The meaning of the word 'covenant' is that of a promise made, which binds one to another. In the Presbyterian Church, and in All Souls Presbyterian Church, there are several Covenant Services that we regularly celebrate. Baptism and communion are the most basic of these, in that they affirm for us the promise of God's presence with us, but there are other services as well.
The sacrament of baptism is available to infants and children whose parents or guardians are members of the parish and to adults who regularly attend All Souls. Preparation with the pastor for parents or guardians is required; adults are prepared for baptism through the Catechumenate program. Baptisms for children are scheduled throughout the year as part of our regular worship services.
Renewal of Baptismal Covenant
Several types of services of the renewal of the baptismal covenant can be celebrated in the church. The most frequent is the Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant for those uniting with the church. Following a period of study with the pastor, adults wishing to join All Souls Presbyterian Church meet with the Session and then are welcomed into the fellowship and work of the church as they renew their baptismal promises. Regular confirmation classes are also held for young people in the church. After lengthy study into the theology and history of the church, as well as personal introspection, those who choose to unite with the church will meet with the Session and then be recognized at a worship service, where they will make a public profession of faith, and where they will renew their baptismal vows. There is also provision for the whole of a congregation to reaffirm their commitment to those promises made for them at their baptism.
Reception of New Members
Those who wish to become members will attend several meetings of the Inquirers' Class, as well as meeting with the Session. For teenagers and young adults, a Confirmation Class is taught by our pastor.
The sacrament of communion is celebrated monthly at our 5:30pm Saturday Taizé style service. The promise of God's persistent presence is affirmed as the bread is broken and the cup shared. Communion is also regularly celebrated on the first Sunday of each month at our 10:00am service. When illness or other disability prevents people from attending worship, communion is gladly offered to those at home or in the hospital.
All Souls celebrates and blesses marriages in accordance with civil and church law which includes same sex couples in the state of New York. We use the services in the Book of Common Worship and other liturgical resources. We also bless civil marriages and schedule renewal of marriage vows when appropriate. Advanced planning of 6 to 12 months is necessary to accommodate pre-marital counseling requirements. Church policies govern such things as appropriate music, decorations, and the use of photography and video equipment during the ceremony.
Funeral and Memorial Services
Funeral and Memorial Services in the church and/or at the internment site thank God for the life of the one who has died, commit him or her to God's eternal protection and care, and comfort those who mourn. Our pastor will be glad to assist you in arranging a service, including readings and music in accordance with the services in the Book of Common Worship.
For more information please contact us at (914) 939-4300, or at 1AllSoulsParish@gmail.com