Worship at St. Stephen’s reflects the current diversity of the Anglican Church, embracing both traditional and modern forms. At all our services you will experience an “ordered informality” that provides a classic Anglican structure for worship that is at the same time people-friendly. Our clergy are known to talk off the cuff, and our congregations are known to laugh—right out loud! What you will not experience is worship that is stuffy, sermons that are simplistic, or liturgy that is sloppy.
Our weekly worship services are:
Sunday at 8 a.m.: Traditional service (Book of Common Prayer) in the chapel.
Sunday at 10:30 a.m.: Contemporary service (drawing from a wide range of resources) in the church.
Thursday at 10 a.m.: Traditional service (Book of Alternative Services) in the chapel.
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Anyone seeking Baptism for their children or for themselves please speak directly to The Rector (email@example.com) or contact the church office.
The Sacrament of Baptism marks the beginning of a person’s membership in the Church and the first formal steps of their Christian walk. It is usually offered at one of the main worship services in order that the congregation may be present to pray for the newly baptized and to receive them into the fold. Here are a few things you may want to know about baptisms at St. Stephen’s.
Who may be baptized at St. Stephen’s?
Infants may be baptized at St. Stephen’s whose parents have a serious intention of bringing them up in the Christian faith. Similarly, adults who intend to take their place in the Christian community may be baptized.
People from out of town, both infants and adults, may be baptized at St. Stephen’s provided they complete the preparation required by their own church where they live, or to make such provision if they have no home church.
When are baptisms offered?
The celebration of baptism is planned to coincide with one of the feast days of the church, such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, or All Saints’ Day. However, depending on the numbers, other appropriate occasions are sometimes sought in order that there may be no more than three of four baptisms at one time. This is to safeguard the individuality of the rite as each candidate is acknowledged and received, one at a time, into the household of faith.
From time to time exceptions will be made to the choice of date in order to accommodate visiting relatives or other circumstances.
What preparation is required?
Those being baptized (or, in the case of infants, their parents) are expected to participate in a preparation program that is ordinarily offered on several Sundays leading up to the date of the baptism. In some instances, where this is not possible, preparation might take the form of a one-to-one visit with our clergy.
What is the role of godparents?
Traditionally, godparents are adults willing to encourage and support a child in his or her Christian upbringing. This means, ideally, they should be active Christians whose life and witness can serve as a role model for the baptized child. Alternatively, a godparent might be an active member of some other faith community provided they intend to play an active and positive role in the child’s faith development.
Increasingly the church is choosing to speak of “sponsors” rather than godparents, especially in the instance of adult baptism or where the church supplies a persons to play that supportive role.
Despite some enduring traditions pertaining to the proper number and gender of godparents, no set rules exist about these choices.
What does a baptism cost?
There is no cost associated with the sacrament of baptism. As each baptized person grows in faith, they are expected to take their part along with other church members in financially supporting the church and its various ministries.
Where to go from here?
When you are ready to proceed with plans for a baptism, contact the church office and ask to be included in the preparation for the next scheduled baptism.
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St. Stephen’s offers a number of possibilities for adults wishing formally and publicly to affirm their faith. All of these rites are administered by the Bishop and require consultation and preparation with the clergy. Here are some explanations of these terms.
What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is a rite in which a baptized Christian is strengthened for a life of faith. It is appropriate for young adults who were baptized as infants but who, later in life, wish to affirm their Christian faith and receive the laying on of hands by the Bishop, a gesture denoting God’s special blessing upon them.
Once associated with older children and younger teens, Confirmation is most appropriate for those mature enough to enter into a full understanding of the responsibilities of the Christian life.
Reaffirmation of Faith
An Affirmation of Faith is a rite for Christians desiring to make public declaration of their faith, perhaps after some years of absence or following an experience of spiritual conversion or awakening. This declaration is made before the Bishop and may or may not entail the laying on of hands.
Reception is the rite whereby a Christian formerly belonging to another Christian denomination is received and welcomed as a member of the Anglican Church.
The Anglican Church does not require such a rite, but sometimes it is significant in the life of a believer to mark outwardly a transformation that has happened inwardly, resulting in this change of membership.
Ordinarily the person being received does not kneel before the Bishop but stands to be welcomed as a brother or sister in Christ.
