Parish Policies

Some Parish Policies

There are certain times in one's life that the Church comes to mind whether someone is an active member of a church or not. These major life events are Baptism, Holy Communion, Marriage, and Funerals. As a Christian Church of the Anglican Way, there are certain restrictions and/or requirements regarding how the Church responds to these life events. Always remember that you may contact Fr. Ernie Pinto anytime you have a question.

Our Policy on Baptism

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is certainly one of the principle Sacraments of Christ's Holy Church. In Baptism, we die unto sin and gain a new birth unto righteousness. This makes us children of grace, members of the Church, which is that one Body under one Head, which is Christ the Lord.

Baptism requires two things: repentance and faith. This is normally rather easy to ascertain in an adult because they can speak of these things. With an infant or young child the matter is different. The Book of Common Prayer teaches that "…by the faith of their Sponsors, infants are received into Christ's Church, become recipients of His grace, and are trained in the household of faith." (p. 292) This is why we, as Anglican Christians, baptize infants.

Baptism is not a "rite of passage" in the sense of everyday life in our society (e.g., high school graduation) nor is it a social occasion or convention. We baptize a child with the intent that they will be raised in the faith by their parents and godparents. It is for this reason that we will only baptize a child in this place if the family has membership at Holy Cross or if the family is known to the Clergy.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Fr. Ernie Pinto

Receiving Holy Communion

We adhere to the practice of individuals being confirmed by a Bishop in the Apostolic Succession before receiving Holy Communion. This practice in Anglicanism is a balance between catholic and reformed teaching and is Scripturally based partly on St. Paul's words in I Corinthians 11:29, "...discerning the Lord's body."

We are well aware that other traditions allow small children, even infants, to receive the sacrament. The Eastern Orthodox Churches, for example, follow this practice. The Roman Catholic Church has a "First Communion" which allows children approximately seven years old to receive after instruction. Other churches do not seem to have a policy on this matter and it appears to be left to individual dioceses and local option. Thus, there can be confusion at times when people visit this parish from other churches where the practice is to allow unconfirmed children to receive.

We teach and believe that children are covered by Baptismal grace. At the age of discretion, children are given Catechism and Confirmation instruction after which they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation conferred by a Bishop. In Catechism Class, children are taught, among other things, the meaning of the "Real Presence" in the Sacrament of the Altar. At Confirmation, a person makes his/her public profession to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receives the grace and gifts of God's Holy Spirit to use his/her unique talents in the service of Christ's Church. Until such time as a child is confirmed, we encourage parents to bring their children to the Altar at Communion time to receive a blessing from the Priest.

Should you have further questions regarding this subject, please contact Fr. Ernie Pinto

Our Policy on Marriage

Holy Cross is blessed with a beautiful church building and, as such, receives numerous inquiries from couples seeking to be married in this place. Marriage, or rather Holy Matrimony, is a sacrament of the Church and therefore the Church's Clergy only administer it to members of Christ's Holy Catholic Church who are known to them. In practice, this means someone must be a member of Holy Cross Church in order to be married here.

Should a couple join the parish, a minimum of six months must pass before marriage in the church may be contemplated. This timeframe does not include the necessary pre-marital counseling sessions.

The Clergy of this place are bound to certain Church Law regarding the administration of Holy Matrimony. The two most important to know are:

1) Both parties must be baptized, and

2) No Minister, knowingly after due inquiry, shall solemnize the marriage of any person who has been or is the husband or wife of any other person then living whose marriage has been annulled or dissolved in any way by the civil court for any cause arising after marriage. (Canon 34, Sec. 2).

Regarding the 2nd item above, if you have been previously married, this does not mean you are automatically disqualified from being married in the church. Provision is made in church law for a review of your circumstances. Please feel free to contact the Rector to discuss the situation.

We take marriage very seriously here at Holy Cross for we hold it to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman as written in God's Word. Whenever contemplating marriage, contact Fr. Ernie Pinto before making any decisions. He can guide you through the process to help ensure that the union you make with one another is never put asunder.

Funerals at Holy Cross

It is most appropriate that whenever a Christian dies, his funeral and burial should be conducted under the auspices of the Christian community of which he or she was an active member. Sometimes, however, this is not possible and other times the person who has died is not a member of a church family. Should these circumstances arise, at the request of the family, the Clergy at Holy Cross will provide a Christian funeral and burial for any baptized Christian.

We offer the use of the church building itself for any such service and would prefer the service be held here. However, many times the use of funeral home chapels or simple graveside services are preferred and we certainly will assist in those cases.

Funerals held here at Holy Cross should include either the casket or the urn containing remains of the deceased. Music is available though the Music Ministry here at Holy Cross. The service will be conducted using the Burial Office of the Book of Common Prayer (p. 324ff.).

This information is meant to give you a basic understanding of what we can do for you in the event you wish the Clergy here to handle the funeral and burial of your loved one. Please contact our Rector, Fr. Ernie Pinto. He can guide you through the process and fill you in on all the details of having a funeral here or elsewhere.

If you are a member of Holy Cross, we expect your funeral will occur here at the church. The funeral for an active participant in the life of this parish will always include a celebration of the Holy Communion. This is commonly called a Requiem Mass. Contact Fr. Ernie for any questions you may have or even if you would like to pre-plan for your funeral.