"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” - Ephesians 5:1-2
+ Holy Baptism
What is Baptism?
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which we celebrate God’s redemption and adoption of us as his children, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace in a person’s life and relationship with God. It marks our birth and membership into Christ’s Body, the Church, and union with Christ in his death and resurrection, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.
If the person baptized is an infant, the sacrament has one meaning. If the person baptized is an adult, the meaning is somewhat different. But whatever the age of the one baptized, baptism is the birth rite of the worldwide Christian Church. We know from our own experience that, as we pass from one milestone to the next, some rite is often performed. An immigrant who becomes an American citizen participates in the rite of becoming a citizen. A civilian who joins the armed services participates in a similar rite of passage. The rite speaks to both the individual and the whole community that an important and life-changing moment in a person's life is taking place.
In just the same way, when one becomes a member of the Christian family, either by being born into a Christian home or by deciding for himself that he has come to believe in Christ as his Lord and wants to join the Church, a definite rite or ceremony is performed - baptism.
Baptism at The Falls Church Anglican
Baptisms are held at least six times per year in January, March, May, July, August and October. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or your child, the first step in the process is to submit some informational paperwork and request an appointment with the clergy.
What do I need to do?
- Contact our baptism coordinator (571-282-0202) to receive information and forms to be completed and returned. You won't be registered for baptism until the forms are returned.
- After the paperwork is submitted, make an appointment to meet with a clergy member. At the clergy meeting, you will be able to confirm the date for baptism and determine whether any additional requirements are needed prior to that date.
- Attend two baptismal classes prior to baptism.
- Attend the baptism rehearsal on the morning of the baptism.
Do we baptize infants? Why?
Yes, we do. Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant membership in Christ and redemption by God. Infant baptism has been a practice of the Church throughout most of the Church’s history and can be traced back to the second century.
Do we baptize older children and adults?
Yes! We love to welcome people into the family of God. Older children and adults also meet with the clergy. At the clergy’s discretion, alternate tasks may be required in order to ensure a person understands the commitment being made.
I have already been baptized. Do I need to be re-baptized?
No. We accept baptism in other denominations of the Church as valid, as long as you were baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
What about Godparents?
They must be active and instructed members of a Christian church, because they will be making vows that only a strong believer can in good conscience make. We require that they send us a reference from their pastor, if they are not members of The Falls Church Anglican.
Do we have private baptisms?
No, baptism is the public rite of initiation into the Church, so baptisms are a normal part of our corporate worship as the Body of Christ. An exception would be clinical baptism which is administered to the gravely ill.
Do you need to be members?
If the parents of children to be baptized are not yet members of The Falls Church Anglican, we ask that they make the commitment to join the church by filling out our membership form. They can also consider attending the next series of the Welcome 101 sessions and the JOIN: Adult Membership and Confirmation Prep Course. However, their child may be baptized before any of these classes are completed. For information about these classes, contact Erin O'Keefe (571-282-0700). We are glad to arrange for any adults to be baptized as well.
What is required of us at baptism?
It is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Attending two baptism classes, which explain the meaning of this Sacrament, is also required.
+ Communion Preparation (Grades 4-8)
Our Communion Preparation class, facilitated by church pastors and lay leaders, is a wonderful and rigorous six-session study of scripture, liturgical tradition, church history and self examination. In this workshop, parents will join with their children in at-home study to preparing their hearts to join the church family at the Lord’s table. This family time together can strengthen their love for Christ as they learn about the significance of this unique sacrament. The lessons build on one another from week to week, so family homework and reading time is mandatory. Please check your calendar before signing your child up for this class.
Why Communion Preparation Class?
1 Corinthians 11:26-29 offers clear guidance to the church about Holy Communion. By providing instruction for the purpose of preparing children to receive Holy Communion, we are attempting to live the directives of Scripture. Our hope and prayer is the Communion Preparation Class will equip children to “discern the body,” “proclaim the Lord’s death,” and receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Why Grades 4 through 8?
Communion preparation is offered for this age group because it is the ideal time developmentally for children to receive this kind of instruction. Children are moving towards increasing independence and are beginning to internalize their values and moral principles. This is the developmental stage when children become capable of understanding abstractions such as the Trinity, and concepts such as substitution (i.e. Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross for our sins.) They can understand sin and are fully able to comprehend their need for a Savior.
