Christian Initiation is the term given to the process by which infants, children or adults become members of the Body of Christ and are incorporated into the community of the Church. The sacrament which celebrates this process is called Holy Baptism.
Baptism plays an important role in the life of the whole congregation. Therefore it is not only a moment of personal significance, but a community event celebrated within the context of Christian worship with the community present to support and receive new members into the family of God’s people.
Baptism is initiation into a community of faith and entrance into a way of life together with others.
Baptism is a once-and-for-all sacrament which takes one’s whole life to finish. Because it is a process more than a moment, it is important that the decision for baptism is made thoughtfully and prayerfully within the context of regular private and corporate worship as well as participation in the Parish community.
Who may be Baptized?
People of all ages may be baptized; infants, children and adults. Because baptism is initiation into a community of faith, we invite you to attend Sunday worship for a time prior to baptism in order to become acquainted with the liturgical life of the Parish, and to become involved in the Christian community in some form. There are many ways to become involved in the parish. Once you are involved, we welcome your desire for baptism to formally affirm your membership.
Is there preparation for Baptism?
When you are ready for baptism, we invite you to complete the information for baptism form (must have Acrobat Reader). You will receive a telephone call from one of the parish staff who will arrange a visit with you. Baptismal candidates, godparents and sponsors are then asked to attend a gathering with others to discuss the meaning of baptism. On the Saturday prior to the Sunday baptism, you will be asked to attend a rehearsal – a “walk-through” of the service.
What about Godparents and Sponsors?
If you have an infant or young child for baptism, you may ask one or two people to act as godparents. Adult candidates may choose a sponsor. The godparents and sponsors present you or your child at the baptismal service. Godparents and sponsors are friends or family members who share your Christian faith and will support you as you make baptismal promises. They are asked to share in the responsibility of Christian nurture and formation of their godchild. In the baptismal service, after the Scriptures are read and a sermon is preached, the candidates for baptism are presented to the presiding celebrant, who will ask the candidate or, in the case of infants or young children, the parents, godparents and sponsor a number of questions – please refer to pages 154-5 in the Book of Alternative Services.
The service and symbols used in Baptism
In the baptismal service, after the Scriptures are read and a sermon is preached, the candidates for baptism are presented to the presiding celebrant, who will ask the candidate or, in the case of infants or young children, the parents, godparents and sponsor a number of questions – please refer to pages 154-5 in the Book of Alternative Services.
WATER is life-giving, cleansing and essential to sustain life. Each person is sprinkled with water blessed by the presiding celebrant who will say: I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
OIL blessed by the bishop is used by the celebrant to trace the sign of the cross on the candidate’s forehead with the words: I sign you with the cross, and mark you as Christ’s own for ever.
LIGHT in the form of a candle is given to each candidate as a symbol of the movement from darkness to light, new life and resurrection.
The service continues with the celebration of the holy Eucharist where we all participate in the family meal of the Church. Baptism makes us full members of the Church which means that infants, children and adults are all welcome to receive this sacrament of bread and wine.
And then what?
Then the life-long process of living into our baptism begins: sharing regularly in the holy Eucharist, worshiping with other Christians, developing the practice of prayer and service to others based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and participating in the life of the Christian community.
Baptism is the beginning of a new way of life and we welcome you into it
When do Baptisms take place?
Baptisms take place during the Sunday 10:30 am Eucharist normally five or six times during the year. The dates are advertised throughout the parish and scheduled from the Church office.
Please contact the church office for information on dates at 705.876.1501