Holy Baptism

The catechism of the prayer book tells us that Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children, makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. The Episcopal Church recognizes all those baptized with water and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as members of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

When a child is born, one of the first decisions a parent should make is when to have their child baptized. Most parents will simply choose the first baptismal feast after the birth of the child (we have baptisms on four feasts, scattered roughly once a quarter throughout the year). Additionally, when people wish to join the Episcopal Church, if either they or their children have not previously been baptized with water in the name of the Trinity, baptism is the method by which they would then join. Those who have previously been baptized are never re-baptized—they instead just share their baptism information with the office through our membership form.

Additionally, the Book of Common Prayer, on pages 298 and 312, tells us more about the practices surrounding Holy Baptism in The Episcopal Church:

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.

Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast.

Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons.

Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates.

It is fitting that parents be included among the godparents of their own children. Parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of Baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church.

Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, on the Day of Pentecost, on All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, and on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany). It is recommended that, as far as possible, Baptisms be reserved for these occasions or when a bishop is present.

If you would like to be baptized, or have a child in your family baptized, you can fill out the application form for Holy Baptism online here. The parish office will then contact you to schedule the baptism.