A person becomes a Christian through the waters of Baptism. This ancient practice commanded by Christ brings us into the full fellowship of his Body, the Church. At Pohick, baptisms are celebrated on Sunday mornings so that the congregation can welcome the candidates into the parish.
Following Church tradition, the service of Holy Baptism is conducted here at the Bishop's annual visitation (June) and during the four times each year when it is the major theme: The Baptism of Christ (early January), Holy Saturday (March/April), The Day of Pentecost (May/June), and All Saints' Sunday (early November).
Confirmation is the rite in which young people and adults who were baptized as infants or young children express a mature commitment to Christ and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. Reception is when a bishop welcomes into the Episcopal Church a person who has previously made a mature confession of the Christian faith within another denomination. Reaffirmation is when individuals baptized as adults or older children make a reaffirmation of their faith for the first time before a bishop and receive prayers for the strengthening of the Holy Spirit. Weekly classes for both adults (the Adult Inquirers' Class on Sunday mornings) and young people (Confirmation Class on Sunday afternoons for ages twelve and older) begin in February of each year and continue up until the time of the Bishop's visitation for these rites in mid-June.
We consider Holy Matrimony "a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God" (Book of Common Prayer, p. 422). In this rite the two enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.
In accordance with canon law, all couples receive instruction in the theology of Christian marriage during a series of premarital counseling sessions prior to any weddings. Additional steps are required for those who have previously been married, including the submission of a petition to the bishop for his approval. As Holy Matrimony is properly celebrated within one's own parish family, we require that at least one of the couple be a member of Pohick for a minimum of a year prior to the wedding.
Weddings are not performed on Sundays, during the Season of Lent (varying from Feb through mid-April), or near other major festivals of the Church. Normally, they are celebrated in the church on Saturdays outside of these times, with the rehearsal on Friday evening before. Because of the high demand for facilities' usage, as well as the availability of clergy and church staff on a particular date, and the need for sufficient time to complete the premarital counseling and any petitions to the bishop, couples are required to have an initial meeting with one of the church clergy a minimum of six months in advance of the desired wedding date, and prior to the booking of any reception facilities.
Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, and the laying on of hands, by which God's grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind and body. Holy Unction is offered at the 7:30 pm Wednesday Eucharist and by request.
Private confession is offered to penitents whose consciences suffer from the gravity of sin and who need the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution given by a priest, always in absolute confidence.
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too shall be raised.
Burials in Pohick's cemetery are properly conducted by ministers who have had the most recent pastoral relationship with the deceased. Upon the death of a loved one, family members are thus strongly encouraged to promptly contact such members of the clergy so that arrangements can be made for services to be conducted by that minister in his or her home church, at a funeral home chapel, and/or at the graveside.
Accordingly, burials in the Historic Church are reserved for those who, at the time of death, were active members of the congregation. Such services are normally presided over by the clergy of Pohick Church with the support of church staff and volunteers.
Click here to read more information about Pohick's Cemetery.
The clergy of Pohick Church are available for pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and administration of the Sacraments (usually private celebrations of the Holy Eucharist and Holy Unction) by appointment throughout the week.