The Church of England, along with other churches in England and around the world, has a pattern of daily morning, evening and night prayer. Each day, and each time of day, uses different readings from the Bible, and different prayers.
Births, marriages and deaths are special times, and churches offer many ways to celebrate and support people through these life events.
Baptism or christening.
Baptism is a sign of new life in Christ. The Church of England’s website is mainly about the baptism or christening of babies and children, and is a useful source of information, including becoming a godparent.
If you are interested in baptism, or in having your child baptised, you should contact your local Vicar for information and advice.
Marriage and weddings.
A quarter of all weddings take place in a Church of England church. Some couples hold a Service of Blessing after taking their civil vows in a Registry Office.
The Church of England’s website explains what is understood by ‘Christian marriage’, what the church service involves, and some of the legal considerations. The Marriage Measure, which comes into force in October 2008, grants couples the right to marry in a church with which they have a qualifying connection. For more details go to the Church of England website. A very useful source of information about all sorts of aspects of marrying in the Church of England can be found at Your Church Wedding with a unique online Ceremony Planner.
Funerals are a difficult time, and they are also a time when prayer and Christian faith can be a great strength and help.
The Church of England’s website gives insight into how Christians understand death and eternal life, and also what is involved in a funeral taken by a Church of England minister or priest, whether in church or at a crematorium.
Cruse Bereavement Care is a non-religious organisation offering help and counseling for people experiencing bereavement.
Time of crisis
Everybody faces difficulty at some point in life. At those times it is possible to feel very lonely or uncertain, and it can help to talk to someone, or to pray with someone.
Clergy (Vicars) and local churches do not usually offer long-term counseling, but they are good places for a conversation, support and prayer.
Premier Lifeline offers telephone support and counseling from a Christian perspective. Ring 0845 345 0707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.