Holy Baptism

Baptism is the sacramental rite 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. Baptism is full initiation by Water into Christ’s Body, the Church, through which God establishes an indissoluble bond with each person. Candidates are baptized in the name of the “Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit” and then marked on the forehead with the sign of the cross. During the baptismal rite, all participants in the liturgy join with the candidates in the renewal of the baptismal covenant — an affirmation of faith that includes a series of vows that outline what it means to follow Christ. It is most appropriate to administer baptism at the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints Day, or the Feast of our Lord.


Confirmation is a rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands of the Bishop. (BCP 860) For persons baptized at a young age or in another tradition, this sacramental rite offers the opportunity to assume the responsibilities of baptism by being confirmed or received. For persons looking to reaffirm their vows once taken at baptism, this rite also allows for the opportunity of Reaffirmation. The Baptismal Covenant, found within the baptismal rite itself, is the template for the baptismal vows.

Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage

Marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two persons in the presence of God. The church has long seen the union at the heart of marriage as analogous to the union we share with Christ. “The bond and covenant of marriage signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church.” (BCP 423) To acknowledge the lifelong union at the heart of marriage, couples celebrating the sacramental rite within the Episcopal church sign a declaration of consent, which, in essence, acknowledges that both persons hold marriage to be a lifelong union, that God intends this union in heart, body, and mind for mutual joy, help and comfort in prosperity or adversity, and — when it is God’s will — for the raising of children.

Funerals at St. Stephens
“For to your faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not ended; and when our mortal body lies in death, there is prepared for us a dwelling place eternal in the heavens.” (Preface for Commemoration of the Dead)

The death of a member of the Church should be reported to the parish office as soon as possible so that notice may be made to the parish and arrangements made with the family. Please direct all correspondence regarding funeral planning through the parish office or in consultation with the officiating priest. If you would like to host a luncheon after the funeral, you may make arrangements with the Parish Administrator, Ami O’Neill.

Life Events

The Celebration of Christian Marriage is an occasion of great joy. The clergy and staff of St. Stephen’s are pleased that you seek to celebrate this occasion with us.