Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, binding both to self-giving love and exclusive fidelity. In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the couple exchange vows to uphold this covenant. They do this before God and in the presence of witnesses, who pray that God will bless their life together (Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19; Mark 10:2-9; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39). The marriage between man and woman signifies the communion between Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and the Church, his holy bride. In Christian marriage, God establishes and blesses the covenant between husband and wife, and joins them to live together in a communion of love, faithfulness and peace within the fellowship of Christ and his Church. God enables all married people to grow in love, wisdom and godliness through a common life patterned on the sacrificial love of Christ.
Those who come to the church seeking God’s blessing on their relationship should do so with a clear intention of maintaining an active participation in the life of the Church. It is normative that marriage take place in the church where the couple already worships. Therefore, at least either the bride or the groom is expected to be an active member of St. Alban’s Church as described in the Duties of the Laity (ACNA Canons: Title I, Canon X, Section II):
I. To worship God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, every Lord’s Day in a Church unless reasonably prevented;
II. To engage regularly in the reading and study of Holy Scripture and the Doctrine of the Church as found in Article I of the Constitution of this Church;
III. To observe their baptismal vows, to lead an upright and sober life, and not give scandal to the Church;
IV. To present their children and those they have led to the Lord for baptism and confirmation;
V. To give regular financial support to the Church, with the biblical tithe as the minimum standard of giving;
VI. To practice forgiveness daily according to our Lord’s teaching;
VII. To receive worthily the Sacrament of Holy Communion as often as reasonable;
VIII. To observe the feasts and fasts of the Church set forth in the Anglican formularies;
IX. To continue his or her instruction in the Faith so as to remain an effective minister for the Lord Jesus Christ;
X. To devote themselves to the ministry of Christ among those who do not know Him, utilizing the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives them, for the effective extension of Christ’s Kingdom.
A sixty-day period is required for announcing the bands of marriage and conducting premarital counseling. Due to the penitential nature of Advent and Lent wedding dates during these seasons should be avoided. Those wishing to be married should review the Saint Alban's Wedding Customary for more information.
Through prayer and anointing with oil, the clergy invokes God’s blessing upon those suffering in body, mind, or spirit (Matthew 10:8; James 5:14-16). As God wills, the healing given through anointing may bring bodily recovery from illness, peace of mind or spirit, and strength to persevere in adversity, especially in preparation for death.
For those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit; are preparing for a medical procedure, being admitted to a facility for treatment, or are at home with a condition please notify the parish priest. Fr. Noah is also available to meet with members of the church who wish to plan the details of their funeral liturgy. For more information please contact Fr. Noah. The funeral planner may be downloaded here.
Each and every member of the Church may receive pastoral support, assistance, and comfort. The church offers specific programs for many pastoral care needs, including: weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc.
In the case of hospitalization, please advise the priest so that pastoral care can be provided. For any pastoral care needs, including emergencies, please call Fr. Noah (559-381-2463) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Sacrament of Confirmation follows a mature commitment to, and a public profession of, a person's baptismal covenant with God. The confirmand receives the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6). In Confirmation, God strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian for His daily increase in their life and ministry (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6).
The Sacrament of Confirmation is made available for members of Saint Alban's Church who are in regular attendance and support the work of the church. Those desiring to be Confirmed (and are already baptized) must enroll in a fourteen-session Confirmation Class. For adults who wish to be baptized for the first time and confirmed they must enroll in a thirty session Baptism-Confirmation Class.
The Sacrament of Baptism is administered by the pouring of water over the candidate as the words “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (the name of the Triune God to whom the candidate is being committed) are spoken (1 Peter 3:21; Matthew 28:19). In baptism, the grace of God puts a person’s sin to death and brings about a new birth to righteousness, through union with Christ in his death and resurrection. All people are born sinners by nature, separated from God, but in baptism, rightly received, a person is made God’s child by grace through faith in Christ (John 3:3-5; Romans 6:1-11; Ephesians 2:12; Galatians 3:27-29). All that is required of a person to be baptized is repentance, in which they turn away from sin; and faith, in which they turn to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and embrace the promises that God makes to them in this sacrament (Acts 2:38).
As Anglicans we baptize infants. It is appropriate because baptism is a sign of God’s promise that they are embraced in the covenant community of Christ’s Church (Acts 2:39). Those who in faith and repentance present infants to be baptized vow to raise them in the knowledge and fear of the Lord, with the expectation that they will one day profess full Christian faith as their own in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Holy Baptism is administered on the First Sunday after the Epiphany, at the Easter Vigil, on the Feast of Pentecost, All Saints’ Day (or the following Sunday) as well as regular Sundays throughout the Church Year. Only occasionally, due to extreme circumstances, will Holy Baptism be administered at a time other than the principle Sunday Eucharist or one of the feasts listed above. Regular participation in the life of the Church is expected of all candidates (in the case of infants their parents and Godparents should be active members of the Church). Parents and Godparents of infants as well as adult candidates and their sponsors for baptism will participate in a course of preparation before they are baptized (five sessions for parents of an infant candidate, thirty sessions for an adult candidate, and one session for Godparents/sponsors). If you would like to be baptized, would like for your infant to be baptized, or learn more about the Sacrament of Baptism, please contact Fr. Noah for more information.