Life Events

For thousands of years, the church has been an essential part of celebrating life’s events and helping us mourn for loved ones. The church marks these events through the sacraments and sacramental rites and reminds us that God is always present. Each of these services, described in more detail below, reminds us and those dear to us that we are part of something greater. Our lives are linked to those of the past and future and the Kingdom of God.

Baptism † Welcome to the Family!

Holy Baptism is the sacrament of new birth and of initiation into the full membership of the body of Christ, the Church. The outward and visible sign in Baptism is water, in which an individual is baptized in the name of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The inward and spiritual grace in Baptism is that God adopts us, makes us members of the church, and inheritors of the Kingdom of God. In Baptism, we share in the new life of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins. Baptism is the foundation for all future church participation and ministry. For if we are buried with Christ in a death like his, so shall we be raised with him into the fullness of his own life.

We recognize all baptisms done in the name of the Trinity, and do not require converts to be “rebaptized.” All people of any age are welcome to be baptized. Adult converts should plan to commit to a 6 week class. Godparents and parents of children being baptized should prepare to commit to a shorter class. Baptisms are held 5 days throughout the year: The Baptism of our Lord, The Easter Vigil, Pentecost, All Saints Day and the Bishop’s Visit.

For information on baptism please contact Father Garrett at (318) 222-3325 or

Confirmation † Reaffirming Faith

The Rite of Confirmation is an adult profession of faith for those baptized as infants or for previously baptized converts to The Episcopal Church. This rite is performed only by the bishop, and so can only be held when the bishop visits, which is usually once a year. Being an adult profession of faith, candidates should be at least 16 years old and must have been previously baptized. Candidates will receive the laying on of hands by the bishop as he/she prays over you.

If you were previously confirmed in The Eastern Orthodox Church, The Roman Catholic Church or the ELCA, you do not need to be confirmed again. If you were previously confirmed in another tradition, please mention this to the Rector. Those who were previously confirmed are not confirmed again, but received by the bishop with a laying on of hands and prayer.

Candidates for confirmation are required to attend a 6 week class before they can be sponsored for confirmation. These classes are offered throughout the year. For more information, please contact the Rector.

Marriage † that they may grow in love and peace

The union of two people in Holy Matrimony is a sign and testament of God’s love for us. The Episcopal Church will solemnize same-gender marriages, interfaith marriages (so long as one member of the couple is baptized), and remarriages. Those seeking to be married should plan to commit to a 6-week class with the Rector (or other priest) on the theological purposes of marriage. They are also encouraged to seek out premarital counseling from a licensed therapist. Those seeking to be remarried, when the former spouse is still living, will need to seek dispensation from the bishop following extra sessions of theological counseling and are required to meet with a licensed marriage counselor.

Marriages at Holy Cross must conform to the Book of Common Prayer and the canons of The Episcopal Church. All weddings are solemnized at the sole discretion of the Rector.

Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child †

The welcoming of a new child to your family and the family of God is a time of incalculable joy. The Church marks this time with two services for either the birth or adoption of a new child. The service welcomes the new child to the family of the Church, and in the case of a birth, welcomes back the parent(s) who might have been away for a time while adjusting or recovering from the birth.

The Prayer Book also uses this opportunity to remind all Christians of their responsibility and duty to create a will to provide for the care of any children or other dependents and when possible to leave charitable bequests to the Church.

Reconciliation of a Penitent † The Miracle of Forgiveness

The Reconciliation of a Penitent (commonly called Confession) is an intimate and beautiful rite for forgiveness. While we confess our sins in the General Confession each Sunday, we sometimes need to specifically name certain sins that plague our conscience. A sin vaguely confessed is a sin vaguely forgiven. And so, the Church developed this sacrament in which a penitent confesses the sin or sins that cause trouble in the mind of the faithful. And Christ has given his ministers power to forgive sins confessed in his name. By confessing our sins, we free ourselves from their power over us. And by speaking them aloud to another person, we can rid ourselves of the shame that so often accompanies them. “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”-Luke 15:7

Everything discussed during the confession is covered under the seal of the confession, which is morally absolute and cannot be broken by the person hearing the confession ever or for any reason.

To schedule a confession contact the Rector at (318) 222-3325.

Ministration to the Sick † Comfort and Community

If you are ill and unable to attend services, if you are preparing for a surgery, if you are in hospital, please contact the Rector to have him anoint you with oil, bring you communion, and pray over you. The sacrament of unction (anointing with oil) is specifically recommended to us by James’ letter. As James says, “The prayer of the righteous availeth much.” This sacrament is a boon for the soul and a great comfort during uncertain times. It is given to us for the consolation and healing of mind, body and soul. And all are encouraged to make use of it by contacting the Rector whenever they are ill.

Burial of the Dead † Funerals and memorials for our beloved

While not a sacrament, the Burial of the Dead is a profound liturgy in The Episcopal Church. Funerals set the tone for the grieving process and are foundational in our mourning. Christians are properly buried from the Church, and so the Prayer Book recommends that the minister be notified immediately when someone dies or is near death. If someone is near death, contact the Rector on his emergency line so that he may give last rites to the person who is dying.

The funeral liturgy is a solemn remembrance of the promises given to us by Christ that he will not abandon us to the grip of death. In it, we are shown over and over that the love of God is as strong as death and that we who wait in hope will never hope in vain.