Communion Preparation Syllabus
The message of the Gospel is the basis for the Communion Preparation Class, as is the foundation and the reason for our celebration of Holy Communion. Class participants study and discuss such things as:
- Knowing God the Father
- Knowing God the Son
- Knowing God the Holy Spirit
- Worship, Prayer and the Creeds
- The Last Supper
- God’s Hand on the Church Through History
- The Invitation to Respond to Jesus’ Gift of Salvation.
It is our prayer that all children who complete this class will personally receive God’s gift of salvation from sin in Jesus, and surrender their lives to His Lordship.
Men and women desiring to be married under the auspices of The Falls Church Anglican must be active members or children of active members, or in the process of becoming active members, celibate and living apart. If you and your fiance'/fiancee' meet these criteria, we welcome the opportunity to partner with you in this special event!
In addition to meeting the above criteria, couples must:
- Have their wedding approved by clergy;
- Participate in pre-marital mentoring through The Falls Church Anglican;
- Adhere to the guidelines set forth by The Falls Church Anglican concerning ceremony details.
Scheduling Your First Meeting with Clergy and Pre-marital Mentoring
To allow time for adequate pre-marital preparation and instruction, contact the Church at least six monthsprior to your desired wedding date. The first appointment in the mentoring process is with a member of the clergy to obtain his approval for the wedding to go forward.
To receive permission from the minister, you will need to schedule an appointment with clergy with both the bride and the groom present. This meeting will be about 90 minutes in length. After the wedding is approved, a wedding date can be set on the Wedding Calendar. Contact Christine Yates (571-282-0202) to schedule a meeting with a clergy member to begin the process.
The couple then meets with The Rev. Dr. Rick Wright, Pre-marital Coordinators, to take the Prepare Inventory, an assessment tool designed to assist the couple in identifying relationship areas to be explored with their mentor couple over the course of their pre-marital mentoring.
Pre-marital mentorship is contingent upon the availability of pre-marital mentoring couples; thus, it is strongly recommended that engaged couples contact the church at least six months before the planned wedding date to assure the availability of mentoring couples.
The Wedding Team
The Wedding Team is a volunteer ministry. A member may be assigned to help you plan the logistics of your ceremony and will be present for the rehearsal and wedding day to assist clergy and facilitate your preferences. Lynn Nelson (571-282-0223) is the coordinator of the team. If the Wedding Team is utilized for your wedding, a form should be completed 1-2 months prior. Lynn can send you the form if necessary.
Baptized Christians, having been nurtured in the Church, are properly buried from the Church. However, planning a funeral when a loved one dies is always challenging, as it is accompanied by grief and difficulty in focusing on details. After a death occurs, one of your first calls should be to the church to let us know you have sustained a loss so that a member of the clergy can reach out to you as soon as possible. When you call the church office (571-282-0100), the receptionist will take down the necessary information about the deceased, and find out if you wish to have one of our clergy conduct the funeral/memorial service, and if you have a preference for a particular priest. She will ask where you would like to have the service and ask for your preferred weekday (Monday - Friday) date and time for the service. She will ask if there will be a casket or cremains, or if it will be a memorial service. All of this information is given to the priest, and he/she will contact you to set up a time when you can meet together to discuss the service you desire for your loved one.
The clergy will cover the specifics of the funeral service with you. Do you prefer a Rite 1 (the traditional, more poetic language of the 8:00 service) or a Rite 2 service (see the Prayer Book Burial Services)? Which appropriate hymns do you want? Which suggested scripture passages (Old and New Testament) would you like? Will you or others offer brief words of remembrance during the service? You may also offer personal remembrances you would like to have embedded in the homily. The fee for the organist, honorarium for the clergy, costs for flowers, and the reception will also be discussed. This meeting with the clergy will also give us the necessary information needed to prepare the funeral leaflet for the service.
The Ministry Center has now become available to host small funerals/memorial services and receptions, with some limitations: we cannot accommodate a funeral service which includes a casket. Otherwise, we would need a bit more time to make arrangements with a host church, preferably one and a half to two weeks' time from the request to the proposed date of the funeral/memorial service. We will confirm the date and location with you as soon as possible. This may take a few days to accomplish, which we realize makes securing travel arrangements for out-of-town guests more difficult, but in these cases, we are in a petitioning position. We will work diligently to get the details of the service secured as quickly as possible.
