Rites and Rituals

Affirmation & Reaffirmation

Affirmation is the recognition of a youth or an adult who is ready to fully commit to the “Way of Christ.” Through prayer, study, and the laying on of hands, one recognizes the strength and love given  to him or her through the grace and  power of journeying with God. Others who have experienced a renewal of faith or desire to renew their commitment to “The Way of Christ” may also reaffirm their baptismal vows. Affirmation and Reaffirmation are rooted in the baptismal vow. In an Agapeism, affirmation comes prior to baptism.

Marriage

It was in Cana of Galilee at a wedding that Jesus performed his first miracle celebrating the joyous occasion of marriage. Marriage involves two people dedicating themselves to one another in a life-long union, making vows to each other before God and others as they receive God’s grace and blessing to help them on their new journey. The congregation as witnesses blesses and honors the couple. It is a joyful covenant of love, equality, and self-giving. In agapeism, there must be two witnesses present and the couple must under-go at least four hours of pre-marital counseling before a clergy can perform and pronounce the couple to be married.

 Anointing/Healing of Sick

The ritual of anointing/healing of the sick reminds us that God wants to give comfort to suffering and wants us to relieve suffering where we can. Suffering and healing are part of life. Jesus suffered and offered healing to many and we are to do the same. This ritual recognizes the power of God to bring wholeness, not only, physically, but also, mentally, and spiritually. Even where physical healing does not occur, this anointing represents the Spirit of God that brings us the gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.

The Naming of the Child

The Naming of the Child” recognizes him or her as a gift from God and the parents as the ones responsible for loving, caring, nurturing, and enjoying their gift. This ritual is a symbolic representation of giving back to God the beautiful gift of the child by acknowledging what a blessed gift has been given, by naming the child and lifting it up illustrating its worth and beauty, marking the child with the sign of the ichthys (early fish symbol) illustrating that the child is covered by God’s grace and parents will make efforts to raise the child as a follower of “The Way of Christ.” The child is to be presented with a name bracelet and blessing.

Ordination

Ordained ministry refers to persons who have received God’s grace and guidance in spiritual leadership whom Meta-4 appoints for service by ordination through the in-vocation of the Spirit and the laying on of hands. A person who is ordained has been set apart for the ministry illustrating gifts and graces that God has bestowed upon him or her and the spiritual community has affirmed. The ordained individual is to proclaim and teach the good news found in following “The Way of Christ” and living a life of seeking wholeness as he or she guides the community of faith in discovering God at work in their lives and in the world. They are representatives of Christ’s presence with us and offer themselves up in service to God in complete surrender.

The Rite of Passage to Wholeness Living

Wholeness and Wellness Living leads to a happier life where one strengthens the body, brings healing to the mind by self-work, and the soul is revitalized through reflection and the power of God’s love. In this rite of passage, after an adult has completed a series of goals in Wholeness living (physically, mentally, and spiritually) and the individual has met with the pastor(s) about the importance of this type of living, the person will be invited to undergo this rite of passage where mind, body, and soul stones are symbolically used to represent ones’ commitment in moving forward in his/her endeavors for wholeness living.

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