The celebration of love is one of the greatest joys of family life. Marriage, as understood by the Church of England, is the Sacrament by which a man and a woman are joined together, in the presence of God, in faithfulness and love. By the outward signs of joining hands and giving and receiving rings, the couple are joined together in lifelong commitment to one another.
This is the Sacrament by which a baptized Christian – young person or adult – makes their own profession of faith in God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and commits to following Jesus Christ throughout their lives.
or Christening (two words that have the same meaning) is a very happy and momentous event in the life of any family, not least the family of the local parish and the Christian Church throughout the world. Whether they are young or old this is the Sacrament by which people are made members of the Church, which is Christ’s visible Body on earth, by the outward sign of the pouring of water. All are invited to come to Jesus Christ and share in the life of his Church.
Not everyone is ready to have their child baptised or would rather wait until the child is older. An alternative is to have a Service of Thanksgiving where the family meet in church to give thanks to God for the safe arrival of a new baby.
One of the hardest moments in all of our lives is when someone we love dies. Whatever the circumstances of their death, we all need the opportunity to express our grief, sorrow and love for the person who has died. In a Christian funeral, we give thanks for that person’s life, we pray for one another in our grief, and we pray for the soul of the person who has died, that God will keep them in his loving care and bring them into eternal life.