St. Paul's Cathedral is committed to the belief that each of us
is called to an intimate relationship with God
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM is celebrated at St. Paul's at the Easter Vigil (Spring), Pentecost Sunday (May), All Saints' Sunday (November), and the Feast of the Baptism of Christ (January). Holy Baptism is the official entry into the Church of Christ, and therefore, children, once they have been baptized, may receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Because Baptism is the official entry into the church, it is expected that the newly baptized will attend church regularly on Sundays and participate in the life of the Cathedral.
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION is celebrated every Sunday at St. Paul's. Also called the Eucharist, this is the primary sacrament in which we have spiritual union with Christ. At. St. Paul's all are invited to partake in this Sacrament, as we believe God's grace is freely given to all people. Our worship programs state, "Welcome to our celebration of the Eucharist. There is no one here who is ineligible or unwelcome to receive communion. There is no one who is too old or too young; no one who has too many doubts to too few beliefs. This is the altar prepared by a loving God for all of the creation through the power of Jesus Christ. You, who are part of that creation, are welcome."
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION is always offered at least once a year at St. Paul's. Youth and adults are regularly confirmed. Confirmation is an opportunity for those who have been baptized to recommit their life to Christ. Attendance at one of the Cathedral's Inquirer's Classes is required for those who wish to be confirmed.
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY is celebrated frequently throughout the year, except for the seasons of Advent and Lent, as well as other dates specified by the Cathedral calendar. One of the persons seeking marriage must be an Episcopalian. For couples for which neither person is an Episcopalian, there is the option of being received into the Episcopal Church. St. Paul's has multiple requests for weddings every week, so it is advisable to do prompt planning. All couples are required by canon law to meet with the clergy for pre-marital counseling. At St. Paul's this usually requires at the least a period of six months. St. Paul's has a wedding booklet that outlines all of the requirements, fees, and preparations for a wedding; this is usually given to couples at their first pre-marital counseling session. At St. Paul's all weddings include a celebration of the Eucharist as the first act of unity between the couple, and everyone in attendance is always invited to communicate as well.
THE REAFFIRMATION OF MARRIAGE VOWS may be celebrated as part of any Cathedral Eucharist to celebrate a milestone in a couple's life.
THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION, often called confession, is a sacrament available to all, by appointment with the clergy. More about this Sacrament of the Church may be found beginning on page 446 of The Book of Common Prayer.
THE SACRAMENT OF ORDINATION frequently occurs at St. Paul's Cathedral. As the mother church of the Diocese of Western New York, many ordinations to the diaconate occur at the Cathedral. Priestly ordinations may also be held at St. Paul's, however, often in Western New York these ordinations are celebrated in the home parish of the ordinand.
CHRISTIAN BURIAL is when we gather to celebrate the new life of Christ discovered by those who have died. The Cathedral asks that the church is notified as soon as possible once someone dies in order that the community may offer the best care possible. At St. Paul's, Christian Burial is celebrated in the context of the Holy Eucharist, and as in all celebrations of the Eucharist at St. Paul's, all in attendance are invited to receive the Sacrament.