baptism is the first step toward the Christian life, and the process that allows for participation in all of the other sacraments.  Baptism is a dominical sacrament, meaning Jesus Christ commanded it in the Bible.  In the Episcopal Church, we baptize persons of any age, infants as well as adults.  Prior to baptism, there is a required period of instruction and counseling for the parents and godparents in the case of infants and children, and classes for adults desiring baptism.  Click on the link below for more information.


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Holy Eucharist

"Eucharist" comes from the Greek language and means "thanksgiving."  Celebration of the Holy Eucharist is the principal service on Sunday, and is also known as "the Mass" or "the Lord's Supper."  Along with baptism, the Eucharist is the other dominical sacrament, meaning it was commanded by Jesus Christ in the Bible.  At the Last Supper on the night before Jesus was crucified, he declared that the bread was his body and the wine was his blood.  We believe that during the consecration of the bread and wine offered during the mass, those two elements become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  In the Episcopal Church, all baptized Christians (regardless of age or tradition) are invited and permitted to receive the Eucharist, even babies!  As such, we do not offer the rite of First Communion, because the day one is baptized is the day he/she makes the first communion.


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Confirmation

Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.  It is not the completion of baptism. Historically, when a bishop could not travel to all the parishes in his diocese to do baptisms, he allowed local priests to perform baptisms.  At a later time, the bishop would "confirm" the baptism.  In our modern day, it is customary for the local priest to perform baptisms, so confirmation serves two functions.  When someone is baptized as an infant, the parents, godparents, and the gathered community (the rest of the congregation) agrees to bring up, support, and teach the child in the Christian life; later in life, confirmation represents a rite of passage when the child takes responsibility for his/her own Christian formation.  In the case of adults, the decision to be baptized means one has accepted responsibility for his/her Christian life; confirmation involves the laying on of hands by the bishop and represents a tradition that is over 2,000 years old and links a brand new Christian to the earliest Christians of the 1st Century AD.  Confirmation is offered to anyone age 13 or older.  Confirmation classes for 2017 have begun.  For more information, please click here.  If you are interested in classes, please contact the Rector.


Marriage

Christian marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is the rite in which two persons enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.  The ceremony is also legally binding.  If you are interested in marriage or having your wedding at All Saints, please contact the Rector.


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Confession

We are all sinners!  Everyone makes mistakes.  Reconciliation of the Penitent, also known as the Confession, is a rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Confessions at All Saints are done face-to-face in front of the altar, not in a confessional booth.  If you are interested in making your sacramental confession, please contact the Rector.


Unction of the Sick

Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God's grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body.  Unction is offered every Sunday in the Chapel of St. Matthew, immediately following all masses.  Visits to the home, hospital, or nursing facility for unction and communion may be arranged by contacting the Rector.

 


Holy Orders

The Episcopal Church follows the ancient and historic practice of bishops, priests, and deacons in the leadership of the Church.  We can trace our orders to the ancient church through the line of apostolic succession that reaches back to the first apostles.  Ordination to holy orders is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons, through prayer and the laying on of hands by bishops.  If you would like more information about holy orders, you must first speak to the Rector regarding the process toward ordination in The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Long Island.

Text sources are adapted from "The Catechism" in the Book of Common Prayer (1979), and photos come from various sources on the internet.