If communion is desired during the service, we will contact the Altar Guild to make preparations. Also, the Funeral Team and ushers will be on hand to assist with making sure people can navigate an unfamiliar facility, and to be available to serve in any way needed at the time of the funeral/memorial service.
We are pleased, when possible, to provide the reception after a funeral or memorial service of a parishioner, and recommend that the reception take place at the church where the service is held (or the Concourse Lobby, if the service is held in the Concourse), although we can also help with a reception at someone's home, if desired. Our Funeral Reception Team is a group of parishioners who provide food, drinks, set-up and clean-up to minister and provide assistance to the family of the deceased. This is one of the ways we can "love one another" at a difficult and stressful time.
Cremation is in keeping with the Church’s teaching about death. The funeral or memorial service is held in the church, before or after the burial of the ashes. Our practice is to use only consecrated ground for the burial of ashes.
Funeral Arrangement Form
The Funeral Arrangement Form lists your preferences for a funeral/memorial service and is a way to pre-plan a service ahead of the time when it's needed. We encourage you to complete two copies of this form: one for the church office and one for your own records. Please call Jenny Byrne (571-282-0207) for more information and an appointment with a member of the clergy to talk through the various aspects of this pre-planning tool.
+ Pre-Marital Mentoring
Marriage is encouraged and blessed by our Lord. However, a joyous marriage is not guaranteed just because a couple are Christians. Premarital mentoring helps each engaged couple better understand the challenges of marriage. It also provides scriptural teaching about marriage and some practical tools to help couples successfully live out their covenant with the Lord for a lifelong commitment to each other.
To allow time for adequate pre-marital preparation and instruction, contact us at least six months prior to your desired wedding date. The first appointment is with a member of the clergy to obtain his approval for the premarital mentoring to go forward as appropriate.
Pre-marital mentoring is required for couples married at The Falls Church Anglican. Premarital mentoring may also be available for active church members who are planning to be married in other churches. The premarital mentor couples are happily married Christian couples that meet with an engaged couple to help them talk through and understand their expectations about the relationship areas a husband and wife experience in marriage. They normally meet together for 4-5 mentoring sessions before the engaged couple is married, and then follow up with the couple during the first few months of marriage. However, the relationship between the two couples may continue for a lifetime.
Pre-marital mentors are not counselors or therapists that deal with deeply conflicted couples. Nor do they mentor couples that are trying to decide if they should become engaged to be married. The mentors' role is to walk alongside engaged couples sharing the Biblical wisdom and the practical experience that comes with living through the many phases each marriage experiences over the course of time. They provide prayer support and practical advice during the mentoring sessions and for years to come.
The mentors are trained to interpret a confidential inventory (PREPARE) that each engaged couple fills out before they meet with their mentor couple. Their discussions are confidential and supportive.
To participate in the pre-marital mentoring program please contact Christine Yates (571-282-0202). An initial clergy meeting is required for all couples who wish to participate in our premarital mentoring program.
+ Marriage Mentoring
For couples who desire them, Marriage Mentors are available through the ministry of Congregational Care. A Marriage Mentor Couple is, “a happy, more experienced Christian couple who purposefully invest in another couple to help them effectively navigate a journey that they have already taken.”
They are couples with many years of marital experience who are willing to come alongside couples with less marital experience for the purpose of enrichment and support. A mentoring relationship would be especially suited to those in their early years of marriage, but could be appropriate for a couple at any stage of marriage.
What does a Marriage Mentor Couple do?
- Willingly shares what they know (in a non-competitive way).
- Represents skill, knowledge, virtue, and accomplishment because they have gone before the couple they are mentoring.
- Takes a personal and heartfelt interest in the other couple’s development and well-being.
- Offers support, challenge, patience, and enthusiasm while guiding other couples to new levels of competence.
- Points the way and represents tangible evidence of what another couple can become.
- Exposes the recipients of their mentoring to new ideas, perspectives, and standards.
- Provides more expertise in terms of knowledge, yet views themselves as equal to those they mentor.
- Provides prayer support for the couple they mentor.
If you are interested in being matched to a Marriage Mentor Couple, please email Mark and Paula Inglis or call them at 703-242-0932. Please note: Marriage Mentor Couples are not counselors or therapists and therefore are not equipped to deal with serious marital issues.