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Both the clergy and the church or chapel are available for funerals at St. Stephen’s, whether or not the deceased and/or familiar are church members. Ordinarily the officiating priest will meet with the family to offer pastoral support and plan the ceremony. While there are no fees for either the clergy or the use of the church, it is customary to pay an honorarium to the officiating clergy and to offer a donation to the church. A rental fee is charged for the use of the Memorial Hall for a reception.
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Who may be married at St. Stephen’s?
Anyone may be married at St. Stephen’s who desires a Christian ceremony in the Anglican tradition and has a relationship with St. Stephen’s. Couples do not have to be active members of the church in order to be married here, but one at least, either bride or groom, ought to be a baptized Christian. Where one partner is an active member of another church or faith community, arrangements can be made for an interdenominational or interfaith ceremony.
Couples living out of town may be married here provided that suitable marriage preparation is arranged where they live, with verification in the form of a certificate from a recognized marriage preparation program or a letter of reference from a local priest or pastor.
Divorced people may be married at St. Stephen’s with the approval of the Marriage Commission. (Please see “What Preparation is Required” below).
At the moment, the Anglican Church of Canada does not offer a service that recognizes the union of gay or lesbian couples.
What preparation is required?
Anglican guidelines require that a couple be “duly prepared to enter into marriage” (from the marriage service in the Book of Alternative Services). Ordinarily this means participation in a church-sponsored marriage preparation program. Such programs deal with communication, conflict resolution, personality differences, sexuality, and the spiritual dimensions of marriage. Alternatively, where participation in such a program is not possible, a couple may seek pre-marriage counseling from a minister or from a qualified counselor.
In the case of remarriage after divorce, a couple is required to apply for permission to marry through the diocesan Marriage Commission. This is to ensure that all legal commitments arising from the former marriage (s) have been discharged and that any emotional issues have been or are being addressed. We supply the application form and guide the couple through the application process.
In all cases a couple must supply the church with a valid marriage license procured from an authorized provincial licensing bureau. This should be in our possession, if possible, several weeks before the ceremony takes place.
What guidelines are offered for the service?
St. Stephen’s offers the marriage ceremony according to either of the prayer books authorized for use in the Anglican Church of Canada, that is, the Book of Common Prayer (1962) or the Book of Alternative Services (1976). These books represent both traditional and contemporary strains of Anglican liturgy.
Couples may add their own statements of intention, but the vows will ordinarily be those found in either prayer book.
While a wedding at St. Stephen’s should respect and reflect the ethos of the Anglican tradition, considerable latitude exists to make personal choices regarding music, readings, prayers, the decoration of the church, and such personalized statements as the lighting of a unity candle or the design and use of pew bulletins.
Professional photographers – both still and video – are welcome to record the service so long as proper decorum is observed and nothing is done to detract attention from the ceremony itself, including flash pictures, the use of harsh spotlights, and any distracting movement. Photographers must speak with the officiating minister prior to the service.
The use of confetti is discouraged entirely; and rice, seeds, bubbles, etc. are restricted to the outdoors.
How much will it cost?
Technically, the marriage ceremony costs nothing: it is a sacrament of the church and, as such, is offered freely. However, it is customary to make a donation to the church at the time of a wedding, to hire various people to assist with the service (organist, caretaker, and verger), and to offer an honorarium to the officiating minister.
All fees, donations, and honoraria are to be paid one week prior to the ceremony. The Marriage License is also due at this time. This reduces the number of details that must be attended to on the wedding day itself and spares both parties embarrassment should the payments be forgotten or neglected.
A schedule of fees and other suggested payments is included below. These amounts are subject to change and do not include such discretionary items as flowers, bows, and candles.
Wedding Coordinator: $125
St. Stephen’s Church $200
*Some fees may not apply if the wedding is small and held in our chapel.
Where to go from here?
If you wish to proceed with your plans to be married at St. Stephen’s Church, please contact the church office at 403-244-4879 and ask to make an appointment with the Rector, the Reverend Brian E. Pearson. After an initial meeting, to become acquainted with one another and to begin discussing your plans, the date and time of your wedding will be confirmed. At this time a $250 non-refundable donation to St. Stephen’s is due. This will hold your wedding date. To confirm details please contact the Wedding Coordinator and the Organist at least one month before your wedding.