Church of Our Saviour in particular (and Episcopalians generally) are “sacramental” Christians. We believe that God’s grace is active in our lives from birth to death. Sometimes we see it clearly and embrace it with gratitude and joy. Sometimes (indeed much of the time) we ignore it, take it for granted and even avoid it. But still, we believe that grace is all around us. As a church we find all sorts of ways to make this grace of God visible, to support one another in claiming it as God’s free gift to us, and in allowing it to transform our lives so that we can be better citizens of God’s kingdom.
The Episcopal Church teaches that baptism is the sacrament through which people are joined with the Body of Christ. We baptize people of any age. At Church of Our Saviour, Holy Baptism is administered as part of the Eucharist on the following occasions: at the Easter Vigil (March or April), on the day of Pentecost (May or June), on the Sunday after All Saints’ Day (November), on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (January) and on other Sundays throughout the year as scheduled. Candidates for baptism (or if they are children/infants, their parents and sponsors) attend baptismal preparation with one of the clergy.
Solemn communion is offered for children in second grade or higher, to deepen their understanding of what takes place during the Eucharist. (Young children in our Parish receive communion from the time they communicate a desire for it, but may want to know more about the sacrament as they get older.) It involves a series of classes, culminating with the Solemn Communion Service where each child is welcomed into a deeper relationship with God. In the classes, adults and children wonder together about the mystery of communion and the profound gift given to us in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It is an invitation to consider a singular moment in a child’s spiritual life in new and age appropriate ways. The class is offered every winter.
The Episcopal Church expects that all adult members will, after appropriate instruction, make a mature pubic affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their baptism and will be confirmed by a bishop of the church. Church of Our Saviour offers an adult inquirer’s class on the history, theology, liturgy, and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and its place within the larger Christian faith. This class is a prerequisite for Confirmation. For young people, preparation for confirmation through instruction is offered every year. Adolescent inquirers may choose to be confirmed at the end of this instruction.
Baptized persons who have been confirmed by a bishop in a Christian Church with the historic episcopate (such as the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church) or by a bishop of a church in communion with the Episcopal Church (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) are, after appropriate instruction, “received” by a bishop into the Episcopal Church
Any person who has received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism (with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit in the Episcopal or other Christian Church) may become a member of Church of Our Saviour by letting us know who you are, taking part in the Holy Eucharist, and making a regular commitment to financially support our parish (At COS we call it a 'pledge.') People may pledge at whatever level circumstances allow.
On the second Tuesday of every month, we celebrate Holy Eucharist at 6:15 in the evening. For those who attend this service, the sacrament of healing, sometimes called unction, is available. Persons have the opportunity for a priest to anoint them with blessed oil and pray for healing.
The sacrament of reconciliation is often called "confession." It provides an opportunity to unburden oneself to a priest, in strict confidentiality. The priest pronounces God's forgiveness and encourages the person to move forward, confident in God’s love.
FUNERALS & MEMORIAL CELEBRATIONS
The clergy at Church of Our Saviour is always ready to offer solace and comfort for those who experience the loss of a loved one, and to work with you to provide a suitable funeral or memorial service.
When death takes away a beloved friend or family member, Church of Our Saviour (COS) believes that there are three ways to respond:
Grieve the loss of a person who will be sadly missed;
Celebrate their life and the enduring gifts they have left behind;
Pray them into heaven, enshrouding them in their new experience with the comforting love they knew here.
Our bereavement counseling and public worship services honor all three of these important manifestations of loss.
At the Time of Death
COS parishioners know that sacramental moments help mark the various transitions in life, including the last one. Anointing is offered at any time of poor health or strain in an individual’s or family’s life. It is especially important when an illness has been deemed terminal or a physical condition becomes dire.
Both the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and individual ministers at COS offer a variety of ways to prepare for the final passage of life. We have an “End of Life” ministry, which can be accessed by parishioners and anyone who feels the need of this service. Contact the Parish Life Director.
Planning a Service
Among the many concerns that strike family and friends following the death of a loved one is planning a suitable public gathering. The Episcopal Church provides beautiful and rich Christian services that are readily adapted to individual circumstances. The Parish Life Director is available to help.
The “End of Life” ministry also assists individuals in pre-planning their service.