Special Rites

Baptism: Baptism is one of the two great sacraments of the Gospel. In baptism, God we acknowledge that we are God’s children and members of Christ’s Body and the Church. Baptism is the initiation of a person into a Christian life and also the start of a relationship with the community of the Church as experienced through participation in the life of a particular congregation.

BaptismUpon entering the sanctuary at Church of the Holy Spirit, we are greeted by the sight and sound of the flowing waters of the baptismal font. The font is no ordinary place, but the sacred place of our being made over into the likeness of Jesus Christ, of our being transfused with the same Spirit of God that hovered over the waters of creation and raised Jesus from the dead. The location of the font at the entrance reminds us that we are initiated through baptism into the living Body of Christ, the community of Christian faith. Baptism is not merely a ritual of infancy, but the sacrament that forever defines the orientation of one’s life. In baptism, we do not embark upon a personal and very private journey; rather, we become part of a people who share one faith, one baptism, and one God. Together, we are called to share with one another and the world the transforming love of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.

Rev. Kathy is available to talk with you about Baptism.

If you are interested in knowing more about Baptism for an infant or child, click here.

If you are interested in knowing more about Baptism for a youth or adult, click here.

Confirmation: Confirmation, as defined in The Book of Common Prayer is “a mature public affirmation of faith and commconfirmationitment to the responsibilities of Baptism.” At Confirmation, an individual receives the laying on of hands by the bishop, thereby affirming their own faith and visibly connecting to the broader Body of Christ. Confirmation is not the completion of Christian initiation, nor is Confirmation required as a prerequisite to receiving Holy Communion. A person is a full member of the Church through Baptism. At Church of the Holy Spirit, youth who are in high school discern their desire to be Confirmed as a part of their ongoing Christian Education (Sunday School) program.

Reception and Reaffirmation: Individuals who have been active in another Christian denomination may choose to formally affiliate themselves with the Episcopal Church by being Received by the Bishop. While this is not required for membership and participation in the parish life of Church of the Holy Spirit, Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church is required for those who wish to serve as a Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, member of the Vestry or Endowment Fund Board or as an elected representative to Diocesan Committees.

At different times during their lifelong spiritual journey, individuals may choose to renew their commitment to Christ through Reaffirmation. Often, the teachers and mentors of teenagers have prepared for Confirmation may choose to reaffirm their faith at the same time.

If you would like to learn more about Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation, please speak with Rev. Kathy.

Marriage (Weddings): Christian marriage is an earnest and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. Marriage was established by God in creation and upheld by the ministry of Jesus Christ. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Jesus Christ and the Church; therefore, it is to be honored and supported by the community. The celebration of a marriage unites two people in heart, body and mind and is intended for their mutual joy, help and comfort. The blessing of the marriage asks God to assist them in honoring and keeping the promises they make. The sacrament creates marital partners as mutual ministers and a sign of Jesus Christ’s love and compassion to the world.

Rev. Kathy is available to talk with you about marriage.

If you would like to learn more about Weddings at Church of the Holy Spirit, click here.

Funerals and Memorial Services: “I am the resurrection and life, says the Lord; whoever has faith in me shall have life.” So begins the funeral/memorial service from the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church (pp. 469-503). The funeral or memorial service most often takes place in the parish church and if possible, at a time when the congregation has the opportunity to be present. At times, another location may be appropriate for the service.

The Pastoral ministry of the clergy and staff of Church of the Holy Spirit is to assist those who are mourning in the planning of such a service. Sometimes in the midst of grief it is difficult to focus on the details involved in planning a service. The clergy and staff strive to be sensitive to those who are grieving. To that end we offer some guidelines which we hope will be helpful to those who find themselves in the position of planning a service (or to anyone who wants to plan their own service ahead of time and file the service with the office).

If you would like to talk with Rev. Kathy about planning a memorial service, click on the link.
If you would like to learn more about memorial/funeral services at COHS, click here.

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