Life’s Rites and Celebrations

A Christian’s life is marked by celebrations of faith and community. (Grace Episcopal Church and the Incarnation/Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) recognizes the rites of the Church, along with Holy Communion, as important spiritual markers on our path with Jesus. Here are listed some of the rites of the Christian church. For more information, or if you would like to talk to a priest, please email or call us.

Baptism

We welcome your interest in Holy Baptism at (Grace Episcopal Church and the Incarnation /Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), whether for yourself, for your child, or for your infant.
Preparation for baptism includes meeting with our clergy to discuss Holy Baptism, its meaning, and the role of sponsors or godparents.

Please call us at or email us info@BetterTogetherInPhilly.church to explore your questions and hopes for Holy Baptism.

Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation

Confirmation at (Grace Episcopal Church and the Incarnation/Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), is a way that people of any age can “make a public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism, and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop” (The Book of Common Prayer 1979, page 412).

Youth confirmation typically takes place in the middle school years. If you would like more
information about the next youth confirmation class, please contact the office or make sure you
have been added to our mailing list.

Reception is for adults who have been confirmed in another faith community of the One holy, catholic and apostolic Church who would like to transfer their membership to The Episcopal Church. Even though Reception is not required to be fully active in the everyday life and working of the church. However, if you are looking as serving in the leadership of parish life, Teception is something you will want to prayerfully consider.

For those who have had a significant renewal in their faith, reaffirmation is a way to acknowledge  this publicly. Reaffirmation is a repeatable rite. It is a way of formally recommitting yourself to your life in Christ within a community of faith.

To meet with our rector to talk to any talk about Confirmation or Reception, please email
rector@BetterTogetherInPhilly.church or call (215-423-5851/215-624-1144)

Memorial Services and Funerals

When a loved one dies, (Grace Episcopal Church and the Incarnation/Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) clergy is available to support and comfort family and friends and to help plan a service of celebration of life in witness to the promise within Christ’s Easter victory over death. By family preference, the committal may either follow the memorial service directly or be held at a later date, whether at a cemetery or columbarium. A planning guide can be found here.

For those of us who can still take the opportunity to plan our own memorial service or funeral, our planning can be a wonderful final gift to those we love when they must later carry out these arrangements. We offer a burial instructions worksheet that can be used to record those plans; click here to download one now.

Wedding

In marriage, a couple commit themselves to a lifelong union “in heart, body, and mind … intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.” Marriage is a sacrament administered to one another by the couple; it is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.

The sacramental nature of marriage
involves infinitely more than the wedding ceremony in which a marriage is solemnized. “Therefore  marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedlyor lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.” (Book of Common Prayer, page 423)
Although most weddings at (Grace Episcopal Church and the Incarnation/Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) are those of parish members and their families, we also provide wedding services for couples living in the area who plan to join our church, who are members of an Episcopal congregation elsewhere, or who are actively involved in another Christian community. The Episcopal Church requires that at least one of the parties has been baptized.
In the wake of the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage for all
Americans, General Convention followed suit on July 1 with canonical and liturgical changes to provide marriage equality for all Episcopalians.

The House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops’ approval the day before of a
canonical change eliminating language defining marriage as between a man and a woman and
authorizing two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or oppositesex couples. The resolutions marked the culmination of a conversation launched when the 1976 General Convention said that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the church,” said the
Very Rev. Brian Baker, deputy chair of the Special Legislative Committee on Marriage. “That resolution began a 39-year conversation about what that full and equal claim would look like. The conversation has been difficult for many and painful for many.”

Please call our office at (214-423-5851/215-624-1144) to set up an appointment and to learn more about weddings at (Grace Episcopal Church and the Incarnation/Holy Innocents St. Paul’s Episcopal Church). We look forward to answering your questions and helping you in planning a wedding day that expresses beautifully and clearly the love and aspirations you share as you begin a lifelong marriage.