“Let the little children come to me… for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
— Matthew 19:14
Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s grace and covenant in Christ. As The Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (USA) explains, baptism signifies the faithfulness of God, the washing away of sin, rebirth, putting on the fresh garment of Christ, and adoption into the covenant family of the church.
The baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. The congregation, on behalf of the whole church, assumes responsibility for nurturing the baptized children in the Christian life, and it is for this reason that the congregation makes such a promise during the service.
The baptism of adults upon profession of faith – for those who were not baptized as a child – witnesses to the truth that God’s gift of grace calls for fulfillment in a response of faithfulness.
In the unison prayer we also remember that we too were baptized and as children of God are part of the worldwide family of faith.
To schedule a baptism please contact Paul, Kibbie, or Tina in the church office at 203 966-0002 (ext. 10).
The Christian Service of Marriage
At First Presbyterian Church, weddings are occasions of both joy and reverence—joy because of the gifts of love and happiness that two people have found in each other, and reverence because of the deep commitment they have made to live out their vows under the grace of God. First Presbyterian Church is eager to help make your wedding a lovely and meaningful event and asks your careful attention to the following guidelines:
The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) includes the following principles regarding marriage and weddings in the church:
Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage is a civil contract. . . . For Christians, marriage is a covenant . . . before God to live out together their lives of discipleship. In a service of Christian marriage, a lifelong commitment is made . . . , publicly witnessed and acknowledged by the community of faith.
The Christian marriage ceremony is a service of worship before God, normally conducted within the church. Dignity will be expected on the part of all present, and the service shall be under the sole direction of the presiding minister.
A wedding at First Presbyterian Church is an act of worship. Thus, the wedding service will be conducted according to the liturgy found in the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship. It is appropriate for the service to include special music, hymns, Scripture readings, and a brief homily by the minister. The presiding minister will review the order of service and appropriate options with the couple.
Presiding Minister & Organist
Ordinarily, a minister on the staff of First Presbyterian Church will be the presiding minister at all weddings. The presiding minister from First Presbyterian Church has primary responsibility for the order and conduct of the wedding service. Other clergy may participate at the invitation of the presiding minister. If you wish to include an assisting minister who is not on the staff of First Presbyterian Church, please make your request to the presiding minister.
The presiding minister designated to officiate at the service will contact the couple and set up an appointment to meet with them to counsel and to plan the service. Please know that his or her schedule may limit the minister’s participation to the rehearsal and the service, and therefore he or she may not be able to attend the rehearsal dinner or reception.
Ordinarily, the Music Director/Organist of First Presbyterian Church will be the organist at all weddings. The organist will work with the couple on all musical selections. If you wish to have an organist other than First Presbyterian’s, please make your request to the Music Director/Organist.
There is ordinarily one to two readings from the Bible in each wedding ceremony. A list of suggested appropriate passages will be provided to you by the presiding minister. Readings from outside of the Bible will need to be approved by the presiding minister from First Presbyterian Church.
Because the wedding service is an act of worship, music should be sacred and appropriate for formal liturgical worship. The First Presbyterian Church Music Director/Organist will assist the couple in choosing appropriate music for their service. An additional fee will be charged for soloists and instrumentalists. Guest instrumentalists and soloists must be approved by the First Presbyterian Church Music Director/Organist.
To discuss your wedding plans, please contact Paul, Kibbie, or Tina in the church office at 203.966.0002 (ext. 10).
Pastoral Care & Memorial Services For Loved Ones
Please contact Rev. Paul Gilmore at 203.966.0002 (ext. 14).
Meetings & Events
First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan offers a range of event and meeting space, from our soaring Sanctuary to the warmth and charm of the Bliss House Common and Parlor Rooms, to the cozy and fun Tate Youth Barn.
For more information about the utilization of any of our spaces, please contact Tina St. Armand at 203.966.0002 (ext. 10) or via email at Tina@fpcnc.org