What is Baptism really about?
The rite of Christian initiation has been handed down to us by countless generations of those who have baptized. Christ received from John the Baptist a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, transformed it and made it his own, united it with his death and resurrection, and enjoined it on his followers as a baptism for all peoples. This liturgy, in which God acts among us to adopt us as daughters and sons, is a fresh spring of new birth. Those baptized into Christ find what it means to put on Christ and to follow Christ. They find Christ in the gathering of the faithful, in the word, in the eucharist, in themselves, and in others. We who baptize also are renewed. Through this liturgy, as we bring new Christians into the church, we restore the life of the church. We refresh its worship. We find new sources of meaning in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We are formed anew, as images of Christ, in our royal priesthood and in our service to the poor and needy. In our discovery of the riches of baptism we walk in the steps of our fathers and mothers of old.
Preachers of the patristic church found a wealth of meaning in the images and actions of this complex rite. The major themes of baptism are:
1. Participation in Christ’s death and resurrection: Baptism is a full sharing in the life of Christ. If we are to rise with Christ from the dead, we must first die with Christ. Just as Christ died on the cross, we die in baptism Just as Christ rose from the dead, we rise in baptism. We who drown in a watery grave are born again from the womb of the Church.
2. Conversion, pardoning, and cleansing: Confession of sin and conversion of heart lead to a cleansing bath for the new Christian. As surely as Pharaoh and his warriors drowned in the Red Sea, Satan and sin drown in the flowing waters of forgiveness, purity, healing, and liberation.
3. The gift of the Spirit: The Holy Spirit who hovers over all creation descended on Christ at his baptism and on the disciples at Pentecost. God anoints and seals all the baptized, unites us, and adopts us as sons and daughters in a new fullness of the Spirit. The Spirit is given in baptism as a guarantee of Christian hope, a spiritual enlightenment, and a power to overcome temptation.
4. Incorporation into the body of Christ: We are baptized into a community of faith, the people of God, the body of Christ. Because there is one baptism, one God and Father of us all, we follow Christ as one family. Our union with Christ and each other extends to every time and place and includes the communion of saints beyond the grave.
5. The sign of the kingdom: Through baptism we enter the reign of God, which has already to break into the world. We share in the eternal priesthood of Christ. We offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. We sit at the messianic banquet. All about us, the old gives way to the new and life is refreshed. We wait with joy for the life of the world to come. *Excerpts from The Associated Parishes brochure on baptism.
What’s involved in getting baptized?
In the case of infant baptism, parents and sponsors (godparents) are required to have met with the Rector and also attend a class and rehearsal scheduled on the Saturday prior to the baptism. For older youth and adults a class on the Basics of Christianity is required in addition to the Baptismal Preparation class.
When can someone be baptized?
Baptism is especially appropriate at the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 12, 2020), the Transfiguration of the Lord (February 23, 2020), Easter Vigil (April 11, 2020), the Day of Pentecost (May 31, 2020), Holy Cross Day Sunday (September 13, 2020) and All Saints Sunday (November 1, 2020). Any Sunday during the season of Easter is also appropriate (April 19-May 24, 2020).
How does one go about scheduling a baptism?
Please contact the Parish Administrator for further information.