Through the waters of baptism, we are lovingly adopted by God into God’s family. We are given God’s own life to share and our baptism reminds us that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ.
Holy Baptism, which we perform through the pouring of water at St. Paul’s, marks a formal entrance to the church. Each person being baptized makes a series of vows, including an affirmation of the Baptismal Covenant. We are baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are marked as Christ’s own forever, having "clothed [themselves] with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
Baptism can be considered as the beginning of a spiritual path and not the culmination of one. It is not necessary for a person thinking of being baptized to fully understand or be comfortable with every word of Christian creeds and doctrines from the beginning, but to be ready to embark on the path of discovery, truth and life of Jesus Christ.
All people of any age are welcome to be baptized; we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. If you would like to be baptized or baptize your child, or have any questions, please contact the front office or stop by to speak with Father Ed. We’d love to visit with you!
At St. Paul's / San Pablo we offer preparation for First Communion as part of our on-going religious education program. For more information please contact the parish office.
A little history about First Holy Communion...
During the first centuries of the Church, all the baptized were admitted to receive Holy Communion - the Holy Sacrament of the body and blood of the Lord. The first time you received the Sacrament was on the day of your baptism. In these years, just to attend the Mass was something dangerous, because in the Roman Empire, to be a Christian was a punishable offense with death penalty. In the 4th century, when Emperor Constantine converted from paganism to Christianity, the persecution of Christians was over, and the Church could open its doors safely, welcoming the whole society.
With this new situation, new problems arrived: before, to be a Christian one had to risk their life - every Christian had to be prepared to die for their Lord. Although, many people started attending the Mass, they also remained members of the pagan cults. They received the Sacrament in the Church every Sunday, and sacrificed to other gods on Monday.
The bishops began to think of ways to end these practices, and to guide Christians to a more complete understanding of the mysteries of the Church. They realized that if the adults received the Sacrament without devotion, it also made them think of the children who still lacked an understanding of the Sacrament.
From this transition, in various parts of the Church, the bishops began to ask that a child had to understand the difference between the Holy Sacrament (a sacred experience) and a normal meal. And at this age, the churches began the custom of doing First Communion services for children between the ages of six or seven.
First Communion became a good thing for the children because it gave them the opportunity to attend classes to understand more of the doctrines of the Church, and to understand the nature of the Holy Sacrament. But on the other hand, from the theological perspective, this practice ignores the fact that the grace of God is not dependent on our understanding, but its grace and a ministry beyond our understanding. The sacraments are never things that we do for God, but things that God does for us.
Now many Episcopal churches hold First Communion that combines the best of both worlds. Infants can receive Holy Communion immediately after their baptism, but when they reach the age of six or seven, special classes of theology of the Eucharist begin - a time of education and reflection on the nature of the Sacrament.
Confirmation is when we confirm our baptismal vows to Christ with our own voice. If we were a child when we were baptized, confirmation is a time when we confirm with our own voice what our parents and godparents promised that they would raise us in the way of Christ and according to God’s commands. Confirmations are done by the laying on of hands by the bishop.
We offer confirmation classes as part of the religious education program. All adults and youth ages 13 and older- interested in being confirmed, received or re-affirmed in the Episcopal Church are invited to contact the front office or speak to Father Ed.
At St. Paul's/ San Pablo we offer Quinceañera celebrations and preparations that need to be scheduled with the front office. In addition, we offer the rental of the parish hall for the party.
A little history about Quinceañeras...
The transition from childhood to woman is an important event in almost any culture. Latinos, however, mark this memorable occasion with the celebration of a Quinceañera tradition. The tradition is believed to have started many years ago when the Spanish conquerors brought the tradition to Mexico but still others say that the tradition originated with the Aztecs. In any case, a Quinceañera celebration is a Latinoctradition associated with Mexican, Central and South American cultures. Through the different ceremonies that take place today, a quinceañera is a formal presentation to society for a day to give thanks for having reached this age.
The coordination of the entire event of a Quinceañera is an effort of teamwork among family, friends and relatives. It is customary for all of them to volunteer to become sponsors. Each sponsor assumes the financial and / or moral responsibility over what has been assigned including the cake, invitations, doll, bible, rosary, etc.
Marriage is a special moment in two people's lives and it is with great joy and honor that we offer holy matrimony in the church for couples wishing to begin their lives together.
Those who wish to get married at St. Paul' s should meet with Father Ed before coordinating a date in the parish calendar. Father Ed will meet with the couple to discuss the petition of the couple that wants to marry, answer any questions about the preparation process, and clarify the Church's teachings on Christian marriage.
If the bride or groom has previously divorced, the specific requirements of the Church must be fulfilled before an Episcopal priest can perform the blessing and the celebration of a marriage. This includes filing a petition for a new marriage with the Bishop. The canonical Episcopal law requires a minimum notice period of 30 days before a wedding can be solemnized.
If you wish to receive the sacred marriage, visit us during office hours or call to schedule an appointment with Father Ed, and many blessings to the happy couple!
If you are visiting this page, we wish to begin by expressing our most sincere condolences for the loss of your beloved.
May their soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
For more information regarding having a funeral at St. Paul's / San Pablo please contact the parish office at 713-645-5031. Please also let your funeral director or funeral home know that St. Paul's Episcopal Church will be conducting the funeral services.
More about death and resurrection...
The liturgy of the dead is an Easter liturgy. All its meaning is found in the resurrection. Because Jesus was resurrected from the dead we too will be resurrected. The liturgy is therefore characterized by joy in the certainty that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor the present, nor what is to come, nor powers, nor what is high, nor deep, nor anything in all creation, can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. "This joy, however, does not make human pain not Christian. The same love that we have for each other in Christ brings deep sadness when we say goodbye to death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that the people we love have entered the close presence of our Lord, we are in solidarity with those who mourn. - The Book of Common Prayer pg. 507
Death is a part of life; Conscious Christians recognize this and prepare for it. For the Christian, the time to prepare for death is when one is physically and mentally healthy. Planning in advance allows family and friends to deal with the pain at the time of the death of a loved one and lighten the burden of the many details that will come on the way.
Christian burial is marked by three characteristics. The first is an act of worship that glorifies God for the gift of the eternal life of Jesus Christ. The second is a moment in which the members of the Body of Christ come together to console one another and to offer the mutual guarantee of God's permanent love. And third, it is a liturgy of the celebration for which we give thanks for a deceased loved one and congratulate that person when being in the care of Almighty God.
The funeral is an act of collective worship rather than a private matter. It is a time to celebrate, commemorate and give thanks for the life of the deceased. A funeral is an appropriate value in a church for a service of the Holy Eucharist.
Parish clergy consider death and funerals an important part of their work. They care about their family and are anxious to offer comfort and are always available to help you understand God's love. The Christian funeral usually includes two or three lessons from the Old Testament, the epistle or the Gospels. The readings of the Bible speak of the care of God and the hope of eternal life.
Some churches have a columbarium to contain the cremated ashes. A columbarium is a structure for the placement of the ashes of the dead and can be placed inside or outside. The ashes are placed in niches within the columbarium and are marked with a commemorative plaque.