Policies Concerning the Sacraments of the Church - Wainfleet Group of Parishes
A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace. Through material things God reaches out to us and the sacraments therefore sustain our present hope and help us to anticipate its future fulfilment. They are consequently important events in the life of God’s people.
The sacrament of Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. This sacrament is administered after consultation with the priest-in-charge and is open to people of all ages. Although preferable to have the baptism take place in the context of the normal Sunday morning worship service, consideration is given for pastoral reasons to administer it at other times.
The sacrament of Holy Confirmation is the sacrament in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop of the Church. Those eligible to receive this sacrament must be baptized, and receive instruction in the Christian faith. Classes that last approximately six months are offered when needed.
The sacrament of Holy Communion is the sacrament commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. Through this sacrament we share in the body and blood of our lord Jesus Christ, thereby receiving forgiveness of our sins, the strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, and receive a foretaste of the heavenly banquet which is our nourishment in eternal life. To receive this sacrament, one must be baptized and also confirmed (unless special dispensation from the bishop is granted). Communion for younger children is considered after consultation with their parents.
The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is the sacrament in which a woman and a man enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfil their vows. There are strict guidelines pertaining to marriage in the Church of England, and arrange-ments for weddings are thus to be made through the priest-in-charge. The PCC of each parish in the group has no objections to individuals who have been previously married and divorced (whose former spouse is still living) being remarried in their parish church, but it is left strictly up to the discretion of the priest-in-charge whether to do so, and the possibility for such weddings are decided on a case-by-case basis after thorough consultation with the parties in question.
The sacrament of Reconciliation of a Penitent is the sacrament in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest or bishop, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution (forgiveness). This sacrament is available through making an appointment with the priest-in-charge.
The sacrament of Unction is the sacrament 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 offered on the 4th Wednesday of each month at the 9:30 AM service of The Holy Eucharist at All Saints’ Church, Wainfleet All Saints.