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Frequently Asked Questions


WELCOME to St. Mary's Parish Web site.  We're sure you have many questions regarding our Parish, here most of those questions can be answered.



How am I expected to participate in the service?


The Episcopal Church is a liturgical church, which means that we see worship as an activity in which the whole congregation is engaged. We sit, stand or kneel in various places in the service. We say prayers together, or engage in a dialogue of prayers and responses. In some services we sing hymns and some of the prayers. Everyone present should participate as fully as possible- making the responses, singing the hymns, and so on.

Some may find that participation is physically challenging-- kneeling, genuflecting, or standing too long. If so, it’s certainly acceptable to participate to the best of your ability. Or if you simply and absolutely can’t sing, you may want to follow the text in the Hymnal or Prayer Book and enjoy the music of others. But do your best to join in! – (and don’t feel bashful if you’re not a vocal star.)

If you’re not familiar with the service, follow the cues in the program; watch those around you and follow their lead; and take part as you’re comfortable. You’ll quickly get accustomed to the liturgy.

And afterwards-- feel free to ask questions!




What does it take to become a member of St. Mary’s Church?

There are several parts to the answer to this question.

One becomes a member of the Church—the fellowship of followers of Jesus Christ, in all times and places—by Baptism.

If you were baptized in some other congregation or church tradition and would like to be officially associated with St. Mary’s Church, you should speak to the Rector, provide information about your baptism, and ask that you be entered into our records as a “baptized member.”

If you have not been baptized, you should speak to the Rector about being baptized.

A further step of formal affiliation is to be confirmed, or received as a member of the Episcopal Church, by the bishop. In the sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop lays hands on the individual, recognizes that person as a member of the Church, and invokes the strength of the Holy Spirit for faithful living. If you have already received Confirmation by a bishop, you would not be confirmed again—instead you would be “received” by the bishop as a member of the Episcopal Church.

Confirmation or reception is usually preceded by instruction—a series of classes about the Faith and the Church. If you are interested in being confirmed or received, again you should speak to the Rector.