Pastoral Care

When to call a priest

Any member of the parish may call at any hour of the day or night, seven days a week, in the event of a pastoral crisis such as someone dying, someone in grave danger, or other pastoral emergency. If possible, a priest should be called when someone is near death to administer Last Rites and pray with the family. If not possible, a priest should be contacted whenever a parishioner has died. Call the office or the rector’s office voice mail for the pastoral care emergency phone number. Also please call the rector or church office when someone is ill or hospitalized,  experiencing distress and needs pastoral care, wants to discuss spiritual or theological matters, has reason to celebrate or when just wants to talk to a priest.

Hospital/Care center visits
When members are sick and/or hospitalized, the rector, once informed, is happy to make a pastoral visit. You may request a pre-surgery visit, time spent with the family during surgery, and/or a post-surgery visit. In the case of an extended hospital stay, the rector and/or a Eucharistic Visitor is available to bring communion. To receive a hospital or other medical-care oriented facility visit, contact the church office or call the rector directly. Please do not presume others will notify us.

Parish Prayer List
The Parish Prayer List is updated weekly and includes both parish members and friends/loved ones of members. The full list is printed and made available with the weekly announcements in This Week at Grace, and the individuals are included in the Prayers of the People at each service. To include a name, contact the parish office. To ensure the list remains current, names remain four weeks, then the requestor is asked to renew the request if the need remains. Names of those who have died are normally included for four weeks, or until the funeral, whichever is longer.

Home Visits and Communion
Sometimes people are unable to attend worship services due to illness, prolonged recovery, or simply the aging process. In such instances, Eucharistic Visitors will be glad to bring Holy Communion to you. This ministry exists to supplement rather than replace clergy visits. If you desire home communion, please contact the parish office.

Holy Unction

Anointing with holy oil (unction) is offered with the laying on of hands as a sign and promise of God’s healing power. It is not limited only to times of very grave illness or imminent death (“Last rites”). Anointing and prayer for healing are routinely offered just before an operation or a hospital visit, or at any point in a person’s sickness or recovery. A person may be anointed at church following a service, at another time, or at home or in a hospital or care facility. As a sign that God desires us to be whole, all healing is offered in the spirit of the following words sometimes used when anointing the sick:

 As you are outwardly anointed with this oil, so may our heavenly Father grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit. Of his great mercy, may he forgive you your sins, release you from suffering, and restore you to wholeness and strength. May he deliver you from all evil, preserve you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you desire Holy Unction, please speak with the rector or contact the parish office.

Reconciliation of a Penitent
In the Episcopal tradition, we make a public and corporate confession of sin each time we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Sometimes people desire and situations warrant making an explicit, private confession of sins to a priest, from whom the individual seeks absolution. Please contact the rector directly to schedule this sacrament.

Conversations held during a declared confession of sins are confidential. To insure that confidentiality, be sure to inform the priest that a particular conversation constitutes a confession.

When the penitent has confessed all serious sins troubling the conscience and has given evidence of due contrition, the priest gives such counsel and encouragement as are needed and pronounces absolution. Before giving absolution, the priest may assign to the penitent a psalm, prayer, or hymn to be said, or something to be done, as a sign of penitence and act of thanksgiving.

House Blessing
Occupying a new home can be a joyous occasion. The rector is available to help sanctify your new home by offering a blessing on behalf of the church.

If convenient, prayers for the several rooms of the house may be offered. The priest, with members of the household and others as convenient, moves from room to room saying a prayer over each space. A celebration of Holy Eucharist may be included. House blessings may conclude with light refreshments for any guests who participate in the celebration.

Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child
The rector is always delighted to come to the hospital the day of or after childbirth to offer a brief service of thanksgiving. It is particularly appropriate to include any siblings and close family members in this joyous occasion.