Joining the Family of God
RITES OF INITIATION—BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION
The Christian journey begins with baptism through which we become brothers and sisters in Christ. A person may be baptised at any age. Through confirmation, the baptised Christians are strengthened in their vows made at baptism. Candidates who seek baptism and confirmation receive preparation from the clergy and parish. These sacraments are offered to those who desire to live out their baptismal vocation with the parish community. THANKSGIVING FOR A CHILD Upon the birth of a child, the church offers prayers of thanksgiving which may be offered in the hospital, in the home or at church. This rite marks a joyous, and sometimes traumatic event for a family. In time, the family may wish to present the child for baptism. Acknowledging a loss of pregnancy may also be a time to reach out in prayer with pastoral accompaniment. At this time, it can be a reassurance to know that another is upholding us in prayer and sharing with us in our loss. THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM Baptism is offered on the following days:
- Baptism of the Lord (January)
- Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday of Holy Week)
- Pentecost (May/June)
- Holy Cross Day (September)
- and on occassion All Saints Day (November)
Other times may be possible, depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the Rector. Parishioners wishing to have an infant or child baptised should contact the office at 604 685 2532 or email us at email@example.com for more infomation. The Mothers’ Union will prepare the family for the ceremony, as well as for the commitment of bringing a child into the church family.
The Baptismal Covenant
Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? With God’s help, I will. Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord? With God’s help, I will. Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ? With God’s help, I will. Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself? With God’s help, I will. Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? With God’s help, I will.
The essential rite of confirmation is the laying on of hands by the bishop accompanied by these words: “Strengthen, O Lord, your servant N with your Holy Spirit; empower him/her for your service; and sustain him/her all the days of his/her life. Amen.” The fullest expression of this rite is when the forehead is anointed with the oil of chrism prior to these words – as happens in many Anglican dioceses.
“Confirmation is the rite in which 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.” (Book of Common Prayer, 1979, The Episcopal Church) The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1319) offers us this description: “A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.”
The Holy Eucharist, also called Holy Communion, is the sacrament commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. In the Holy Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered, and received.
ANOINTING FOR HEALING
Since New Testament times, Christians have offered prayer with the laying on of hands and anointing. Customarily, holy oil is traced with the sign of the cross on our foreheads and in the palms of our hands. During the anointing, it is Christ himself who touches us as the priest says, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy strengthen and uphold you by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.” The sacrament of anointing is offered on Thursday mornings during the Mass and by request. You may receive the sacrament for yourself, on behalf of another person or for a circumstance or situation in life needing healing. It is customary to receive anointing once for the same intention. This sacrament is not offered as a cure but for growth in our wholeness and grace. It is also offered at the time of dying for one’s journey to God.
The sacrament of marriage is an outward and visible sign of God’s love and mirrors Christ’s love for the Church. It is a high calling and sacred trust between us and the Holy Trinity. The sanctifying grace of this sacrament will always be with us. Preparation for celebration of the sacrament begins with conversation with a parish priest.
Forgiveness and reconciliation is at the heart of Jesus Christ’s teaching and life. At nearly every Mass, the people make an act of corporate confession and the priest gives absolution in the name of Christ. Sacramental confession is a grace-filled opportunity to privately confess to God in the hearing of a priest, who then pronounces absolution. For Catholic Christians, this sacrament is treasured as an opportunity to grow in grace and conversion. It equips us on our journey of reconciliation with God, the world, others, and ourselves. This sacrament may be celebrated by penitents monthly, in preparation for Holy Days, or as their conscience prompts them during a lifetime. Sacramental confession is available on Sundays before High Mass at the confessionals at the back of the church or by arrangement with a priest.
Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordinal.
We believe that the mystery of life continues through death. As Catholic Christians, our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ inspires us to celebrate the death of our loved ones with hope and joy even in the midst of sorrow. Therefore we celebrate a Mass (Requiem Mass including communion and music) with the body present, if possible, to honour that it was a temple of the Holy Spirit. A Vigil, a simple rite of prayers and scripture, may also be observed when the body is brought into the church the night before the Requiem. Since the days after a death are often so demanding, observing a vigil is a opportunity for stillness and reflection.
Our dying can be a precious opportunity for our transformation and conversion. Holy anointing (last rites, last unction) is a sacramental gift to equip us on our journey into the mystery of God. If you have lost a loved one and have been entrusted with making funeral arrangements, St. James’ Church can help. For information regarding the Pastoral Care ministry, please contact the office and leave a message for Joyce Locht.
SAME SEX BLESSING
You will find an inclusive, diverse community at St. James’ and we are delighted to be able to offer the blessing of same sex marriages. Please speak to one of the clergy about preparing for this special celebration of your civil union.
Couples wishing to arrange a wedding or marriage blessing at St. James’ can find more information regarding costs and availability of the church and clergy by contacting the office at: 604-658-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org