All Saints' Church

Princeton, NJ

The Sacraments

“The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace."

Catechism of the BCP p. 857

All Saints' Church offers all these sacraments and sacramental rights of the Episcopal Church.

Baptisms

 

Baptism at any age is a joyous occasion, and both infants and adults are frequently baptized at All Saints! There are no fees associated with a baptism, though it is a thoughtful gesture to give a donation to the Rector's discretionary fund.

Baptisms normally take place during the regular Sunday 10:15 am worship service. There are some Sundays that are particularly appropriate for a baptism, which our rector will advise on.

If you would like to have your child baptized at All Saints' Church, we would first ask that you consider becoming members of our parish and raise your child in our faith community.

All baptisms are conducted by our rector, Hugh Brown. Pastor Hugh will be very happy to work with you and guide you through the baptismal preparation leading up to the celebration. Please call the church office at (609) 921-2420 to speak with Pastor Hugh.

 

Weddings

 

In the Episcopal Church, the Marriage Ceremony is considered one of the most sacred of occasions in the lives of two people.  As we say in the service, “The union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one other in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s Will, for the procreation of children. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”

 

We welcome couples who sincerely wish to have their marriage blessed by the Church and who are committed to following Jesus Christ through their prayers, witness and active involvement in the Christian Fellowship of the Church. We understand that many couples will not make All Saints’ or the Episcopal Church their faith community; however, we ask that those proceeding in our process be committed to an active involvement in a faith community near where they live.

We follow the procedures outlined by the rubrics in The Book of Common Prayer and by the National and Diocesan Canons of the Episcopal Church.

 

If, after reading this information, you would like to proceed with your wedding ceremony at All Saints’, we invite you to complete an Application for Marriage, obtainable from our parish office. Upon receipt of the Application, our office will arrange for an initial interview between the couple and a Pastor Brown, who will discuss with the couple the Ceremony as outlined in the Book of Common Prayer. At the conclusion of this meeting, the couple will be asked to sign the Declaration of Intention. Arrangements will then be made to determine the time and date for the ceremony.

Funerals

 

Funerals are times for thanking God for the gift of life itself, our own life and the lives of those who have died. As a final gift to those whom we love and who love us, it is appropriate for us to help lay ground work for our own funerals. Please know that clergy at All Saints' are available to assist you in making plans for yourself or someone you love.

When death is imminent or has occurred, please call the clergy as soon as possible. Please call the parish office at (609) 921-2420 during office hours, or reach Pastor Brown at home at (609) 921-1978. He prefers that you consult with him and, if you wish, he will accompany you to the funeral home for arrangements.

Music and the Service

We recommend that music be a part of the liturgy. Not only does it help to convey a sense of hope and joy in a time of sorrow, but also it is an opportunity to share with loved ones and friends some of your favorite hymns and music.

In addition, we suggest that you choose scripture readings which are important to you. You may find a list of suggestions in the Book of Common Prayer in the burial service (pages 494-495). Other Scriptural readings may be chosen; however, we suggest they bear witness to the resurrection.

Memorial Gifts

 

Many parishioners designate the Mission and Ministry Fund or another fund of their own choosing as the recipient of gifts in honor of the one who has died. The Mission and Ministry Fund is completely independent from the operating budget of All Saints’. Families often have in mind special projects, including outreach ministries, which can be arranged as memorials and can be so designated within this fund. All gifts will be acknowledged and the family of the deceased will be provided with a list of all donors.

Funeral Expenses

 

There is no charge for the use of the Church or for the ministry of a priest. It is customary to provide an honorarium for the organist and the sexton. All Saints’ will provide you a statement with suggested honorarium for these individual as well as for supplemental musicians if and when the family has requested them. In addition, many families choose to make a direct memorial contribution to the church as a thank offering. In the event, a reception is held any expenses incurred will also be included in this statement.

Cremation

 

Cremation is completely in keeping with the Church’s teaching about death. In such instances, the ashes may be interred at a cemetery. One should ascertain whether an urn is required by the cemetery guidelines. The Trinity-All Saints’ Cemetery does not require an urn for the cremated remains.

Flowers

 

Flowers are permitted at the altar and are to be arranged by your florist. We ask that your florist confer with the parish administrator before delivering them to the Church.

A sermon preached on the 4th Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020, Year B, Luke 1: 26-38, by the Rev. Hugh E. Brown, III, D. Min, MSW, LSW, Rector, All Saints Parish, Princeton, NJ

                                      The Light of Love

“How can this Be?”

In June of 2016, the day after Father’s Day, I did something I thought I could not do.

My mother and I had just received two telephone calls from the Lewis Gale Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. 

The first telephone call was to tell us Dad had been admitted to the ICU.  The family is always notified when this happens.

The second call…. …”I’m so sorry but we need to tell you.”

It was so quick; a matter almost of minutes in between the calls.

At first, I felt this strange since of peace and—remarkably—a lack of surprise.  After all, through decades of ministry I had known so many deaths in this way—directly following a key life event.

