We also believe it is important to make an adult confession of faith, even if you were baptized as an infant. Another important way to receive the gifts of God’s grace is by the laying on of hands by our Bishop, who we believe encourages our journey of faith through the line of bishops that have extended back to the early disciples. We do all of this through the sacrament of confirmation. People who were baptized at a younger age are encouraged to be confirmed. However, some adults who are confirmed in other traditions, may be received into the Episcopal Church in the same worship service as confirmation. Also, those Episcopalians who wish to reaffirm their faith, may do so at the same time. These worship services typically happen in the Diocese of Atlanta’s Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. We also prepare those for confirmation, reception, and reaffirmation through our Episcopal 101 classes held on a regular basis. We recommend that you attend these classes before you are confirmed.
Weddings, Funerals, & Other Forms of Worship
- Holy Matrimony is a sacrament where a man and a woman agree to live and love one another as a sign of God’s love for us all. Weddings are done by our priest and are first and foremost a worship service with God as the subject, and the bride and groom as the main worshippers. St. Nicholas has a wedding customary that outlines how we do such a service: St. Nicholas Wedding Customary
There are typically fees associated for people who are not members of St. Nicholas. However, we fully expect couples who choose to marry to become part of the life of the congregation before they do so.
- Ordination is a sacrament by which a man or a woman is set apart to do God’s specific ministry as either a Bishop, a Priest, or a Deacon. We believe all people are ministers in the church, and some have the specific gifts needed to do an ordained ministry. Realization of such gifts come through a formal discernment process in the congregation and in the Diocese of Atlanta. If such gifts are discerned by the local and broader community, a person is ordained to that ministry by the Bishop.
- Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Confession is a sacrament whereby we are made right with God. As a result of our choices and our humanity, we separate ourselves from God. Reconciliation is the way back home. While it is a service of worship, it is usually done privately with a priest so as to uphold confidentiality. We do not do confession in a box, but in an informal practice in the church, or in the priest’s office. Our priest will pronounce absolution over those who confess and repent as a sign of God’s forgiveness over the person.
- Holy Unction is a sacrament where the priest lays hands on anyone who is sick, anointing them with oil, so they may experience God’s healing power and love. We do this informally in our Sunday service, but it can be done whenever someone is sick.
- Burial of the Dead, or a memorial service as it tends to be called, is not a sacrament but is an important pastoral service in the life of a congregation. Our priest should be called immediately when someone has died (hopefully even before) and arrangements are made with his direction. Funeral arrangements may be made with our priest before a death at any time, choosing the form of worship, the music, and other specifications. You can also print out this form to help in planning for your funeral and it is suggested you make these plans well before your death. In this worship service, we are reminded that death is not the end of life, but a change in life, and as “resurrection people,” we hope for the day where all of us are joined together in full unity with God and each other in the resurrection.
- Other forms of worship: There are many other ways to worship God. When couples have a new child, when we move into a new home, when we are taking on a new ministry, when we lose a pet to death, or any other life event, we can worship God. Please see our priest if you have any such needs.