Sacraments and Services

There are many words used to describe the Anglican Church:

episcopal – lead by bishops, primary authorities and overseers of dioceses
catholic – the church universal, at all times, in all places, for all people
creedal – ascribing to the three historical Christian creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Creed of St. Athanasius
in communion – with the global Anglican Church and the see of the Archbishop of Canterbury
apostolic – in line with the first Apostles sent by Jesus Christ to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
sacramental – maintaining and teaching the faith in the historic sacraments


The Anglican tradition of Christianity recognizes a “sacrament” as “the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” (The Book of Common Prayer, 1962, p. 550).

… the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace …

There are two ‘greater sacraments,’ given by Christ to his Church:

  • Holy Baptism: Christian initiation into the Body of Christ – the Church
  • The Holy Eucharist (or Communion or the Mass): Christian table liturgy with bread and wine

In addition to these, there are other spiritual markers of the faith journey that can serve as a “means of God’s grace,” often referred to as the ‘lesser sacraments.’

  • Confirmation: an adult reaffirmation of the vows of baptism *
  • Penance: general or private confession and absolution – the reconciliation of a penitent
  • Holy Matrimony: Christian marriage
  • Holy Orders: ordination to the diaconate, priesthood, or episcopacy
  • Holy Unction: anointing of the sick or dying with holy oil set apart for that purpose

* a reaffirmation of faith made by a person once confirmed, usually at a service of confirmation and in the presence of the Bishop, is appropriate at any time of adult life

Other Services

Occasional Celebrations offers orders of prayer for various times and circumstances