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    “Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 857).

Outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means for receiving God's grace. Baptism and Eucharist are the two great sacraments given by Christ to his church. (BCP, pp. 857-858). The Episcopal Church recognizes that five other sacramental rites evolved in the church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, including Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction (the anointing of the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands) (BCP, pp. 860-861).

Sacraments are not magic. They are moments when earth and heaven touch. If we were fully in God’s presence sacraments would not be needed. They are vehicles through which God comes to us and touches us. They are distinguished by outward and visible signs as well as inward and spiritual signs as well.

While infants, children and adults may be baptized, Confirmation is a mature decision reserved for those who voluntarily declare their desire to be more committed Christians, and who are older than 16 years of age.

Read about the Sacrament of Baptism in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan
Read about the Sacrament of Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

Questions? Call Gennie Callard, Assistant to the Bishop for Children and Youth Ministries, at (269) 381-2710, ext. 13 or send an e-mail.


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"Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and The Holy Spirit into Christ’s body the Church." (BCP p. 298)

Baptism is the sacrament signifying our identity as children of God and our commitment to walk in the ways of God throughout our lives.  Baptism serves, as well, as a sacrament of welcome into the Body of Christ—for children and adults.  In it, we celebrate God's love and embrace for God's people as unconditional and absolute; we are “marked as Christ’s own forever,” making Baptism a sacrament that is done only once in a person’s life.

Baptism is also a time when the community of faith gathers to renew its own commitment to Christ and to support those who are being baptized in their life in Christ. So it is appropriate that baptism take place, whenever possible, in the midst of the congregation during the Holy Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast day.

The Book of Common Prayer designates certain days in the liturgical year as being especially appropriate for the celebration of Holy Baptism. These are the Easter Vigil (Saturday night before Easter Day), the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany).

Baptism in the Book of Common Prayer




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Please see our Confirmation page.

Comfirmation in the diocese has changed. Please see our new confirmation page to find out how the process has been re-imagined.