“Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.”
— The Book of Common Prayer, p. 298.
1. WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is an ancient custom, originating in Jewish practice, and adopted by the earliest Christians as a way of signifying membership in the mystical Body of Christ. Over the centuries, the ceremonies and rituals that attend to the Rite of Baptism have changed somewhat, and our understanding of what Baptism is has changed along with them. Regardless of how the rite is understood, Baptism has always played a central role in the life of the Church.
2. WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED?
Anyone who desires it, and who has not already been Baptized. In the case of infants and small children, anyone whose parents or guardians desire it for them.
3. WHEN DO BAPTISMS TAKE PLACE?
According to the Book of Common Prayer, Baptism “is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast.” There are four times during the course of the year when Baptism is especially appropriate: The Easter Vigil (the night before Easter Sunday), the Day of Pentecost (the 8th Sunday after Easter), All Saints’ Day (the Sunday closest to November 1), and the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus (shortly after the New Year).
4. HOW DO I GET TO BAPTISM?
Clergy meet with individuals and families interested in Baptism some time in the weeks prior to the Baptism. These meetings are intended to build some common ground between clergy and families (if it doesn’t already exist), and to help familiarize parents and other participants with the Baptismal service. Making time for this meeting is a requirement for Baptism. When the person being Baptized is a child, we also encourage any other adults who may be part of the service to attend the meeting as well (this includes sponsors or godparents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.). If scheduling permits, clergy will meet with as many family members as possible at the same time, as this extends the experience of community into the work of preparation. If you have any questions, please contact:
The Rev. Jane Stratford
(925) 254-3770 x 15