Holy Mysteries and Blessings

Holy Communion

The Holy Eucharist is called the “sacrament of sacraments” in the Orthodox tradition. It is also called the “sacrament of the Church.” The eucharist is the center of the Church’s life. Everything in the Church leads to the eucharist, and all things flow from it. It is the completion of all of the Church’s sacraments—the source and the goal of all of the Church’s doctrines and institutions.

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Baptism

In the sacrament of baptism, a person is incorporated into the crucified, resurrected, and glorified Christ and is reborn to participate in the divine life. Together with chrismation and reception of the Eucharist, baptism marks our initiation and entry into the Church, as members of Christ’s Body.

For more information and for practical details for arranging a baptism please follow this link.

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Chrismation

Chrismation is the second stage of the rite of initiation into the Church, and immediately follows baptism. Just as baptism is our personal participation in the events of Pascha — the death and resurrection of Christ — chrismation is our participation in Pentecost — the coming of the Holy Spirit.

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Weddings

In the sacrament of marriage, a man and a woman are blessed by God so that they can join their lives to one another, become ‘one flesh’, and start a family together. By having their relationship sanctified in the Church, the couple are not merely joined to one another, but to one another in Christ. While human love is limited, the love of God is unlimited, and it is this love the grace of the Holy Spirit given to us in Christian marriage allows us to ‘tap into’.

If you would like to arrange a marriage in the church please follow this link for some brief practical considerations prior to contacting our parish priest.

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Confession

Orthodox Christians confess in the presence of the priest to acknowledge that our sins, whether we wish to accept it or not, affect the entire faith community on the one hand, and that we cannot “heal ourselves” on the other.  The priest is there to help us overcome those things for which we seek forgiveness, to give advice that a friend or neighbor might not be in a position to give, and to bear witness on behalf of the faith community, of which he is the spiritual father, that we have indeed repented and been forgiven by God.

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Funerals

The central message of the Gospel is beautifully summarised by the hymn we sing at Pascha (Easter): ‘Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life’.

While humanity’s separation from God had made us all subject to death, God frees us from this bondage by assuming human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. By uniting himself to our death, we are united to His resurrection.

For more information and some brief practical notes follow this link:

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Memorials

Here you will find some practical advice on memorial services including when they are allowed to be served during the year.

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Holy Water

At the blessing of the waters, regular water is sanctified by the prayers of the priest and sign of the Cross so as to become a physical carrier of God’s invisible grace.

Holy water can be drunk for spiritual and physical well-being, or sprinkled on people, objects, vehicles, buildings, and even animals in order to sanctify them and drive away evil.

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