Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals
Life is a gift from God. In the Christian tradition, we celebrate all of life each time we worship God. But, we also mark important stages in the passage of life at specific times in worship services.
From a Christian faith perspective, birth and death are part of the natural cycle of life. In the cycle of life,, there comes a time to recognize a person’s basic identity as a son or daughter of God. This happens in the sacrament of baptism. There is also a time to recognize the decision to live life in an ongoing relationship with the Christian community. This happens at a time we call “confirmation”. At yet another time in life comes the decision to bond for life with a partner. This decision is recognized during a wedding service. Then comes the time when we mark the end of life and the passage into life after death, during a memorial service or funeral. We do all this knowing that the God of Life is with us from before our birth, on into the community of faith, and all the way past the end. At each stage, and every day, we renew our relationship with God and our belonging to the community of God’s people.
At Salisbury United Church we are part of a Christian religious tradition that regards baptism as a basic building block in the life of faith, both for individuals and for the church community. Whenever a baptism takes
place, we take joy in the opening up of a person’s life to their essential identity as a beloved person of God. Baptism also recognizes that a child, youth or adult is placed to live out that identity within the Christian religious tradition. With each baptism, we experience the opening up of our church community as we remember once again how God loves many, many kinds of people from all walks of life.
Baptism is open to people of all ages. Children are presented for baptism by their parents, who have taken a parents’ baptism preparation program. Parents, by presenting their children for baptism, make their own faith affirmation and affirm their ongoing participation in, the church community.
Youth and adults present themselves for baptism, after a similar program of preparation and exploration of faith. All baptisms, whether child, youth or adult, are performed on a Sunday during a regular service of worship.
Confirmation, another step in a person’s faith journey, happens when they personally align themselves with the church community of their choice. Confirmation happens on its own during a service of worship, or at the same time as baptism for people being baptized later in life. Parents of infants and children being baptized may choose to to be confirmed and/or baptized at the same time.
Salisbury United Church belongs to a Christian religious tradition that views marriage as a “good and honourable
estate”. That means that marriage, even in its contemporary forms, provides a “home-base” within which two people can create a living shelter for their lives, and grow in love, understanding, forgiveness and compassion together over the years.
When you come to Salisbury United Church to celebrate your wedding and begin your marriage, you will work with our minister, an experienced licensed marriage officiant. Like most churches in Alberta, we have a basic ceremony outline we follow. We adapt that ceremony with you. The ceremony includes spiritual components like prayer, scripture reading, your vows as a couple, and a blessing of your intention to live in marriage together. We also perform and register the secular aspects of marriage, in order for your marriage to be legally recognized. At the same time that we are planning your wedding ceremony with you, we will also provide you with a reference to a local marriage preparation program which you arrange at your own convenience and which is tailored to your individual needs. (This preparation program is a required of all couples.)
The death and loss of a loved one is a difficult time. It is natural to mark a loved one’s life with a special service of some kind. Salisbury United Church
belongs to a faith tradition that regards death as a passage rather than an ending. We believe in a good and loving God who grieves our losses with us, and who is with us in compassion as we struggle with how to say good-bye. We bring this particular Christian faith perspective to the celebration of your loved one’s life at the time of a memorial or funeral service. At the same time, we recognize that many people today come from varied faith backgrounds in the same family. We also recognize that many people are looking for flexible funeral service planning that has room for personal touches and tributes. We are privileged to work with you in sensitivity and understanding through your time of grief and recovery.
When it comes to contacting us about a funeral or memorial service, you likely will be in touch with us after you have first had a conversation with a funeral service provider. Usually the funeral service provider contacts our minister, and confirms the date of the service. Our minister then in turn gets in touch with you and arranges to meet with you to plan a loving celebration that honours your loved one and lifts up the presence of God in the midst of death. If you are planning your loved one’s funeral or memorial service on your own, do not hesitate to contact our office directly. We will be happy to meet with you and assist you any time.