St. John's Episcopal Church
About the Episcopal Faith
History of The Episcopal Church
The beginnings of the Church of England, from which The Episcopal Church derives, date to at least the second century, when merchants and other travelers first brought Christianity to England. It is customary to regard St. Augustine of Canterbury's mission to England in 597 as marking the formal beginning of the church under papal authority, as it was to be throughout the Middle Ages.
In its modern form, the church dates from the English Reformation of the 16th century, when royal supremacy was established and the authority of the papacy was repudiated. With the advent of British colonization, the Church of England was established on every continent. In time, these churches gained their independence, but retained connections with the mother church in the Anglican Communion
It goes by several names: Holy Communion, the Eucharist (which literally means "thanksgiving"), mass. But whatever it’s called, this is the family meal for Christians and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. As such, all persons who have been baptized, and are therefore part of the extended family that is the Church, are welcome to receive the bread and wine, and be in communion with God and each other.
Besides baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the church recognizes other spiritual markers in our journey of faith. These include:
Confirmation (the adult affirmation of our baptismal vows), pp. 413-419, Book of Common Prayer
Reconciliation of a Penitent (private confession), pp. 447-452, Book of Common Prayer
Matrimony (Christian marriage), pp. 422-438, Book of Common Prayer
Orders (ordination to deacon, priest, or bishop), pp. 510-555, Book of Common Prayer
Unction (anointing with oil those who are sick or dying) pp. 453-467, Book of Common Prayer
These help us to be a sacramental people, seeing God always at work around us.