Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

SACRAMENTS AT GRACE CHURCH

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HOLY BAPTISM

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. This most sacred rite reveals to us that we are God’s adopted children, members of Christ’s Body, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. For the person who is baptized, this is one of the most important events in his or her life. All are welcome to receive baptism at Grace Church. We have no age or any other formal requirement for baptism. We baptize infants, children, and adults.

For us baptism is the beginning not the end; all that we ask is that you have a sincere desire to embark on the amazing journey with Christ, who for us is the way, the truth, and the life.

Baptism takes place during our Sunday worship, usually on the second Sunday of the month. Please contact the church office for the schedule. Parents of infants and children are required to meet with a member of the clergy to discuss the significance of Holy Baptism and to review the rite itself. Adult candidates also must meet with a member of the clergy for the purpose of initiating an appropriate baptismal preparation program that is to be meaningful for the candidate.

It is also our belief that the bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble, which means it cannot be taken away nor can it be re-done. As part of our faith, we acknowledge one baptism. We do not re-baptize; instead we recognize baptisms from other Christian denominations and traditions as valid. Persons who are already baptized may wish to consider the rite of Confirmation or Reception.

If you are interested in Holy Baptism for yourself or for your children, we hope you will pursue this with us. For further information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Parish Administrator, Angela Battle, at 413-256-6754 or abattle@gracechurchamherst.org.

WEDDINGS

If you are planning to get married we wish you many blessings in your life ahead and are delighted if you are contemplating having your wedding at Grace Church. It our belief that the union of two people in heart, body, and mind is a good and wonderful thing that is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another; and also for the possibility of raising up children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. We are committed to treating equally all couples presenting themselves for Holy Matrimony.

If you would like more information about getting married at Grace Church or you would like to start the process of planning your wedding here, please contact the Parish Administrator, Angela Battle, at 413-256-6754 or abattle@gracechurchamherst.org. We hope you will consider Grace Church as the place to start your marriage.

We believe that marriage is a covenant that two people enter into with one another and together they enter into with God. It is not something a couple does in isolation, but rather with the love and support of the community. Many of our members were married here. We encourage you to become members of Grace Church, a community of faith which will witness and bless your wedding, and will promise to uphold you in your marriage.

FUNERALS

According to the rites of the Episcopal Church, a funeral or memorial service is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.

The service, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This joy, however, does not deny the reality of human grief nor does it make grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

At Grace Church, we keep with the tradition of the early Church and will provide a funeral or memorial service for anyone. We welcome all people who are in need of having a funeral or memorial service at Grace Church, regardless of membership status, background, or any other issue.

Grace Church should be notified of a death as soon as possible. Arrangements for the funeral or memorial service will be made in consultation with a member of the clergy. Before posting an announcement or an obituary, please confirm with the church the date and time of the service.

We also offer a Columbarium, in a beautiful cloistered garden, where the cremated remains of the deceased can be preserved and honored.