All baptized Christians who know Jesus Christ and Lord and Savior are welcome to the Communion table. Scripture assures us that God forgives and welcomes all who come to him in repentance and faith (1 John 1:19).
To receive communion, kneel or stand at he altar rail and hold our your hands, palms up, one hand over the other. The bread will be placed in your hand. After receiving the bread, you may also receive the wine. Please grasp the bottom of the cup with one hand to guide it to your lips. If you would rather not drink wine, please cross your arms over your chest after receiving the bread. Children are welcome to receive communion. If you would prefer them to receive a blessing rather that communion, have them fold their hands over their chests.
To receive a blessing rather than communion, please kneel or stand at the altar rail and cross your arms over your chest.
“The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is 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. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God” (Book of Common Prayer 423).
When a man and woman who want to be married come to St. Mark’s, we want to remind them that they are taking Christian Vows. These vows involve a Christian lifestyle. For example, part of the ceremony includes the words “forsaking all others” meaning you will always be faithful to your husband or wife and will have no other intimate relationships outside of the marriage, “till death do us part” meaning a lifetime commitment to this promise. A Christian marriage is one in which a husband and wife pray for each other and their children, and are members of a Christian community. Most importantly, a marriage is a relationship that includes Jesus Christ, who is “the tie that binds.”
It is important to know that only rare exceptions are made for couples who are not members of St. Mark’s. If you are looking for a church home and a place to get married, please visit us on Sunday mornings to see if St. Mark’s could be your church home. We would love for you to join our church, and for it to be a place where your Christian marriage can be nourished.
When couples are desirous of a Christian marriage, the clergy will do everything in their power to help the couple achieve a strong marriage. This involves pre-marital counseling, some reading, and much prayer. If, on the other hand, a couple does not intend to honor Christian vows, or move in a Christian direction, then it would be hypocrisy for the clergy to bless such a union. When a vow is taken, a vow must be kept!
We would be privileged to add you or your loved one to our parish prayer list if you are in need of prayer. There is a Red Intercessory Prayer Book located in the narthex; please feel free to add your prayer request. Individuals in this book are prayed for during the services as well as during the week by prayer ministers.
Although there are no regularly scheduled times of private confession at St. Mark’s, a special appointment can be made with a member of our clergy. Please speak with a clergy member or call the church office in order to schedule a private confession.
Hospital Visit/Ministration of the Sick
If you or a loved one is hospitalized or shut in and would like a visit from a member of our pastoral staff, please contact the parish office. New state guidelines no longer allow our clergy to access information at the hospital about current patients, so you will need to contact the parish office with all pertinent details. Our clergy and prayer ministers would be happy to visit you and pray with you while you are recuperating.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers are available to bring you Communion if you are a shut-in or are in the hospital. Please contact the parish office if you wish to receive Communion in your home or hospital room.
Persons of any age, from infant to adult, may be baptized at St. Mark’s. Parents who wish to have their child baptized and adults who wish baptism for themselves are required to attend baptism counseling classes. Please call the parish office for more information.
Notify one of the clergy or phone the parish office to inform of a death in the family. Our parish clergy will meet with the family to arrange for a funeral and for bereavement counseling, and to provide information about our columbarium.