The Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means for receiving God's grace. These rites of passage for all ages are honored at St. Mary's, where we seek to care for the souls of the members of our community. Please contact us if you would like help in observing one of the Sacraments.
Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. In the waters of baptism we are lovingly adopted by God into God’s family, which we call the Church, and given God’s own life to share and reminded that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ.
The Sacrament of Baptism is offered on a regular basis for infants, children, and adults. It usually takes place within the context of the 10am Sunday service at St. Mary's. Please contact us for more information.
It goes by several names: Holy Communion, the Eucharist (which literally means "thanksgiving"), or Mass. But whatever it’s called, this is the principal act of Christian worship and partaking of our Lord's Body and Blood every Sunday, as well as on major feast days, is encouraged.
The Episcopal Church teaches that baptism is full initiation into the Christian community. This means that all baptized persons, regardless of denomination or age, may participate in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Some families may choose to wait until after Confirmation to have their children begin receiving communion.
In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop.
The Sacrament of Confirmation, along with the Renewal of Baptismal Vows and Reception (from other denominations), is offered periodically when the bishop visits. Classes will be scheduled by the clergy prior to these visits to help properly prepare candidates. Please let us know if you or a loved one is interested in joining the next class.
Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that one, at least, of the parties must be a baptized Christian (of any denomination). Straight and gay couples may be married at St. Mary's. The marriage rite from the Book of Common Prayer must be used and couples participate in pre-marital counseling with the clergy.
St. Mary's is a beautiful place to get married, and reception options include our own Parish House, the Churchyard, the Tuxedo Club, or many beautiful Hudson Valley venues. Please contact us for more information.
In the Episcopal Church, ordained ministry is normally seen as a life-long vocation. Careful selection, discernment, and preparation are required before ordination takes place. The three distinct orders of bishops, priests, and deacons have been characteristic of Christ's holy catholic church. Bishops carry on the apostolic work of leading, supervising, and uniting the church. Priests are associated with bishops in the ministry of church governance, along with the church's ministry of missionary and pastoral work, in preaching of the Word of God, and in the administration of the Sacraments. Deacons assist bishops and priests in all of this work, and have special responsibility to minister in Christ's name to the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the helpless. Please contact Father Rick if you feel called to ordained ministry and he will help you with the diocesan discernment process.
The Sacrament of Confession, also known as the Reconciliation of a Penitent, is available for all who desire it. It is not restricted to times of sickness. Confessions may be heard anytime and anywhere, please just contact Father Rick. More information about Confession may be found on page 446 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Unction and Last Rites
Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God's grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body. It is a spiritual healing and cleansing, not a cure for disease. Unction is regularly offered during the 10 am mass on the first Wednesday of each month. It is very important that the clergy be informed if you or a relative are sick, in the hospital or homebound. Please contact Father Rick (his mobile phone is 917.673.6726) and he or a member of the pastoral care team will come to you. Last rites are offered before death, with funerals and burials taking place at the Church and in the Churchyard, or at other locations as determined by the family.