Baptisms, weddings, funerals and memorial services. These profound moments of transition are part of the heartbeat of our church life. We honor these sacraments of the church at Saint Mark’s and urge you to let us know how we can be of service.
Life Events at Saint Mark’s
Holy Baptism is full initiation into Christ's Body, the Church, accepting God’s embrace of us as beloved children and answering God’s call to us as servants of Christ. The outward and visible sign of baptism is water, in which the person is baptized in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, marking the beginning of a new stage in our journey of faith. We baptize youth and adults who are ready to commit themselves to Christ, and infants whose parents and sponsors promise that they will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be supported in following him. The Episcopal Church recognizes as valid any baptism administered with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Baptisms take place during Sunday worship throughout the year and at the Great Vigil of Easter, giving the opportunity for the whole community to welcome new members and promise to support them. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or your child, please contact one of the clergy.
In the rite of Confirmation, 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.
If you have been confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in the historic succession (Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or Eastern Orthodox), you may choose to be received by the bishop as a way of affirming your spiritual home in the Episcopal Church and acknowledging a continuing commitment to a life of faith. If you have been baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church and wish to recommit yourself to a Christian life of faith and service, you may choose to reaffirm your baptismal covenant with the bishop in this rite. You can find the service of Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation, from the Book of Common Prayer, here: Confirmation, Reception & Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows.
The Church’s role in marriage is to offer God’s blessing for the lifelong relationship of two individuals, to pray for God to give them strength and wisdom in keeping the vows they make to one another, and to support them in prayer as they begin their married life. For more information about being married at Saint Mark’s, please contact the church office.
As a person's earthly life ends, the church stands ready to help with giving thanks for the life of a loved one, rejoicing in the new life they have in God's eternal kingdom, and praying with and supporting those who are grieving. Funerals or memorial services are conducted using one of the burial rites in the Book of Common Prayer (Rite II or Rite I) and are generally conducted by one of the parish clergy.
One of the gifts we can give to our family is indicating in advance some of our wishes concerning our own burial/cremation and accompanying services. Those responsible for planning a service take comfort in knowing that one of our favorite hymns or scripture passages is being used (some suggested readings are here), or that a special ministry or organization has been designated to receive memorial gifts.
This form, printed out and given to your family and/or the clergy, can be used to indicate such preferences or to note any advance plans that have been made; filling out even a few items is helpful. Estate planning, to protect one's assets and distribute them as desired—making provision for family, the church, and other organizations—is an important part of good stewardship; you can find helpful links for this process here.