As Christians we understand Baptism to be the great sacrament by which God adopts us as God’s children, members of the body of Christ, and inheritors of the Kingdom. It is a special occasion for the Church—a service of joy as we welcome new members, young and old, into the Body of Christ. We are so glad that you are considering celebrating a Baptism with us at Christ Church.
Yours in Christ,
The Reverend Diana Wilcox
Baptism is for people of all ages … once for all time
In the Episcopal Church, Baptism is for infants and adults. It is a public affirmation of your faith, or your commitment to your faith on behalf of your child. It is not entered into lightly at any age.
If you have already been baptized in any other Christian denomination, it is valid in the Episcopal Church. You need not be re-baptized. However, if you would like to affirm your commitment within the Episcopal Church, please contact the Rector or the church office and ask about Confirmation and Reception.
We gather as a community…
Children and adults are baptized into the community of Christ and they, or someone speaking on their behalf, are asked to make a public affirmation of faith and commitment. Therefore, it is appropriate that the community be present and active at Baptisms. For that reason every baptism here takes place within the welcoming setting of the larger community gathered for their principle service of worship.
… on special days throughout the church year
Whenever possible, we welcome new members into the Body of Christ on festal days that emphasize the meaning of our Baptism:
Easter: We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter as we also celebrate our own participation in that resurrection through Baptism.
Pentecost: This, the 50th and final day of Easter, focuses on the baptismal gift of the Holy Spirit.
All Saints: In baptism we join all who have been baptized with Christ and one another in the communion of all the saints.
Sunday after Epiphany: This is the day on which we remember the Baptism of Jesus.
Visitation of the Bishop: As our chief priest and pastor, the Bishop traditionally presides over the two solemn rites of Baptism and the Eucharist when she or he visits.
… concluding the service of Baptism with the Eucharist
The newly baptized are welcomed as brothers and sisters in Christ during the exchange of the Peace. Then, as members of the Church, they join their families, sponsors and the full community in the Eucharist, the other great sacrament of the Paschal Mystery and the climax of the Baptismal rite.
We ask that all candidates for Baptism be sponsored…
As further affirmation of the community experience, each candidate for Holy Baptism, whether a child or an adult, is sponsored by at least one baptized person.
- For adults and older children, the sponsors formally present the candidate for baptism. Implied in that presentation is a commitment to support him or her by prayer and example in their Christian life.
- For young children and infants, the sponsors are typically parents and godparents. They not only present the candidate, they promise to help raise the child into the full stature of Christ and they take the baptismal vows on behalf of that child.
- Each candidate also receives the support of the gathered congregation as they, too, indicate their intention to do all in their power to support those baptized in their life in Christ.
… and that they continue to be engaged with the Church.
Baptism is a call to discipleship and transformation. In the context of their vows, the newly baptized, their sponsors and the entire church community commit themselves to continued Christian formation.
To that end, Christ Church invites you to take part in regular worship, as well as programs for Christian education and spiritual development for children and adults.
Since the congregation plays such an important role at Baptism and later in the life of the newly baptized, we believe that Baptism should take place in your home church, or where you plan to make your church home. We understand that occasionally there are times when that may not be the best choice and we will talk through options with you.