Milestones in our lives - demand more than mere ceremony
'Rites of Passage' have always been important in every culture and there are now colourful additions - such as American-style school graduations - to add to the mix. However, the Church has always been to the forefront in marking Births, Deaths and Marriages and this section - which will develop over time, will provide answers to some of your questions about the way Christians in the Church of England mark these milestones.
Think for a moment: What is being said when someone is baptised? Rather big things! We are signalling the beginning of a life commitment to the Lord Jesus. In a service of Christian marriage we are, similarly, enacting something in the presence of God which signals commitment between two people and at a Christian funeral we take time to celebrate a human life and to recognise our love for them as we come to accept that they are no longer with us.
These events therefore demand something very much more significant than mere ceremony, and the Church takes very seriously its responsibility to provide preparation and pastoral support at these key life stages.
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