St. Columba's Episcopal Church

Other Sacramental Rites

Entering church via the side door in spring


These rites of the Church evolved over time under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and bring God’s blessing and grace at key times of transition, need and the undertaking of new responsibilities. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 860)  


In Christian marriage, or Holy Matrimony, partners enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help fulfill their vows. Click here for more on weddings at St. C’s.

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Anointing of the Sick

This healing rite, also known as Unction, involves anointing the sick with oil or the laying on of hands, and is a means of receiving God’s grace for the healing of spirit, mind and body. This healing rite is available on request for those who are sick, whether they are at home or in a hospital. Healing prayer, with the laying on of hands, is available during the time of communion at the 9 am and 11:15 am Eucharists in the church nave, and after the 5 pm Eucharist. It is also available during the 10 am Eucharist celebrated each Thursday in St Aidan’s chapel. Prayers may be sought for others as part of the healing rite, as well as for yourself. Click here for more information about our pastoral ministry to the sick.

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Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. Those who have been baptized, and seek to affirm their Christian discipleship as adults in this rite, prepare by participating in a series of Commitment and Faith classes, which are open to anyone over 16. Confirmation services for candidates from parishes across the diocese are held at Washington National Cathedral. Commitment and Faith classes also serve as preparation for those who have been confirmed in other Christian denominations and seek to be received into the Episcopal Church.

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Reconciliation of a Penitent (Confession)

In this rite those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. The clergy will be glad to offer guidance to the rite, which can offer a powerful experience of spiritual renewal. Confession is always strictly confidential.

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Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests and deacons. It is a great joy for our community when members experience a call to the ordained ministry of the Church. We offer guidance in discerning that call, and support for those who go on to enter into a process of discernment, following the steps required by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and then enter into seminary for training. The bishop presides at ordination services, which are normally held at Washington National Cathedral.

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Click on the following links for more information:

Weddings at St. C’s
Pastoral Care for the Sick
Commitment and Faith class
Episcopal Diocese of Washington
Clergy Directory

Photo: Barbara McGowan

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