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Sacraments

What do Episcopalians believe about the Eucharist?

Episcopalians believe that God is truly present in the bread and wine/juice that we bless, break, and eat together through the Holy Spirit present in the one receiving them. Within that belief, you will find Episcopalians who approach the Eucharist on a continuum from the bread and wine truly being the body and blood of Jesus all the way over to those for whom they are a remembrance of what Jesus did for each of us. We believe that everyone is welcome at God’s table.  You don’t have to be an Episcopalian to join everyone at the rail. Wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are invited. You can stand or kneel at the rail.  And if you’d like to participate, but don’t want to receive the bread or wine, simply cross your hands over your chest and we will be glad to give you a blessing instead.

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Baptism

Baptism is one of the primary sacraments of the Christian faith.  This sacramental act is our affirmation of what is already true—that God loves all people, including the one we name in this moment—and our celebration of that truth. Baptism is a sacrament of belonging – to God, to God’s family the Church, and to this specific congregation. We experience baptism as the beginning, and we spend our whole lives living into the vows we take. {Link to the BCP p.302-03}

We gather as one body to witness and bless the baptisms of new persons in Christ. In the rite, we welcome these new ones and the entire congregation vows to support them in their life in Christ. In community we learn to walk in that faith, and we develop more fully, living out what we believe together.

When someone is baptized at St. Simon’s not only do they become part of God’s family, but also a member of this particular congregation (there are also other ways to do that {this should be a link to “How do I join”}. If you are seeking baptism for yourself or your child, we invite you to spend several months with us, to see if we are the community of faith for you. During that time, you may talk with the Parish Office about the possibility of baptism. For those who have been members of our community for some time, you can complete the Request for Holy Baptism at St. Simon’s.

Weddings

Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of God.  The Episcopal Church joyfully celebrates marriage between two people of all genders. A wedding is a covenant of love – the promise of hope between two people who love each other, who understand their love as a gift of God, and who wish to share the future together. It enables two separate people to share their desires, longings, dreams, and memories, and to help each other through their uncertainties. In this covenant, two people belong together, providing mutual support and stability, and if it be God’s will, a place in which their children may grow.

Weddings take place in the gathered community, in the presence of God.  As a church community, we recognize and bless the couple’s relationship as they begin their married life together. The Episcopal Church requires that at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the canons of the church.

Planning for a wedding at St. Simon’s begins with contacting the Parish Office.

Image by Alison Cosker
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Burials: A Celebration of Life

The death of a loved one is an occasion of deep sorrow. It is also a time for the Church to offer comfort to the bereaved, and to assist family members in planning a service that will express thanksgiving for the departed, and witness to the assurance of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Episcopal Church, a burial is a celebration of resurrection. This is beautifully symbolized by the color for altar hangings and clergy vestments, which is always white for funerals because the liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. The message is clear: because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.

“Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even death, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.” The Book of Common Prayer, page 862.

Please contact the Parish Office, if you need assistance with a burial.