While we celebrate, mourn, and observe many events in life together as a parish community, the oldest such examples have been set aside by the church with special liturgies, preparation and import.
In baptism, we are joined to Christ in his death and resurrection and made members of his body, the Church. In the Episcopal Church, anyone of any age may be baptized. For adults, a time of preparation decided on by the candidate and the Rector precedes the baptism.
Marriage is “the union of two people 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,” according to our liturgy. In the Episcopal Church, two people of any gender may enter into holy matrimony.
In the burial service, we commend to Christ an individual who has died, asking God to grant that this person’s death may recall to our own minds Christ’s victory over death and be an occasion for us to renew our trust in God’s love. At Ascension, we have a columbarium for the inurnment (as compared to a cemetery for the internment of bodies) of a deceased person’s ashes, which an increasing number of people are choosing for themselves or their loved ones.