Jesus was baptized by John, forever sanctifying the waters of baptism. Later, in the book of Acts, new gentile believers and their entire households, were baptized after receiving the Holy Spirit as evidence of a saving faith in Jesus. In just a few decades this process matured so that baptism was preceded by a careful process of instruction called "catechesis", which could last as long as two whole years in some cases. This was done so that those coming from a pagan background would truly understand what this new commitment to Christ really meant, what was expected as normative behavior for the Christian, and the doctrines these early Christians believed.
Confirmation is generally understood as the second part of baptism, namely that of being "sealed with the Holy Spirit". In the ancient church this was usually done directly after baptism, and still is. Confirmation is exactly that, a confirming of the gift of the Holy Spirit, with the intention that the grown child or adult continue to faithfully follow Christ. Typically this rite is reserved for children 13 and up, but children as young as 11 may be presented for confirmation after conferring with the priest, who will determine if the child is ready to comprehend the instruction. Adults who have never been confirmed, or have rediscovered their faith may also be presented for confirmation.
For centuries in the West, a Christian understanding of the world has been assumed. That is no longer the case. The basic assumptions about the world our society makes are no longer substantially "christian", but are rather a hodge-podge of pseudo-christian, pagan, and popular scientific ideas. For this reason our church no longer believes that those who come for baptism or confirmation ought to confirmed or baptized without proper instruction. If you or your child would like to be baptized or confirmed it is important that you meet with the priest for an interview. Adults returning to, or finding the Faith, will be required to go through catechesis (religious instruction) before baptism or confirmation.
Let's be honest, marriage as mostly lost its meaning in modern society. We no longer know what makes it stick or why it should even be permanent. As mentioned above, we think our Christian understanding of marriage is at variance with that of our society.
We believe marriage is a life long act of faithfulness between a man and a woman for the purpose of sanctification and raising godly children. We believe that a christian marriage takes place within the context of the community of faith so that they may help uphold that marriage. We believe that Jesus sorely discouraged divorce and that it is incumbent upon any person who considers themselves to be a christian to do everything in their power to avoid it. That said, we understand that it is often an unavoidable occurrence, despite the best efforts of one or both parties. God redeems our mistakes and gives us a fresh start. He did with King David.
For the reasons above, as with baptism and confirmation, we ask that those seeking to be married here be baptized and confirmed Christians, participate in the life of the community here at Trinity, undergo pre-marital counseling. If you would like to be married, please call Fr. Mirabile to set up an appointment for an interview.