Holy Baptism at All Saints
Holy Baptism begins with a question: “Hath this Child (Person) been already baptized, or no?” The priest asks this question because a person can only be baptized once. To baptize a person more than once would show a misunderstanding of baptism in addition to calling into question the character of God himself. God’s word of honor is always good. Because Christian baptism is performed in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and since our Lord instituted baptism, the very honor of God is at issue. No one is more reliable than God. Once a person is baptized according to the words Jesus handed off to his Apostles, he is forever baptized. Baptism remains an indelible mark upon the soul whether or not one remains a faithful servant of Christ — but in such a case of disobedience it would be a mark of judgment instead of blessedness. Holy Baptism is the first sacrament that a Christian receives because it is the sacrament that effects our New Birth into the Family of God. Children born to parishioners of All Saints should be baptized as soon as possible in the parish church in the Sunday service of the Holy Eucharist if possible. It is our presupposition that all of the children baptized will be raised up in the Church worshipping the Blessed Trinity and instructed in the doctrines of the Church. For that reason we baptize only the children of the parents of All Saints or children of parents we know. For more information please contact Fr. Spencer.
Marriage at All Saints
According to the Book of Common Prayer Matrimony is “an honorable estate, instituted of God…and therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, and soberly, and in the fear of God.” In the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony on page 303, the Book of Common Prayer declares that Christian matrimony is a state of being between one man and one woman that represents “the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and the Church…” The word “matrimony” comes from the Latin “matrimonium,” which was derived from the word for “material” or “substance.” “Substance” is simply that from which things are made. The Latin “mater,” which translated means “mother,” indicates the same thing. All of us were made from our mothers. In the Nicene Creed* when we profess that Jesus Christ “was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary” we are, by professing the “of,” declaring our belief that the very material or substance of Christ’s humanity came from his mother Mary. Matrimony means Motherhood. It is important to note that the man and the woman enter a state of matrimony, not patrimony. According to the logic of the liturgy of the BCP a maiden (how quaint that word in our day!) enters the state of motherhood when she is married, not when (and if) she actually, biologically, conceives and bears children. The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony bestows the grace of “motherhood,” so that she may walk faithfully in that vocation. Children do not make a mother; God makes the mother so that children have a mother to come to. Holy Matrimony is one of the happiest and sobering turning points in our life. In order to be married in the Church both man and woman must be baptized and at least one of them must be confirmed in the Church. Because we understand Matrimony to be a sacrament of the Church we administer it only to the members of Christ’s Church we know. Because Matrimony is a life-long union between one man and one woman we generally require three months of pre-marital counseling. If you wish to be married in All Saints parish church please contact Fr. Spencer.
Funerals at All Saints
It is most appropriate that whenever a Christian dies, his funeral and burial should be conducted under the auspices of the parish of which he was an active member. Sometimes, however, this is not possible and other times the person who has died is not a member of a church family. Should these circumstances arise, at the request of the family, All Saints parish will provide a Christian funeral and burial for any baptized Christian. All funerals should be held in the parish church itself with Fr. Spencer directing the event with the funeral home professionals. However, many times the use of funeral home chapels or simple graveside services are preferred and we certainly will assist in those cases. It is however preference of the Church that the funeral be conducted at the altar of the parish church. Funerals held here at All Saints should include either the casket or the urn containing remains of the deceased. Music is available though our organist and choirmaster. Flowers are not permitted on the Altar for funerals. It is not appropriate to flood the altar with flowers, however some flowers may be place in the narthex. The service will be conducted using the Burial Office of the Book of Common Prayer (p. 324ff.) This information is meant to give you a basic understanding of what we can do for in the event you wish the church to handle the funeral and burial of your loved one. Please contact our Rector, Fr. Glenn Spencer, at the church office (434-979-2842) or email him. He can guide you through the process and fill you in on all the details of having a funeral here or elsewhere. If you are a member of All Saints, we expect your funeral will occur here at the parish church. If one of our members is at the point of death Fr. Spencer should be called immediately regardless of the hour (434-409-3489). He should also be called immediately when a member has died. The funeral for a member of our parish may include the Holy Communion. This is commonly called a Requiem Mass. Contact Fr. Spencer for any questions you may have or even if you would like to pre-plan for your funeral.