As a Parish of the Anglo-Catholic Tradition we are Anglicans very in-tune with the Sacraments of Christ’s Church. The Sacraments are in two groups: Those considered “Generally Necessary to Salvation”, and those that are not.
Holy Baptism is the Sacrament by which we are initiated into the Church: The Body of Christ. In the Rite the Baptized person will have water poured on them three times: Once in the name of God the Father; once in the name of God the Son; and once in the name of God the Holy Spirit. As Anglicans, and particularly as Anglo-Catholics, we believe that this is a regenerative act, that is, that the baptized person has been regenerated to a new Spiritual Life.
Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is the Sacrament by which we receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ under the forms of Bread and Wine. At Stephen’s we receive this Sacrament weekly at the service of Mass.
Confession, sometimes known as Reconciliation, is a sacrament by which a penitential member of the Church seeks forgiveness for the sins that he or she has committed. During Mass there is a general confession of the Faithful which is followed by the Priest announcing God’s absolution. However, we also believe that the penitent can approach a Priest to give a private confession if there are any sins that they feel particularly compelled to express and seek absolution for.
Confirmation is a Sacrament in which we seek to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. In many respects it is a follow-up to our Baptism as the Confirmand makes a statement of his or her faith to the Bishop. The Bishop will then lay their hands on the Confirmand and ask God to send down the Holy Spirit. Confirmation is usually done only after the Confrimand has gone through a series of classes to ensure that their faith is well developed.
Matrimony is a Sacrament by which a man and a woman are joined together into a life-long mystical and hallowed union that signifies the union between Christ and his Church.
Anointing of the Sick
The Anointing of the Sick is a Sacrament by which a Priest will pray over and for a Christian who is ill and possibly facing death due to illness or injury. It is important to recognize that Anointing of the Sick and Last Rites (or Extreme Unction) are not entirely the same thing. When Last Rites are given people are Anointed and Confessed with the probable knowledge they will soon die. When the Anointing of the Sick occurs there is a reasonable hope the person will recover.
All members of the Church, being members of Christ’s mystical Body, have a certain vocation or calling. For some persons it is a vocation to Ordained Ministry as either a Deacon, Priest or Bishop. In this Sacrament the Ordinand will have a Bishop lay their hands upon their head and pray that the Holy Spirit will grant them the Gifts and the Grace to fulfill their role.