The Cure of Souls: the Sacraments
The Church of Christ is the school where we learn to care for each other, to show compassion, and to exercise mercy. Understanding this, St. Mark's seeks to care for the souls of her members and the members of her community. Rites of passage for all ages are honored at St. Mark's with the intent of caring for the entire well-being of every person. This is done primarily through the Sacraments of the Church.
The Sacrament of Baptism is offered on a regular basis for infants, children, and adults. Baptismal days include the Baptist of Christ, the Great Vigil of Easter, Pentecost Day, and All Saints. For adults seeking baptism, participation in the Catechumenate is the norm with the baptism occurring at the Easter Vigil.
For those who have been baptized, the Sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated throughout the week at St. Mark's. Partaking of our Lord's Body and Blood every Sunday, as well as on major feast days, is encouraged. We also encourage our parishioners to attend a weekday mass.
The Reconciliation of Penitents - Confession
The Sacrament of Confession, also known as the Reconciliation of a Penitent, is offered regularly throughout the year on Saturdays after the morning mass, and appointments may also be scheduled with the clergy. Those who are intimidated by the practice, or who have never made their confession, are shepherded through the process.
Confirmation and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows
The Sacrament of Confirmation, as well as the Renewal of Baptismal Vows, is offered every year for those wishing to strengthen their commitment to God and the Church. Every year the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese makes several opportunities available for the faithful to be confirmed.
Couples may be married at St. Mark's. All couples participate in pre-marital counseling with the clergy, and it is recommended that a full year be given to this prayerful process. Straight and gay couples may have their relationships blessed at St. Mark's. For couples that are not baptized into the Christian faith, there is the option of being baptized at St. Mark's and being received into the Anglican Communion. In addition to the pre-marital counseling, couples desiring to become Christian participate in our Formation Ministries. The clergy may also require that Christian couples participate in our Formation Ministries, especially if they have a limited grasp of the Christian faith as practiced by the Episcopal Church. It is the norm at St. Mark's that marriage services include the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Couples should speak with the rector directly if they wish to be married at St. Mark's.
St. Mark's has a Discernment Committee for those seeking Ordination, or better understood, for those seeking to clarify their ministry in the church. For those who have gone through the process, they have found it prayerful, exemplifying the work of the Holy Spirit.
Unction and Last Rites
St. Mark's regularly offers the Laying on of Hands for Healing and Anointing at the Tuesday noon mass. Last Rites are also offered before death.