The Sacramental Life
God has made it possible for us to come to know Him through His Revelation in the Bible and through reception of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments). Through the Sacraments, we receive God's grace.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:18-20). Baptism is the Sacrament by which those immersed into water in the name of the Holy Trinity are reborn. By this, we are buried in the water and then rise out to put on a new life in Christ Himself. In Baptism, we are washed in Christ, received into a divine relationship and we promise to devote our lives to the service of God.
Parents should discuss plans for the Baptism of their child with the priest prior to making any commitments concerning naming a sponsor, date and time.
Chrismation and Reception of Converts
Adults who wish to be received into communion with the Orthodox Church are provided a period of introduction and instruction. Under the guidance of the priest and with the encouragement of the community, the candidate participates in the worship of the parish and learns the basic teaching of the Orthodox Faith. The candidate is formally received into the life of the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism or by Chrismation (if previously baptized as a Christian in the name of the Holy Trinity and immersion of water). Through Chrismation, the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to confirm us in the Orthodox Faith. It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; He has put His seal upon us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The adult seeking conversion should schedule an appointment with the priest to discuss the Sacrament of Chrismation.
Christ instituted this Sacrament at His Last Supper to show the new relationship that exists between God and His Church. The Eucharist ('giving thanks') is the central act of the people who heard the Gospel during the Liturgy. What do we give thanks for? No one who arrives to Church after the reading of the Epistle and Gospel should approach the Chalice. The preparation and offering of Holy Communion in the Liturgy is the response of the parish to the salvation which God provides us in the Gospel. The Sacrament of Communion is to 'give thanks' to God for all His blessings and for the salvation He grants the world through His Son, Jesus Christ!
Orthodox believers should prepare to receive the Eucharist: through prayer, fasting and regular Confession.
The Eucharistic Fast is observed as part of our preparation to receive Communion. Fasting among Christians is rooted in the example of Christ and His disciples. If Communion is to be received in the morning, then we fast from food and drink from the night before. If Communion is to be received in the evening, then we fast from our noon meal on. Fasting regulations are relaxed for children, the sick, the elderly, or those with medicinal needs. For fasting disciplines, please contact the priest.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). This Sacrament of Penance allows us to be forgiven for those sins we commit after our Baptism. We cleanse our Baptismal garment through the tears of our repentance. It is necessary to be aware and reflective of our sinfulness so we can grow spiritually. Many describe sin as missing the mark; therefore we confess our sins so that our aim becomes more direct. Consistent participation in this Sacrament is essential for all Orthodox. Confession is offered by appointment only.
The service for Holy Unction is served traditionally during Holy Week on Great and Holy Wednesday Evening for the healing of soul and body. The oil used is blessed to serve as the sign of reconciliation between God and man. The faithful would hear the reading of seven Epistles and seven Gospels before being anointed with the oil of healing.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and will be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Holy Matrimony is the Sacrament by which two Christians are united as one body in an image of Christs union with His Church. The Sacrament confirms the love that exists between a man and a woman in God.
All plans for the wedding should be discussed with the priest before a date is set. There are times during the Liturgical Year that marriage is prohibited (such as during the various fasting periods of the Church calendar.)
All couples must attend pre-marital counseling with the priest in the months prior to the wedding, and receive confession and communion in the weeks leading up to the wedding.
The service for the repose of the soul of the faithful departed is offered in the Church by the priest and the community for all Orthodox believers. In the event of a death, the priest should be informed immediately so that proper arrangements can be made.
For information on any Sacrament or Service, please contact the Church Office at 305-444-6541.
To recieve the Sacrament of Penance (Confession), please contact the Cathedral Office to make an appoinment. Confessions may be heard before or after services.