Sunday, August 6, 2017

Episcopal Sacraments

In Chapter 21, Sara Miles talks about the different sacraments and sacramental rites of the Episcopal Church and how they were translated into the life and community of the food pantry. The Episcopal Church recognizes two Sacraments: Baptism and Eucharist. Along with the Sacraments, the Episcopal Church recognizes five sacramental rites, which means they are like sacraments, yet not with the same kind of necessity. The Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer puts it this way, "Although they are means of grace, they are not necessary for all persons in the same way that Baptism and the Eucharist are." (BCP 860)

The sacramental rites include confirmation, ordination, matrimony, reconciliation, and unction. As you can see, not everyone is called to ordination, not everyone is called to matrimony. Yet, we recognize these rites as ways in which people experience God and God's grace. The Catechism doesn't leave it just to those seven ways though. One of the questions it asks and answers is "Is God's activity limited to these rites?" The answer is a resolute no. "God does not limit himself to these rites; they are patterns of countless ways by which God uses material things to reach out to us." (BCP 861)

Sara Miles finds all of them are part of the life of the food pantry in different ways. Where do you see these sacraments in your life?