The Sacraments

In the Episcopal Church, we take part in certain regular acts of prayer and worship. These are called Sacraments and are a participation in Christ’s ministries on earth. God’s activity and presence are not limited to these rites, but the church recognizes them as markers of the countless ways in which God uses material things to reach out to us. The Sacraments are intended to sustain our present hope and anticipate its future fulfillment. The Book of Common Prayer names the sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace”.

Holy Baptism

Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. Baptisms at St. James are typically held on Sunday mornings throughout the year. The principle baptism days of the Church calendar include the Baptism of Jesus (January), Easter Vigil (Saturday night before Easter), Pentecost (50 days after Easter), and All Saints (first Sunday in November). Other opportunities are made throughout the year as well. To learn more about baptism, or to sign up for an upcoming baptism, please contact Jacques Pourciau by emailing or by contacting a member of the clergy.

Holy Eucharist

The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood commanded by him for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. The Holy Eucharist, also called “the Mass”, “Holy Communion”, “The Divine Liturgy”, or the “Lord’s Supper”, is celebrated each Sunday. By it, we are strengthened in our union with Christ and one another and given a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.


Confirmation is the sacrament in which an individual “expresses a mature commitment to Christ and receives strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop” (BCP, p. 860). Those who have been confirmed in another denomination may be received into the Episcopal Church. 

First, Confirmation is the sacrament of maturity in that it represents a deepening or strengthening in the Christian life. In this, it is closely connected with Baptism. But whereas Baptism highlights one’s birth into the body of Christ, Confirmation stresses growth.

At St. James, adult and youth Confirmation classes are scheduled annually in preparation for the Bishop’s visit. Confirmation is available to those in 8th grade and beyond. Youth and parents interested in Confirmation can contact Director of Family Ministries Elizabeth Canfield for more information. A separate class is held for adults desiring to be confirmed or received and more information is available by contacting Fr. Drew Harmon.

In 2022, the bishop’s visit to St. James will occur on October 23. As a result, confirmation classes, which in the past have traditionally taken place in the spring during the season of Lent, will precede the visit.

Holy Matrimony

St. James Episcopal Church honors the union of two persons in heart, mind, and body through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The Episcopal marriage rite is noted for being both solemn and joyous. If you are engaged and would like to explore celebrating your marriage at St. James, please contact please contact Jacques Pourciau by emailing or contact a member of the clergy.


Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons, through prayer and the laying on of hands by bishops.

Reconciliation of a Penitent

Reconciliation of a Penitent (or Penance) is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, receiving the assurance of pardon and grace of absolution. Those interested may contact a member of the clergy to schedule.


Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil (or the laying on of hands) by which God’s grace is given for the healing of mind, body, and spirit. It is administered upon request.