The History of St. Paul

Priest-in-charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Haymarket, Virginia, Reverend Sean Rousseau joined the team in 2012. Father Sean K. Rousseau leads two services on Sunday mornings: one at 8 a.m. and another at 10:30 a.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The church is the oldest continual-use faith establishment in Prince William County and is named after Saint Paul, the early Christian figure who converted from Judaism.

St. Paul was born under the name of Saul. He was a Roman citizen and a devout Jew, and after the death of Jesus, he persecuted Christians as faithless Jews. Famously, when Saul was on a trip to Damascus to attack Christians there, the New Testament tells that he was struck blind by a bright light and heard Jesus asking him, “Saul, why do you persecute me?” It was on the basis of this encounter and the power and the glory of Jesus’ love that Saul became a Christian and changed his name. Going forward, Paul was a devout follower of Christ and established Christian congregations throughout the countries of the eastern Mediterranean area. He was recognized as being a great interpreter of the word of God and the founder of Christian theology. Because of his devotion to the religion, St. Paul was martyred in the year 64 under Nero in Rome, Italy.

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The Book of Common Prayers and Seven Sacraments

Fr. Sean Rousseau has been a clergy member for more than two decades. In 2012, the Rev. Sean K. Rousseau became the priest-in-charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. There, Father Rousseau leads the congregation through services each Sunday.

A part of the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal church bases its beliefs and services on the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. A main component of the Episcopal faith, the Book of Common Prayer outlines the practice of holy baptism and communion as well as the other five sacraments. Baptism, the first of the seven sacraments, signifies the acceptance of God and becoming a member of a church. Communion follows as the second of the seven sacraments. Also known as the Eucharist, communion is given to those who accept Jesus as their savior as a remembrance of his sacrifice on the cross and to join in communion with him and with God by partaking of his body as the bread and his blood as the wine.

Additionally, the Book of Common Prayer explains the remaining sacraments, which include confirmation, reconciliation of a penitent or confession, Christian matrimony, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.