Pastoral Services

WHAT ARE HOLY SACRAMENTS?


Our Book of Common Prayer defines a sacrament as an “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as a sure and certain means by which we receive that grace,” (BCP, page 857). In other words, they are freely offered signs of God’s love, given to us by our Lord at pivotal moments of our lives, in part to make us tangibly aware of his constant presence in our lives. The Episcopal Church recognizes Baptism and the Eucharist as directly ordained by Christ in Holy Scripture and as essential marks of His Church. Confirmation/Reception, Holy Unions, Ordination, Reconciliation and Unction are understood as sacramental rites which are helpful in deepening our spiritual lives and connections to God. It is through these sacramental actions that we are especially aware of God’s continued action in His creation, seeking to intimately engage, redeem and bless our lives.


Baptism

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is celebrated according to the canons of the church and the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer. By Baptism, we become full members of the Body of Christ and His Church. [Scroll below to "Baptism."]


Confirmation & Reception

Inquirers/Confirmation/Reception Class 2016

 

The Right Reverend Wayne Wright, Bishop of Delaware, will be making his pastoral

visitation to St. Peter’s Church on Sunday, April 10, 2016. At that time, he will also be administering the rites of Holy Baptism, Confirmation and Reception.

If you are interested in being confirmed or received, you should review the Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer (pages 304-5). When you are confirmed or

received, you will be making these promises on your own. It is therefore, important that you understand what they mean and feel prepared to make a commitment to strive and live them out in your daily life. We will be reviewing this Covenant at our first meeting, February 5th, after the 10am service, in the Conference Room. If you are not sure you wish to be confirmed or received at this time, perhaps attending the classes might help you to make up your mind.


Confirmation is a pastoral rite in which a mature person, who was baptized as an infant or young child, reaffirms his or her baptismal vows with a blessing and laying on of hands by the Bishop. Reception is a similar rite in which a Christian, who has been baptized as an adult in another tradition, is received into the Episcopal Church by means of a blessing and laying on of hands by a Bishop. The Bishop visits Saint Peter’s Church once every year, in part to Confirm or Receive new members into the Church. Prior to his visit, those wishing to be Confirmed or Received, will be prepared by Fr. Ross through study, prayer and contemplation. If you are interested in being Confirmed or Received, please speak with Fr. Ross.


Funerals and Memorial Services

The death of a child of God is a tender event. Members of the church are urged to call Fr. Ross as soon as possible when death is anticipated or has come, in order that he may bring the comfort of our faith and the presence of the church family. [Scroll below to "Funerals."]


Holy Unction & Sick Calls

All parishioners are strongly urged to inform the church when they or a loved one are seriously ill and/or hospitalized. The Rector is very willing to visit and pray with members of the congregation at any time, but especially when they are in need. When you call the office, please let the staff know if you or your loved one would like to be anointed with the oil of the sick (Holy Unction) for healing and/or Holy Communion brought to you.


Nuptials

Weddings at St. Peter’s Church will be scheduled no later than six months prior to the ceremony date. During this time, the couple meets with Fr. Ross on at least three occasions to prepare and plan the service. [click for "Weddings."]


Ordination

This sacrament is the setting apart, by the laying on of hands and prayer by a bishop, of a person, to function in the Ministry of Word and Sacraments in the Church. There are three orders of ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church: Bishop, Priest and Deacon. Those who are contemplating a vocation of ministry should speak with Fr. Ross.


Prayer Vigils

At various times during the Christian year it has become a tradition at St. Peter’s to hold a prayer vigil in the Church. In preparation we make certain that at least one person (although the number is unlimited) is responsible for one hour. The hour may be spent in meditation, prayer, reading the scriptures or other devotional literature that is made available. This is done for the purpose of making intercession for the worshiping community in its ministry. Traditionally we have a Prayer Vigil beginning Maundy Thursday evening through Good Friday as well as before and during events that affect the parish and world community.


Reconciliation

The sacrament of Reconciliation is a rite by which a minister of the church absolves and offers forgiveness of sin to a penitent in the name of Christ and his church. The sacrament is also known by the term confession and is available to anyone who feels that sinful events in their life have caused a block in their relationship with Christ. It is by no means mandatory, but is rather a means offered by the Church to help reconcile individuals to God and to receive counsel in restoring their relationship with Christ. It is celebrated upon request to Fr. Ross.


Support Groups

The gathering of small groups of people for the purpose of support, healing and well being are profoundly helpful for persons facing serious challenges in life. These groups arise on an as needed basis. Effective support groups are usually composed of four to eight persons, have a primary purpose, require a commitment to confidentiality and to meet for a specified period of time, for example 6 weeks. At the end of this time, the group decides whether to continue to meet for another specified period of time or to conclude. Further information may be obtained by calling the church office.


Blessings for Birthday and Anniversary

Our congregation enjoys receiving blessings for birthdays and wedding anniversaries.


Pet Blessing

Each year on the anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Peter's holds a blessing ceremony for our pets.


holy Baptism

 
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is celebrated according to the canons of the church and the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer. By Baptism, we become full members of the Body of Christ and His Church. Baptisms are therefore part of the public worship of the church and are not performed privately but rather during one of the principal Sunday services. It is expected that persons who are Baptized at Saint Peter’s will answer affirmatively the questions asked in the baptismal covenant, particularly concerning their participation in the life and ministry of this parish. When we baptize infants and small children, it is expected that their parents and/or guardians will assist their children in regular attendance at worship and in the life of the congregation. More

funerals

FUNERALS & MEMORIAL SERVICES
 
The death of a child of God is a tender event. Members of the church are urged to call Fr. Ross as soon as possible when death is anticipated or has come, in order that he may bring the comfort of our faith and the presence of the church family. In addition, parishioners are encouraged to sit down with the Rector ahead of time to make advance arrangements. It is appropriate for the funeral of a Christian to take place in the Church. A viewing can also be held in the parish hall or the church prior to the service. The service should be held at a time when the congregation has an opportunity to be present. Members and their families may also avail themselves of the Pilottown Cemetery. 


St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is available to the community to conduct weddings, funerals and memorial services in accordance with the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer and the traditions of the Episcopal Church.  


FEES FOR FUNERALS AND MEMORIAL SERVICES (2015) - click

OCCASIONAL services

There are many services offered by the church for spiritual growth and well being of the members

and friends of the body of Christ.  Among them are:


†  Reconciliation of a Penitent [commonly known as Confession]

†   Blessing of a Home

†   Blessing of food for Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving

†   Commissioning of Ministries

†   Ministration at the time of death [commonly known as Last Rites]