A sacrament is an outward and visible sign, of an inward and spiritual grace. They are God’s gifts of life-giving grace to humanity. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself is the Great Sacrament.
A faithful bishop once said, “The only way for sin to leave the body is through the mouth.” We have indeed “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
But as St. John promises us, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
This is the very heart of God’s mission in Christ. He sent His Son into the world, “not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Christ is present in the world today as divine physician and healer. He has come to save us and make us whole.
Our salvation begins with repentance. And God is quick to forgive, because His will is reconciliation. One of the great gifts God has given to His Church is the ministry of reconciliation and forgiveness of sins.
In addition to the Confession of Sin that is said by the whole community in the context of public worship, the Reconciliation of a Penitent (The Book of Common Prayer 447) has several distinct advantages:
- A compassionate and understanding priest represents the tangible presence of God’s forgiveness and love.
- More time is given in private confession for spiritual direction and counsel.
- The assurance of pardon and grace of absolution is received.
Confessions may be heard anytime and anywhere. Opportunities for private confession are available seasonally throughout the year (i.e. during Advent and Lent), and by appointment. Read and download the booklet to prepare of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).
Holy Baptism is the first step into the Christian life. It is the doorway through which the resurrected life in Christ begins.
The Baptism Booklet defines and clarifies important roles and responsibilities of those seeking to be baptized at St. Michael’s by-the-Sea, and the roles and responsibilities of parents and godparents interested in sponsoring infants and/or young children for Holy Baptism. It is written with the prayer that individuals will be baptized into the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and welcomed into the portion of Christ’s Body – the Church – which is St. Michael’s by-the-Sea.
The Church has always reserved Holy Baptism for the special feasts of the Easter Vigil (Spring), the Day of Pentecost (Summer), All Saints’ Day (Fall), and the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (Winter). St. Michael’s continues to observe this ancient tradition.
Are you or a loved one interested in being baptized?
Holy Communion is the sacrament by which Our Lord offers us himself, his own body and blood, that he might live in us and we in him. Through Holy Communion we receive “The forgiveness of our sins, the strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet which is our nourishment in eternal life” (The Book of Common Prayer 861-862).
All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion at St. Michael’s by-the-Sea. Click here to download the Holy Communion Preparation Booklet.
First Holy Communion
Children 2nd Grade and up are invited to attend First Holy Communion preparation classes with a parent/caregiver during Eastertide. Instruction includes weekly classes and a First Holy Communion retreat. For more information contact Becky Gleason.
Spring 2020 Session Dates
The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana in Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.
– The Book of Common Prayer
Because the decision to marry is such an important one, we at St. Michael’s by-the-Sea are very serious about our priestly and canonical responsibilities for presiding at a marriage. To be married at St. Michael’s by-the-Sea, each couple must meet the basic requirements established by the Canons (rules) of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of San Diego.
Are you interested in being married at St. Michael’s by-the-Sea?
The laying on of hands, sealing with holy oil (Holy Unction), and prayer is the outward sign of God’s promise to make His people whole. We have specific spiritual, emotional, and physical needs which the Lord desires to heal. Coming to Him in faith and expectation is the proper attitude of healing prayer. When people came to Jesus for healing, he often asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32)
It is good to get in the habit of asking specifically for healing in one or more of these areas when receiving Holy Unction. In so doing, we will discover the Lord’s specific touch in our lives. For example, one could ask, “for physical healing for my eyes,” or “for emotional healing” or “for the healing of a difficult relationship.”
Holy Unction is offered weekly at the Public Service of Healing, Fridays at 12:00 pm in the Chapel. It is also available upon request. Contact the Parish Office for more information.
Would you like to be added to the St. Michael’s Prayer List?
St. Paul famously writes, “For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
As Christians, we need not be afraid of death. Jesus tells his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3)
To be a faithful Christian is to live in Christ now, as we prepare for the life to come. An important task in being prepared is the making of burial arrangements before death occurs. It is a measure of our own spiritual health and awareness of our Christian hope. It is also one of the most loving gifts we can provide for our surviving family members because of the many decisions that surround death and burial.
In order to assist individuals in making prayerful and informed decisions concerning their death, St. Michael’s has created a Burial Preparation Booklet, available for download here. If you would like to further discuss this important subject with a member of the clergy, please contact the Parish Office.