The Book of Common Prayer contains our liturgy and expresses our doctrine.
The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. (www.episcopalchurch.org)
We celebrate Holy Baptism and the Eucharist as the two main Sacraments of the Church. The Holy Eucharist is celebrated during our weekly Sunday worship service. During that service, we proclaim the Gospel both by Word and Sacrament. Preaching and the Eucharist are central to our worship service. In addition, we also offer the sacramental rites of confirmation, marriage, reconciliation (confession), unction (healing), and ordination.
The Episcopal Church has deacons, priests, bishops who are ordained in apostolic succession and who derive their spiritual authority through the historic church. Clergy can be married, and women can be ordained.
The Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion):
All baptized Christians, regardless of age or church affiliation, are welcome to receive Holy Communion.
Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble. Each candidate for Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons.
Parents and godparents with an infant or child baptism are to be instructed: in the meaning of Baptism; in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge and love of God; and in their responsibilities as members of his Church. To learn more: http://stmaryanne.org/baptism-procedures/
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage:
Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between the couple and God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that one, at least, of the parties be a baptized Christian; that the ceremony be attested by two witnesses; and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the canons of this Church. To learn more: http://www.stmaryanne.org/st-mary-annes-wedding-policies/
Rules on Divorce:
Divorced persons are welcome at the altar rail to receive the Holy Eucharist. Children in a divorced family can be presented for Baptism. This does not mean that divorce is taken lightly in the Episcopal Church. We consider divorce to be a grave reality, and your Episcopal priest will want to talk and pray with you. But we recognize that sometimes marriages break down, and we try to make God’s love known in these painful situations. Our hope is that the sacraments of the church can bring peace and strength, especially when life is challenging.
Divorced persons are permitted to remarry in the Episcopal Church, and the church does not require an annulment. However, the priest will want to make sure that each person understands the issues that lead to the divorce with hope, that the new marriage will last a lifetime.
Funerals and Burials:
The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to the priest. Funeral arrangements should be coordinated between the funeral director, priest, and the family. Baptized Christians are properly buried from the church, and the service should be held at a time when the congregation has the opportunity to be present. To learn more: http://www.stmaryanne.org/funerals/