One of two necessary sacraments for Christian life (the other is the Holy Eucharist), Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. We offer baptismal preparation for candidates for holy baptism (if of age to answer for themselves), parents, and godparents in both English and Spanish. There are four days in the Christian calendar that are set aside as especially appropriate for baptism: the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day, and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany). Although there are rare exceptions, we celebrate the Rite of Baptisms on those days.
Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation
According to our Book of Common Prayer, those who should be Confirmed are “those baptized at an early age, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism” as well as “those baptized as adults, (who are) also expected to make a public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism in the presence of a bishop and to receive the laying on of hands.”
We also prepare those who were confirmed in other Christian denominations to be Received into the Episcopal Church, as well as those who have been Confirmed in the Episcopal Church who wish to Reaffirm their commitment to their Confirmation.
Only a bishop may administer the sacraments of Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation. At Intercession, we receive a visitation from a bishop every other year; in the years when we don’t have a visitation, we prepare candidates for the general diocesan service of Confirmation at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage
We celebrate the rites for the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage provided in the Book of Common Prayer and, for same-sex marriages, in the Episcopal Church’s Rite for the Blessing of a Same-Sex Marriage. Preparation for the celebration of the sacrament is the same in both cases: the couple is required to participate in four to six sessions of premarital counseling, and one of the Episcopal liturgies must be used, with or without Holy Communion.
We offer several different altar options in our magnificent church for your wedding: the high altar or the choir altar in the nave, or our Mary Chapel altar for a small, intimate wedding, as well as different options for music. We also have several different possibilities for reception spaces, if desired.
Memorial Service or Funeral
We offer several options for celebrating the life of a deceased loved on, following the Burial of the Dead liturgies provided in our Book of Common Prayer: the earlier, more archaic language of Rite One, or the more modern language of Rite Two, either with or without Holy Communion. Our Music Director, Mr. William Randolph, will help you explore musical options for the service, and we have several reception spaces available for a repast, if desired.
Have any questions?
Don't hesitate to reach out to us!