Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.       Do you rent your church facilities for events?

 Yes, as a service to our parishioners and the community we allow our members, people in the community and non-profit groups to rent the church facilities. The requirements and the requested nominal contributions described in our Facility Use Policy  offset the costs incurred from hosting outside events.  Use of our facilities is at the discretion of the Rector and/or with concurrence of the People's Warden and the Vestry, and must be scheduled through the Parish Administrator.  Specific rules are involved which will be explained by the administrator. Additional information and forms can be found on our Facility Use Policies page.  Please contact the Parish Office. 

2.        Can we be married in your church?

Please call the Parish Administrator at 703-765-3949 and ask to speak to the Clergy to discuss the specific requirements for a Christian marriage. The clergy will be able to discuss what is involved.  Pre-martial counseling with the Clergy is required and one of the parties must have been baptized. Re-marriage following divorce requires the Bishop of Virginia’s approval for the Rector to officiate. Use of the church building involves early reservations to ensure it is available.  See this link for A Guide to Weddings in the Church.  You may complete this form and bring it to the Rector when you meet to discuss the wedding. Additional information and forms can be found on the Facility Use Policies page.

3.       What do I need to do to be baptized or have my child baptized?

In the Episcopal Church a person can be baptized at any age. Adults and older children agree to be baptized and make certain promises on their own behalf. If an infant or younger child is presented for baptism, parents and sponsors (godparents) make the promises for them. A person who has already been baptized in name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in another Christian community does not need to be baptized again when they join an Episcopal church. Please contact the Parish Administrator to speak with a Clergy for more information. Service information can be found in the online Book of Common Prayer, select Holy Baptism on the left hand table of contents and then select Holy Baptism.   Normally baptisms are held as part of the regular Sunday Eucharist, especially on certain days designated by the church such as the first or second Sunday in January to coincide with the baptism of Jesus, the Sunday before November 1, which is All Saints day, or during Pentecost (mid-May to mid-June). For your convenience, you may complete the Baptismal Information Form ahead of time and bring it with you when you meet with the Clergy.

Parents may choose godparents who are friends or family as long as they are baptized Christians. They should be on their own journey of faith, actively participating in the community of faith. They may help the baptized child live into a life in Christ by praying for them, talking with them about their own journey, encouraging their godchild to learn more about the faith, and how to follow Christ in their life.

4.       Do I or my child need to be Confirmed?

While Baptism is the rite that welcomes a Christian into Communion with God in Christ, Confirmation is the means for mature Christians to reaffirm their Baptismal Vows.  Confirmation is for those who were baptized as infants and who wish to commit themselves to Christ and to renew their baptismal vows.  Reception and Reaffirmation are for those who were baptized as adults or in other denominations and who later wish to renew their baptismal vows as described on the Diocese of Virginia Guidelines for the Rites of Initiation.  Service information can be found in the online Book of Common Prayer, select Pastoral Offices on the left hand table of contents and then select Confirmation. Our Rector holds a series of classes prior to the visit of the Bishop once a year to orient adults and young people to the Episcopal Church and prepare them for Reception and Confirmation. Please see the Rector regarding the class schedule.

5.       What are the requirements to receive Holy Eucharist (Communion)?

Anyone who has been baptized may participate fully in the life of the church, including receiving the bread and wine – the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ – at the Eucharist.

6.        How do I arrange to hold a funeral at your church? Who do I call when my loved one dies?

Our prayers and condolences are with you during this time of sorrow and we will do as much as possible to assist you. The death of a member of the church should be reported to the clergy or the Parish Administrator as soon as possible. A member of the clergy will meet with the family to plan the service according to the needs of the family and the wishes of the deceased (if known).  Service information can be found in the online Book of Common Prayer select Pastoral Offices on the left hand table of contents and then select The Burial of the Dead: Rite One which begins on page 469 or Burial of the Dead: Rite Two which begins on page 491. The Book of Common Prayer provides for a short devotional service on the night before the funeral which is listed under Ministration at the Time of Death on page 465. This usually takes place in the funeral home and is a fitting time for more personal, informal reminiscing, and for the last farewell to the physical remains. The Episcopal Church has no objection to cremation. The Committal of the body or the ashes is a part of the funeral rites of the Church and normally takes place at the grave site following the Eucharist.

7.        How do I transfer my membership from my old church to St. Mark’s?

If you would like to transfer your membership to St. Mark's, please provide the church office with the name and address of the church you are transferring from. We will write a letter to your former church requesting transfer of your membership. If you want to transfer out of St. Mark's, you will need to have your new church send us a request for transfer.