What are sacraments? In the Episcopal Church we take part in certain regular acts of worship. These are called sacraments. The two primary sacraments are Baptism and Holy Communion.
We believe that God is actively present in the world and in us. In the sacraments we realize his presence and his favor towards us. Through the sacraments, which are freely given to us by God, our sins are forgiven, our minds are enlightened, our hearts stirred and our wills strengthened.
These sacraments are contained in the worship services found in the Book of Common Prayer. Additional information can be found in the Book of Common Prayer. Questions are encouraged and always welcome.
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which one becomes a Christian. It’s an event of importance and celebration both for the individual and for the whole church. We celebrate baptisms at All Saints’ on four occasions throughout the year: the first Sunday after the Epiphany (also known as the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, Jesus Christ), Easter (either at the Easter Vigil or on Easter Day), Pentecost Sunday, and All Saints’ Sunday (the first Sunday after Nov. 1).
Those seeking baptism for their children must be members of All Saints’, and must attend a preparatory class. Call the parish office at 617-484-2228, x10, to find out when the next class will be
Adults are contemplating baptism are usually required to attend the Newcomers Class. This series is conducted two or three times a year. Call the parish office at 617-484-2228, x10, to find out when the next class will be offered.
Holy Eucharist is the sacrament in which, faithful to Christ's memory and commandment, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ in consecrated Bread and Wine for the forgiveness of our sins and the
strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, whereby we are empowered for the work of witness and service in Christ's name.
All baptized persons are welcome to receive Holy Communion at All Saints’ Church. The Holy Eucharist is celebrated on Sundays at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. only during the summer months).
Can my child receive communion?
Our baptismal liturgy makes it clear that a Baptized person is a full member of the household of God. They are fully welcomed into the community. No baptized person can be denied Holy Communion, whatever his or her age.
The responsibility for deciding when a child shall make his/her first Communion rests with the parents and the child. Parents are, however, invited to contact Cheryl Minor to discuss the decision.
Generally, very young children (those carried by parents) enjoy coming to the altar with parents and are not necessarily interested in sharing in the consecrated bread and wine. However, there comes a point when children want to be included. They watch the adults around them and often mimic their behavior in hopes of being allowed to share in the meal. This is when parents are forced to decide what to do.
Even at a very young age children can understand that the meal we share at the altar is something different from the snack they had at the end of Church school. The way that the adults around them approach the altar, the way the consecrated bread looks, the special cup from which we all drink the consecrated wine, all help to give the children clues that this is something special or even holy.
It is also very possible for a young child to understand that at church we come to worship God, hear God's word, pray to God, and we are literally fed by God. As the child grows s/he will come to know that we participate in this feast because of Christ's blood that was shed for us, and his body that was given for us, as a sacrifice for our sins. As the Apostle Paul says, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." (1 Corinthians. 11:26)
Helping the child to receive the Sacrament is important. With very young children, a parent may want to receive the wafer, break it in half, dip it in the chalice, and give it to his/her child. When a child can imitate his/her parent, s/he can receive the wafer himself/herself, drink from the chalice or dip in the cup. It may be wise for small children to stand rather than to kneel. Parents should not hesitate to speak quietly to their children at the altar rail, giving them gentle instructions on the spot. If you do not want your child to receive feel free to tell the server at the rail.
Whether or not a child receives Communion, we want to insure that all children feel welcome in our community, acknowledged as people, known and loved. The clergy will not refuse to give Communion to a baptized child. On the other hand, should parents decide that the answer is no, your clergy will respect that decision.
We invite parents and all adults to join in making this parish one in which children feel at home - a place where they can truly come to know Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
What other Sacraments are there?
Other Sacraments are confirmation, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, unction and ordination.
Confirmation is when a baptized person, who has been instructed in the Christian faith, makes a mature commitment to God within a worship setting and receives a special blessing and prayer from a bishop. According to the Canons of the Episcopal Church, a person must be sixteen years of age for confirmation.
Holy Matrimony is a Christian marriage, in which a woman and a man enter into a lifelong union and make their promises before God in a worship service. Sometimes couples who were married in a civil ceremony will have their marriage blessed in a worship service. Contact the parish office at 617-484-2228 if you are planning a wedding. Pre-marital counseling either by a member of our clergy or a certified counselor is required.
Reconciliation of the Penitent: While private confession of sins is not a requirement, anyone may request the reconciliation of a penitent from a priest and receive assurances of
God's forgiveness. The confession is always made in private and kept in strict confidence. To make an appointment to make a confession, call the parish office at 617-484-2228.
Unction is a special blessing for those who are sick or desire special prayers. A sign of the cross is made on their forehead with blessed oil.
Ordination is the sacrament whereby God empowers trained persons for special ministry as deacons, priests or bishops. The service always includes the laying on of hands by bishops.
All Saints' Church
17 Clark Street
Belmont, MA 02478
Office Hours are by appointment only. Please call the parish office at 617-484-2228 before coming to the church.
Stories from our Community
"Two years ago I went to my first Agape meal with my son, who was five at the time. To my surprise, when it was time to pass the peace during the service, he greeted those near by, and then proceeded to greet others around the room, adults and children, known and unknown. I realized then that my faith community here at All Saints', was also his community."