Sacraments and Rites
Sacraments are outward and visible signs of the presence of God in our lives. They represent important, indeed sacred milestones in our faith journeys. St. Luke’s welcomes all to enter into Jesus and live out their relationship with God through sacramental participation and celebration. Baptism and Eucharist are the two great sacraments given by Christ to the Church. In addition to these sacraments, the Episcopal Church recognizes five sacramental rites through which God’s grace may be shared: confirmation, ordination, marriage, confession, and unction of the sick. To learn more about Sacraments at St. Luke’s Church, please contact our Rector, The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Parish Administrator, Christina Imondi (email: email@example.com or phone: 884-4116, ext 100).
In Baptism, a person is initiated into Christ’s body by water and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is available to both adults and infants. At St. Luke’s, most baptisms are done by sprinkling water. Each candidate for baptism has at least one sponsor (or godparent) who is a baptized Christian (of any denomination.) Adult candidates or parents of children may be asked to attend a baptism preparation session including a short practice so that all will know what to expect. For more information please contact The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sacrament of Christ’s body and blood is shared as bread and wine in the service of the Holy Eucharist (also known as the Mass, Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper). It is based on the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper and we believe that Christ’s body and blood are truly present in this sacrament. At St. Luke’s, the Eucharistic liturgy is celebrated every Sunday. A person may receive just the bread if that is preferred. We have gluten free bread at every Eucharist – just mention it to the priest at the time of communion. For more information please contact The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at email@example.com.
Confirmation and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows
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. Confirmation is offered to youth (preferably about 16 years of age) and adults who have been baptized. Those who have been previously confirmed may wish to reaffirm their faith when the bishop visits the congregation. Additionally, adults who have been confirmed in another denomination can be received into the Episcopal Church as part of this confirmation liturgy. Instructional classes for confirmands are generally offered prior to the bishop’s visit. For more information please contact either The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ordination of bishops, priests and deacons is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to candidates through prayer and the laying on of hands by bishops. In the Rhode Island diocese, the Bishop works with the Commission on Ministry to help persons discern a calling to ordination. For more information please contact either The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at email@example.com.
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, commonly known as a wedding, is an expression of Christian community in which a couple makes their vows before God and the Church, and the priest blesses the marriage on behalf of the Church. Marriage is available to those who are participants in the life of this community. One member of the couple must be a baptized Christian and the couple must make a commitment that the marriage is intended to be lifelong. It is important that the couple meets with the priest before making any decisions about when or where their wedding will be held. The Blessing of a Civil Union is available to those who have been legally married before but want a religious ceremony at a later date. St. Luke’s is among the many congregations in the Rhode Island Diocese that offers blessings to same-sex couples. For more information please contact The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Private Confession (Reconciliation of a Penitent)
Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Penance, is the rite in which a person makes a private confession to God in the presence of a priest. After confession, the penitent receives spiritual guidance and assurance of pardon from the priest. As in most Episcopal churches, a General Confession is said by the congregation as part of the Eucharist liturgy conducted at St. Luke’s. If you would like to arrange a time for a private confession, please contact The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at email@example.com.
Unction (Anointing of the Sick)
In this sacramental rite, the priest lays hands on the head of a sick person and anoints them with oil that has been blessed by the bishop. It is available to anyone who is need of God’s healing grace. Healing services at St. Luke’s are held each Tuesday at noon. The rector and assistant rector are also available for individual appointments for the anointing of the sick. For more information please contact The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the Burial of the Dead is not a sacramental rite, it is an important rite for every Christian. For members and families associated with St. Luke’s, funerals are conducted in the church or, at times, in a funeral home. In the Episcopal Church people can be either buried or cremated. St. Luke’s clergy are also willing to preside at the funeral of someone who has not been a member of St. Luke’s, provided that the family is willing to follow the practices of the Episcopal Church. These include a funeral being a celebration of the person’s life, closing the casket before the service, and following the liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer. The Celebration of the Eucharist may or may not be included. If you anticipate a death, a priest can also perform a liturgy for the time of death as well. For more information please contact The Rev. Timothy T. Rich, Rector, at email@example.com.