Baptisms Weddings & Funerals

Baptism

Q: How do I go about having my child baptized at St. Stephen’s?
A: Simply speak to the priest about scheduling a date for baptism and a time to meet for baptismal preparation.  Baptism is especially appropriate on the feast days of All Saints (the first Sunday in November), the Baptism of our Lord (the second Sunday in January), Pentecost (usually in late May or early June), and at the Easter Vigil (the night before Easter Sunday) or the Sunday after Easter.  Unless you have a special family circumstance, the clergy will ask you to choose one of these days for the baptism. Preparation for baptism is required by the candidate or the parents of an infant or child and usually consists of one to three meetings with the priest.  In seeking baptism for your child, you are asking for the support of the church community in your parenting journey and in your child’s growth and development as a person of faith. 

Marriage

Q: Can I get married at St. Stephen’s?
A:  Blessings on your engagement! We are glad you are seeking out a church wedding to have God part of your special day. You and your future spouse need and deserve the support of the Christian community in your married life. Thus we suggest that in seeking out a church wedding, you are also making a commitment to regular church attendance and involvement. St. Stephen’s, in accordance with the policies of The Episcopal Church in Northwestern Pennsylvania, is inclusive in offering the sacrament of Marriage to couples, regardless of gender.  To prepare for your wedding, the priest will meet with you four to eight times to discuss Christian marriage, your relationship, and to plan your service. We use the marriage services from the Book of Common Prayer and other approved Episcopal resources. Please contact the church office to schedule a time to meet with the clergy to begin planning your marriage service.

Q: I’m divorced and would like to get remarried. Can I do that at St. Stephen’s?
A: Yes. The Episcopal Church recognizes that some marriages die and that some may choose to be remarried. For couples who have been married before, there is an application that should be started six to nine months before the wedding date. It is not at all a difficult process, there is no cost, and it can be very beneficial to couples, but there does need to be some advance planning.

Funerals

Q: A family member just passed away. Can we have the funeral at St. Stephen’s?
A: We are sorry for your loss. St. Stephen’s is honored to be the location of your loved one’s funeral. Please call the priest right away to meet to plan an appropriate service. It can be helpful to do this before or at the same time as you call the funeral home.  We use the Burial Service from the Book of Common Prayer, and its approved supplements. We can help you chose appropriate scriptures, prayers, and hymns, and to secure the services of an organist or other musicians.

Q: Does it matter if my loved one is cremated and there is no casket?
A: It doesn’t matter.  Either the urn or casket should be present at the funeral, and they are both treated in the same reverent and loving way during the service.

Q: We already had a funeral elsewhere. Can your clergy help us with a graveside service at a local cemetery? 
A: Yes, of course. Please call the church office to make arrangements.

Event Rentals and Further Information

There are spaces in the church building available to rent for other events as well- please contact the church office for more information about hosting your event at St. Stephen’s.