Funeral services at Holy Comforter are performed from the Book of Common Prayer.

How do I schedule a baptism at Holy Comforter?

To schedule a baptism for you or any person in your family, please contact ourParish Administrator, at 336-227-4251 or email her at [email protected] . Please mention any special concerns or circumstances to the Rector at that time.

When do the baptisms occur?

Baptisms occur six times a year at Holy Comforter: The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, the Easter Vigil and Easter morning (at our early service), the Day of Pentecost, All Saints’ Sunday, and on one Sunday in the summer (depending on requests). Baptisms occur at the late service apart from Easter morning.

How do we prepare for the baptism?

The clergy of Holy Comforter lead a three-session class including the rehearsal for each baptism. The classes are typically taught on a Sunday morning and the rehearsal is typically offered the Saturday before the baptism. Parents of infants and children who are to be baptized must attend this class and rehearsal. The rehearsal profoundly effects the baptism, and so, it is required that parents and godparents be available for the rehearsal. In this manner, we are able to ensure a worship experience for the service the next day. Adults interested in baptism are encouraged to consider being baptized at the Easter Vigil.

Flowers and Decorations

Due to the natural beauty of our parish garden, artificial extras and bows on the pews are generally unnecessary. To help coordinate effectively, please be in touch with our Flower Guild coordinator about use of flowers in our Nave.

Why do we have Godparents?

If you wish, you may speak to the Rector regarding use our space for a wedding reception.


Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church. The bond, which God establishes in Baptism, is indissoluble. It marks a formal entrance into the congregation and the wider Church in which the candidates or sponsors make a series of vows to follow Christ. People of all ages are welcome to be baptized. If you are interested in having a baptism at Holy Comforter, please contact us.

How do I schedule a wedding at Holy Comforter?

Arrangements to be married at Holy Comforter must be initiated with the Rector. To set up a meeting with the Rector, please contact our Parish Administrator, at 336-227-4251 or email her at [email protected] . Following that meeting, one of the clergy from Holy Comforter will be assigned to you. All liturgical arrangements, including dates and times of the ceremony and rehearsal, are to be made with the assigned priest.

What is needed?

The following requirements must be met before you can be married at Holy Comforter: • At least one of the parties is a member of record at Holy Comforter. • At least one of the parties has received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. • The couple shall receive pre-marital counseling by a licensed marriage therapist. • If either party has been married previously and the former spouse is still living, the priest must receive the permission of the Bishop. The approval process generally takes 4-6 weeks.

How do we prepare for the wedding?

Your marriage license must be brought to the parish office at least seven days prior to the wedding. Bring the license, the mailing envelope, full given names and complete mailing addresses for your witnesses (normally, the Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor). There is a part of the license which must be filled out by the Church; this is to be done in the office during normal working hours. Rehearsals are scheduled with your priest. Wedding services at Holy Comforter are performed from the Book of Common Prayer. The parish has facilities for the bride to dress at the church, as well as space for the groom and groomsmen to gather. There is no charge for this. The groom and all groomsmen should be ready at least 45 minutes before the start of the wedding. The ushers should be on duty in the Narthex at least 25 minutes before the start of the service and begin seating people as they arrive. The bridal party should be at the church at least 45 minutes before the wedding. Please notify clergy of your planned arrival time.

Wedding Receptions at the Church

No, the godparents may be any denomination, provided they are baptized.


The following standards apply to weddings at Holy Comforter: · The music for all services in the Church must conform to the standard set by the parish music director, who must be consulted before any music is selected. · The music used should be related to the occasion: a sacramental rite of the church, and should be free from secular and sentimental associations. · The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of the people and should be said or sung by the people, not as a solo during the service. · Should you wish a soloist or instrumentalist to participate in the wedding service, please discuss this with the parish music director at the time of your meeting. Generally, an additional rehearsal is necessary when a soloist and/or instrumentalist is scheduled. · The organist fee includes the initial consultation, as well as both the rehearsal and wedding. Additional fees for soloists or instrumentalists should be paid directly to the individual musician. These fees will be explained by the music director at the consultation. Please be aware that additional fees will apply if additional rehearsal time is required for the organist to coordinate with additional musicians. · If you wish to employ an organist other than Holy Comforter’s music director, that person must be authorized by our music director in advance. The organist fee must still be paid to our musician, as it is his/her responsibility to coordinate music and liturgical issues. Any additional fees must be worked out directly with the alternate person selected.


Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church. The bond, which God establishes in Baptism, is indissoluble. It marks a formal entrance into the congregation and the wider Church in which the candidates or sponsors make a series of vows to follow Christ. People of all ages are welcome to be baptized. If you are interested in having a baptism at Holy Comforter, please contact us.

