“2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;” 1 Peter 5:2
Our clergy lovingly touch all stages of the life of each person through care in a Christ-like way. They help to nourish, strengthen and express our faith through the sacraments of the Church which is beautifully expressed by St. Augustine of Hippo in the 5th century, who described a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”. The grace we receive in the sacraments, God’s communication of love to us, leads us then to express that love, worshipping God and living the life Christ reveals to us through the Spirit.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is the foundation of, and the initial step into, the Christian life. We celebrate the sacrament of Baptism during Sunday Mass. Parents are required to spend time with our Clergy for Baptism preparation in discussing the theological, sacramental and biblical foundations of baptism.
If you are seek baptism for an infant, your children or for yourself, contact Fr. Munson through the church office.
“In Him [Christ] you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in Him, are now sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
The Sacrament of Confirmation seals the recipient with the gift of the Holy Spirit. This “sealing” brings into fullness the Sacrament of Baptism. Receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace, and is administered by the laying on of hands by our Bishop during his annual visit. If you are interested in receiving this sacrament you will need to meet with one of our clergy for preparation and catechesis. Call the church office to set up a meeting with Fr. Munson.
THE HOLY EUCHARIST
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many. (Mark 14:22-24)
The Holy Eucharist is known also as the Holy Communion, the sacrifice of the Mass, the Lord’s Supper and the Body and Blood of Christ, and is consumed during the Mass or Eucharistic Celebration. It is the central act and appointed means by which Christ becomes present in his church.
PENANCE (Commonly called Confession & Absolution)
“9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Penance is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God. In Confession, we acknowledge our sins before God and his Church. We express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ, make reparation for what we have done, and resolve to do better in the future. You can contact the church to schedule a time to meet with Fr. John. Here is a guide to making a confession.
“Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14-15)
At one time the Church reserved this sacrament for individuals who were near death and preparing for passing over to eternal life. It was commonly known as Extreme Unction or Last Rites. Today, the sacrament of the Anointing for Healing is administered to those who fall ill and also for those who are seeking healing of their mind, body and soul through the special grace of this sacrament.
St. John offers Unction for those who seek this sacrament for themselves, or others, during the mass and are encouraged to do so.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed Himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word.” (Ephesians 5:25-26)
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony finds its origin in the Creation story in Genesis. The Bible explains how God designed Holy Matrimony and family life to be His key ingredients for building a moral, healthy and stable society. Marriage is the cornerstone. Jesus Christ brought this purpose for Holy Matrimony and family life to fulfillment when at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee He gave Holy Matrimony its full sacramental character. In blessing the marital union He acknowledged something fundamentally good in married life, a good that displays the Covenant plan God has with His people. This good is God’s love expressed in the complementary relationship of the man and the woman.
Holy Matrimony gives to the husband and wife divine grace that will assist their love each other in a way that reflects Christ’s loves His Church; the grace found in this sacrament perfects human love and strengthens family with an indissoluble unity. This love sanctifies them on their way to eternal life.
Contact the church to speak with Fr. John to set up a time to discuss before any date or plans or made.
“5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
The call to Holy Orders begins with God, not the person. The letter to the Hebrews explains, “No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God” (Hebrews 5:4). The priest is “taken from among men and made their representative before God,” and it is the priest’s duty “to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews 5:1).
Those who are called to the Priesthood are ordained through the Rite of Ordination. In celebrating this Rite, men receive an indelible spiritual mark signifying that they represent Jesus’ presence in the Church.
Being called into Holy Orders is an extraordinarily high calling. The priest serves in persona Christi, Latin for “in the person of Christ.” The priest never serves on his own behalf. Rather, Christ takes over his very being, and in his humble, loving service, he is the visible presence of Christ in the community.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? But thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
The Mass of Christian Burial found in the Book of Common Prayer (1928 and 2019) celebrates the mystery of the life, death and resurrection in Christ of a loved one who has died.
If you are seeking to make plans in advance we ask that you print off and fill out our Funeral Planning Sheet. Next, contact the church to set an appointment to meet with one of our clergy to go over your requests. We encourage advanced planning, not only for your own peace of mind, but for that that of your family as well.
If a loved one has died please call the Parish Office at 940-569-3558. Fr. Munson will assist you in planning the funeral liturgy or memorial service, as well as pray with you in this time of grief.