What are the Holy Sacraments and the Sacramental Rites?
Our Book of Common Prayer defines a sacrament as an "outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as a sure and certain means by which we receive that grace." In other words, they are freely offered signs of God's love, given to us by Our Lord at pivotal moments of our lives, in part to make us tangibly aware of His constant presence in our lives. The Episcopal Church recognizes Baptism and the Eucharist as directly ordained by Christ in Holy Scripture and as essential marks of His Church. Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Holy Unction are understood as sacramental rites which are helpful in deepening our spiritual lives and connections to God. It is through these sacramental actions that we are especially aware of God's continued action in His creation, seeking to intimately engage, redeem and bless our lives.
For more information, see this section from the Book of Common Prayer's "Catechism."
Eucharist at St. John the Baptist is offered to all baptized Christians.
Confirmation and Reception
Confirmation is a sacramental rite in which a mature person, who was baptized as an infant or young child, reaffirms his or her baptismal vows with a blessing and laying on of hands by the bishop. Reception is a similar rite in which a Christian, who has been baptized as an adult in another tradition, is received into the Episcopal Church by means of a blessing and laying on of hands by the bishop. The bishop visits St. John the Baptist once a year, in part to confirm or receive new members into the Church. Prior to the bishop's visit, those wishing to be confirmed or received will be prepared by the rector through study, prayer and contemplation. If you are interested in being confirmed or received, please contact the rector.
Eucharistic Visits and Sick Calls
All parishioners are strongly urged to inform the church when they or a loved one are seriously ill and/or hospitalized. The rector is very willing to visit and pray with members of the congregation at any time, but especially when they are in need. When you contact the rector or church office, please let them know if you or your loved one would like to be anointed with oil for healing (Holy Unction) and/or to be communed (Holy Communion).
Reconciliation of a Penitent
While confession of sin may be done privately and at Mass, those desiring a priest to hear their confession should contact the rector.
Members and non-members of the parish who wish to be married at St. John the Baptist, please see Guidelines for Weddings at The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist.