Weddings, funerals and other services

Baptism Confirmation Reception
Reaffirmation Weddings Funerals





Baptism is initiation into the life of the Christian community and acknowledgement of the covenant between God and each person in Christ. It is not to be undertaken unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and in accordance with the directions in the Book of Common Prayer. Both children and adults are baptized in our tradition. Baptism is offered in the context of the Sunday Eucharist at Easter time, on the Day of Pentecost, on the Sunday after All Saints' Day, on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and at the Bishop's visitation. Arrangements should be made with the Vicar.

Confirmation affirms our covenants with God in Jesus Christ entered into at Baptism. When we confirm an airline reservation, we confirm our intention to fly as well as the carrier's promise to take us where we want to go. The Sacrament Rite of Confirmation is a conscious statement of our intention to make the Christian journey. For these reasons, the Vicar of Faith Church does not set a specific age for Confirmation, but welcomes all who are willing to make this commitment to the journey when they are ready. Classes are offered prior to the Bishop's annual visitation, when conformation is administered.

Reception means being welcomed by the Bishop into the Episcopal Church, and is the means by which persons who have been confirmed in other traditions are made members of our Church.

Reaffirmation of Faith is also a possibility during the Bishop's visitation and is done by the laying on of hands to acknowledge a deepening of faith in the life of one who is already confirmed.



Weddings

Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that at least one of the parties be a baptized Christian; that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses; and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State of New Hampshire and the Canons of the Church.

Remarriage of divorced persons is permitted in the Canons of the Episcopal Church. After one year has passed since a divorce has become final, consideration can be given to remarriage in the Church. A thorough interview with a clergy person is required before any determination can be made concerning remarriage, and special application must be made to the Bishop.

Before any plans are made, a prospective bride and groom should talk with the Vicar. It is a firm requirement that this initial interview be well in advance of the marriage itself, to allow plenty of time for marital preparation. Members of the Church and couples not associated with the Church who are willing to become acquainted with it's life and worship, and who are willing to spend six to ten hours of preparation with the Vicar are welcome.

Flowers and music are important details for a wedding. Normally flowers are placed on the altar. The Church organist is responsible for music, which must meet the Vicar's final approval. Popular or secular music is properly reserved for the reception. The bride and groom should meet with the organist in the Church to discuss arrangements well in advance of the ceremony.

Fees are expected for the organist and the cleaning of the Church, if needed. No fee is required by the Vicar, although it is customary to make a donation to the Discretionary Fund. Non-members pay for the use of the Church as well.






Funerals

Baptized Christians are properly buried from the Church at a time when the congregation has the opportunity to be present. Normally the Burial Office is read at the service with prayers of committal being offered at the graveside. It is appropriate that the service be in the context of a Eucharist, if that is agreeable to the family. Arrangements and plans should be made with the Vicar before details are confirmed with the funeral director. The casket is always closed before the service and covered with a flag or a funeral pall. Arrangements may also include cremation either before or after the service. Those who wish are welcome to write out funeral instructions and file them with the Vicar.

Advance Directives are legal documents specifying a person's wishes in the event of severe impairment. Members of the congregation are encouraged to consider writing Advance Directives as well as a will for the disposition of property. It is very important that parents of minor aged children also make appropriate arrangements for the care of their children in the event of their death.

The Faith Church Memorial Fund provides a convenient way for friends and relatives to make donations to the Church in memory of one who has died. Such gifts are used to purchase Church appointments of lasting quality, such as sacramental vessels and other furnishings.





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