Sacraments of the Church
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which we are adopted as God’s children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. Baptism is normally celebrated within the context of the Mass or Holy Communion.
The principal act of worship in the Episcopal Church on Sundays is the Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist. It is also referred to in our Church by other ancient traditional names such as The Mass. Different terms simply refer to different aspects of the same action: a ritual meal based on the last supper of Christ with his apostles. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive God’s life and favor.
The Episcopal Church teaches that “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.”
Persons who are to be confirmed must have been baptized in the Episcopal Church or in another Christian denomination. Adults who have been confirmed by a bishop in the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or any of the Eastern Orthodox churches may be received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop.
Other Sacramental Rites
There are other Sacramental Rites that have evolved in the Church: ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, and holy unction. Although they are means of grace (God’s freely given life to each person) they are not necessary for all persons in the same way that Baptism and Holy Communion are.