Why do we baptize? A Community Action
We understand Baptism to be the sacrament by which God adopts us as God’s children and makes us members of Christ’s body, the Church. A sacrament, for Episcopalians, is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. In Baptism we welcome new members into the Body of Christ, commit ourselves to support them in their life in Christ, and re-dedicate our own lives to Christ. Baptism is a wonderful celebration that involves the whole congregation.
Because we understand Baptism to be an action by and in the community of faith, the rite is carried out as part of our regular Sunday worship service. Private Baptisms are not performed, except in cases of extreme emergency.
When do we baptize?
The Book of Common Prayer sets aside specific days for Baptism, each having a special significance in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ or of the Church. These days are the Easter Vigil, which happens the evening before Easter Sunday, Pentecost, All Saints’ Day and the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, with the addition of another date every August, to be determined.
Even if we have no one to baptize on these days, the entire congregation takes these special opportunities to renew the vows each of us took at our Baptism.
Who can be baptized?
We baptize both adults and children, as did the earliest Christian church. The Episcopal Church recognizes Baptism as a Christian sacrament. If you have been baptized in another Christian denomination, we honor and celebrate that. You do not need to be baptized again. If, having been baptized previously, you desire to reaffirm your faith we have a similar rite in which you may do this.
How do we prepare for Baptism?
First call or email the office to schedule for the next available date. The rector will schedule a meeting to have conversation concerning preparation, which ideally will include at least three meetings with clergy and one meeting with clergy and Godparents.
Who will act as Godparents or Sponsors?
You will choose godparents for yourself or for your child. These people should be baptized Christians, willing to vow they will see to your or your child’s spiritual well-being and support you in your spiritual growth.