“Marriage signifies to us the mystery of the
union between Christ and his church.”
– The Book of Common Prayer
Marriage is a sacrament and one of the most important commitments in life. A wedding is celebrated in the context of the Christian community. All weddings at Church of the Messiah are conducted according to the order of service found in the Book of
Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. Therefore, to be married at Church of the Messiah, you must meet one of the following criteria:
At least one person, bride or groom, must be a baptized member of the Church of the Messiah in good standing or the son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter of a member of the parish in good standing and must apply for their wedding at least six months before the intended date. To provide spiritual direction and guidance in preparation for the marriage, pre-marital counseling is required. If either person has been married previously, permission to marry must be given of the Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania for the wedding to proceed.
The couple are year-round residents of the area, at least one is a baptized Christian, and both are willing to regularly attend Church of the Messiah while preparing for their marriage; or
At least one party is an Episcopalian and an active member of his or her local Episcopal Church (the understanding being that your local Episcopal priest will provide the pre-marital counseling and preparation). To be married at our church, one party should be a member (or a relative of an active member) of the Church of the Messiah.
“Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.”
– The Book of Common Prayer
When we think of Baptism, we tend to think of babies, but we baptize people at any age or stage in their faith journey. Children too young to speak for themselves have Godparents who, along with the child’s parents, make the renunciations and vows on their behalf until they are
old enough to assume these responsibilities in the sacrament of Confirmation. Please speak to a member of the clergy if you wish to be baptized.
Infant or Child Baptism
Along with the parents, Godparents are encouraged to attend. And since raising a child in the Christian faith is a family concern, other family members are also welcome to attend. A child being baptized should have at least two Godparents. More are certainly welcome! Since Godparents take on the responsibility of raising a child in the Christian faith and life, they must be practicing Christians themselves.
If you are 16 years of age or older, a more in-depth preparation is required, since you will be taking on the promises and vows of a Christian disciple for yourself. Please speak with the clergy to learn more about the process.
Already Baptized in another Christian Denomination?
If you are new to the Episcopal Church but have previously been baptized in another Christian denomination, your baptism into the Body of Christ is honored and accepted and another baptism is not required. You may, however, wish to renew your faith life and make a public affirmation of your affiliation with the Episcopal Church. In this case, you may choose to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, a service requiring the laying on of hands by a Bishop. This usually occurs during the Bishop’s Parish Visitation, scheduled approximately every other year, but the rites are also performed at various times throughout the year at the Philadelphia Cathedral. Please speak with the clergy about the instruction classes.
“The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.”
– The Book of Common Prayer
congregation of Church of the Messiah offer caring support and sensitive expertise to individuals and families, starting with those first difficult days. Our love and care begins with the planning of a funeral to celebrate the departed’s life and offer comfort to family and friends in Christ’s promise of eternal life.
Holy Communion may be included as part of the service and interment may take place immediately after the liturgy or at a later date. A time of visitation in the narthex prior to the service may be arranged. Help in arranging a reception in the Parish Hall following the service is available.
Prior to, or at the time of death, please contact the Parish Office (215.699.9204) and the clergy will contact you immediately.
Taking time to prepare for death is an act of caring for those who come after us. Planning one’s funeral service gives family members a clear direction of one’s wishes at the time of death. Instructions may be as simple or as detailed as you wish. A copy of your plans will be securely and confidentially held in the Church Office and additional copies can be provided for you to distribute to family or keep with your other important documents. The clergy will be happy to assist you in planning a funeral service and to answer questions and address any concerns that may arise.
And, remembering Church of the Messiah in wills and estate plans gives solid assurance that the worship and work of ministry and mission begun by Messiah’s founders well over a century ago will continue for generations to come.
As Christians, we live in the hope and reality that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ – nothing in life; nothing in death. Nevertheless, one of the most challenging things we face in this life is the death of a loved one.
The clergy, staff and