A time such as my Mother, my sister—and me---at Dad’s beside in the hospital on Father’s Day—for what would be—the last time.

But—then, this thought: “I can’t do this.”

“I can’t go to the hospital; enter that ICU room—and get his things; the items he took to the hospital.”

Like shoes I remember; a shirt I would know; his electric razer;  Dad was a proud man; yes, it would be even in the ICU—used or not.

But we all do what we have to do.  I have heard that often in 32 years of ordained ministry.

Upon my entrance into the ICU of Lewis Gale—the entrance where you must push some kind of button—then—and wait for some voice in the Intercom---I walked to the front desk.

A nurse stood up when I approached.

Yes, she stood for me;  and then she smiled.

Smiled.

I don’t remember really what she looked like to this day; can’t remember her features.

But I remember the smile.  And I remember that smile following me into Dad’s room.

That smile being with me as a picked up—yes, some clothing; some shoes; his electric razor.

And something else.

Light;  the smile; that light.

As I said, I don’t remember her features.

But I remember a light as radiant, as blinding; as akin to furnace illumination with fire—as I will ever know.

On my bucket list—someday—is a visit to some goodness known place in the North—to see the great Aurora’s.

I’m not sure I will see anything like that smile.

I’ve thought of her a lot—that nurse with the smile—and the Light.

I have thought of her much during these past few months.

I have wondered if she Face-timed or Zoomed with patients and their lives ones in the ICU.

I have wondered if she stood with---kept vigil with—patients on their way to eternal life; like she might have done for Dad; I never asked her.

I have wondered if she was afraid; or comforted the fears of others.

I have wondered if she might have taken the risk to hug and enfold a dying COVID patient—like that amazing photo all of us saw within the past few weeks.

I have wondered if she relayed clothing—shoes—an electric razor—to the sons of Father’s lost.

But of this I have no doubt; if she did these things;  there was Light; smile; burning fire.

That light empowering sons doing for their fathers—for the sake of love—something that they thought they could not do.

I am not sure that she would call herself a hero.

No—just in Camus’ words, just decency; and fire; and light; and love.

All of this came back when I was scrolling through visual images of the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to a young Jewish teen named Mariam.

For an angel of God came to a village called Nazareth; in a region torn by occupation, revolution, war; and no doubt the grinding illness and economic deprivation which all come in occupied areas of armed conflict.

The Angel, according to Luke, gives Mary a message—as all Angels do; that is what Angels are; not supernatural beings; but above all—messengers of God; in Billy Graham’s words God’s secret agents.

The message:  that she would bear the Messiah; but not only that; that she would do so—of the Holy Spirit; for her child would not only be human; but divine.

The American artist, Henry Ossawa Tanner conveys this moment of Angelic message and Mariam’s response

It graces the bulletin cover this morning.

So many artists have attempted to capture this moment—this Angelic Visitation to Mary; so many have imagined the Angel Gabriel’s appearance.

Tanner does something different—to convey this moment that changed the course of human history; but more than that—changed forever—God’s relationship with humankind.

What does Mary experience—when she receives the knowledge, understanding, and word—that she will bear the Messiah; and bear him under a risky and potentially life-threatening way?

For who would believe her?  Who would think she was anything other than unweed pregnant teen?  Who, in the eyes of many would be shamed and alienated?

Light.

But more than that.

I have always thought that the Annunciation to Mary was more than “You will.”  Even “You will” as assurance and promise.

From the beginning—the so-called promise was riven with expectations overturned!

Mary was being asked to do something without precedent; and without any support from her tradition.

I can’t imagine that going through Mary’s mind was the question:  “I’m not sure I can do this.”

Yes, before, “I am the handmaiden of the Lord,” perhaps came indeed, “How can this be.”

But—there was Light.

Light.

The kind that no doubt was with Mary when old Simeon told her that a sword would pass through her soul.

The kind that no doubt assured her before Joseph believed her.

The Light that no doubt was with her when the children around her were all killed in a pogrom in Bethlehem.

The Light that would be with her when her Son was on the cross; and she stood with him; when few others would.

The Light that was with her when she was in the upper room with his disciples and perhaps, just perhaps was one of the leaders in the early Christian movement.

The Light that never left her.

For the Light shines in the Darkness; and the Darkness does not overcome it.

As do we—experience that Light.

Over these past few months of crisis.

Light; in ICU’s; on the Streets of protest; when our nation’s constitution and election systems are under assault.

The Annunciation Light is always there.

Always there.

For you; as for me; as it was for Mariam.

Dear friends—blessed Annunciation Sunday.

Remember all those who, as we worship—are providing Light to those who “don’t’ know if they can do this.”

Remember that Light can birth new Messiah’s--and create new Magnificat’s.

For, perhaps, a yet unborn soul-gift is in you, waiting to bless the World.

Waiting for you to nurture it into fullness.

With terrifying dignity and empowering hope.

Do you see Light?

This very Morning?

Providing the Word: With God, nothing is Impossible.

For Smiles and Light are waiting…

…..even in the ICU.

Open weekdays

9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Sunday Services

8:00 am & 10:15 am

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