How do I schedule a funeral at Holy Comforter?

The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to the priest of the congregation. to contact him please call Parish Administrator, at 336-227-4251 or email [email protected] . In case of emergency or off hours call the Reverend George Silides at 907-321-0507. If death is imminent, it is always appropriate to call the priest and have him or her present. Please see Page 490 of The Book of Common Prayer for more information on prayers and considerations. Holy Comforter has held, and will continue to hold, services for non-members where for various reasons the family of the deceased wishes the person to have an Episcopal service. Those arrangements should be made with the Rector of the parish. All funeral arrangements should be made in consultation with the priest. The conduct of the service is the responsibility of the Rector of the parish. If the family of the deceased desires the participation of a minister who is not on the staff at Holy Comforter, they should first contact the Rector of Holy Comforter and discuss that matter with him or her fully. It is strongly encouraged, where possible, that funerals for baptized Christians occur in the church rather than a Funeral Home. The service should be held at a time when the congregation can be present, giving due consideration to day of the week, normal work hours, holidays, and Holy Days. The guiding rule for planning a funeral service is that it is first and foremost a worship service praising God and giving thanks for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The coffin is to be closed before the service, and it remains closed thereafter. It is appropriate that it be covered with a pall or other suitable covering. A covering is also provided for the urn or container for cremated ashes. Any visitation with an open casket would take place prior to the service. The casket is closed prior to arrival at the church. The Committal (interment or the burial) may take place before or after the service in the church. You may find Holy Comforter’s internment policy by calling the church office.


The Church will prepare a basic bulletin similar in content to a Sunday morning service. The family of the deceased is responsible for providing information requested, such as full name of the deceased, birth and death dates, and any other information requested by the Rector or staff. No obituary information will appear in the bulletin. The family will be responsible for printing bulletins if anything more than basic information is desired.


The church Music Director/Organist will play for funeral service unless other arrangements are made with the Rector and Music Director. The Rector is the final authority in the administration of matters pertaining to music. Secular music may not be used. This includes love songs, show tunes, popular music, music composed for secular occasions, and music composed by friends or relatives. (Such music may, of course, be played at any reception following burial.) The Music Director will advise you about suitable music and the appropriate places in the service for music. Music Director’s Fee: It is expected that the Music Director be offered an honorarium of $150 for his/her time to prepare, practice, and play for the service.

Facility Fees

The church facilities are available to the active members of Holy Comforter without charge. There are no fees for the use of the church or for the services of the priest who officiates, though a donation is encouraged to the Rector’s discretionary fund. There is a fee charged for the additional time of the sexton to clean and prepare the church and for his/her time after the funeral. The fee will depend on what is required.

Altar Flowers

The sanctuary is the portion of the church served by the clergy and the acolytes, with the altar as the focal point. The Altar Guild is responsible for the care of this area. Holy Comforter is a beautiful setting and flower arrangements should be simple. Spectacular displays distract from the importance of worship and are not permitted. Flowers are only allowed in the sanctuary behind the altar. Only live floral arrangements are permitted and no ribbons, cards, or messages should be attached. If the florist delivers arrangements with ribbons or cards, those items will be removed and saved for the family. There are size restrictions for arrangements due to space in front of the altar and on either side of the cross at the high altar. The church office staff, Rector, or Flower Guild coordinator can advise your florist if necessary. Floral arrangements are customarily left for the Sunday service when possible. If the service falls during Lent when no flowers are used on Sundays, the family may wish to take the flowers home after the service. All other floral arrangements will be put in our parlor or great hall if a reception is to follow. Otherwise, any additional arrangements or plants will be put aside until after funeral service. The family needs to make arrangements to take home any plants and flowers that will not be used in the church on the following Sunday. The church is not responsible for transportation of the flowers.


A post funeral service reception may be held onsite in the parlor or Great Hall. Holy Comforter’s Sunshine Committee can arrange for a simple luncheon or coffee/tea/cookies reception (or, if no reception is planned, arrange for a meal to be taken to the family the evening before the funeral). You may request this ministry by asking the Rector. The chairperson of the Sunshine Committee will then contact you directly. The family may also opt to use a caterer. It is expected that caterers will furnish all linens and serving pieces. Caterers are responsible for removing their materials immediately following the reception. The kitchen should be left in the condition in which it is found. Serving alcohol at a reception is generally not appropriate.


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The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter

320 East Davis Street | PO Box 1336 (27216)
Burlington 27215, US

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