Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure means by which we receive that grace. Grace is God’s favor toward us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. The outward and visible sign in Baptism is water, in which the person is baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The inward and spiritual grace in Baptism is union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit. Holy Baptism must be arranged with the Dean of the Cathedral, and usually occurs four times throughout the year: The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (in January), Easter (in March or April), Pentecost (in May or June), and All Saints’ Day (in November); although other Sundays can be arranged. Preparation for baptism includes short preparatory sessions for adult and child candidates, and for sponsors and godparents.
The Holy Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. The Eucharist is the Church’s sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, it is the way by which the sacrifice of Christ is made present, and in which he unites us to his one offering of himself. The outward and visible sign in the Eucharist is bread and wine, given and received according to Christ’s command. The inward and spiritual grace in the Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Christ give to his people, and received by faith, from which we receive the forgiveness of our sins, the strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet which is our nourishment in eternal life. Participation in this sacrament requires that we should examine our lives, repent of our sins, and be in love and charity with all people.
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.
Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons, through prayer and the laying on of hands by bishops.
Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.
Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Penance, is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution
Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God’s grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body.
God is not limited to these rites; they are patterns of countless ways by which God uses material things to reach out to us. These sacraments sustain our present hope and anticipate its future fulfillment. The Christian hope is to live with confidence in newness and fullness of life, and to await the coming of Christ in glory, and the completion of God’s purpose for the world. Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even death, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.