Holy Baptism is a sacrament by which new members are made part of Christ’s Body, the Church. The outward and visible sign in baptism is water, in which an individual is baptized in the name of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The inward and spiritual grace in baptism is the person’s unity with Christ, being birthed into God’s household and receiving the forgiveness of sins and new life in the Holy Spirit.
At Christ Church, we delight in welcoming the newly baptized as partners in Christ’s life and ministry, and we thank you for considering having your baptism here. Holy Baptism is a sacred occasion. We promise to do all in our power not only to make your baptism a joyful event, but also to support you in your life in Christ.
When we baptize infants, it is the parents and sponsors (godparents) who make promises on behalf of the child. When we baptize adults, the adult renounces evil, affirms faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and joins in promising to uphold the faith of the Church.
In baptism, holy water is poured over the head of the person being baptized. Then chrism (holy oil, blessed by the bishop) is poured on the person’s head as the presence of the Holy Spirit is invoked and claimed for this new Christian. Finally, a candle is given to the newly baptized, symbolizing that this person now shares in carrying the Light of Christ into the world.
Who can be baptized?
Anyone who seeks God and is drawn to Jesus Christ is welcome to receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism. God’s invitation extends to people of all ages and from every kind of background.
When are baptisms offered?
The calendar of the Christian church has four feast days on which baptisms are especially appropriate. They are:
- The Feast of Epiphany or the Baptism of our Lord (January 5 or 12, 2020)
- Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, or the Second Sunday of Easter (April 11, 12, or 19, 2020)
- The Day of Pentecost (May 31, 2020)
- All Saints’ Sunday (November 3, 2019; November 1, 2020)
We encourage baptisms on these joyous occasions. If circumstances necessitate a different date, we will try to accommodate your need. Baptisms are not held in the season of Lent (the forty days leading up to Easter) and are not encouraged during Advent (the four weeks preceding Christmas).
Because baptism is a public initiation into the Christian community, we do not offer “private baptisms” that do not include the presence of gathered Christians beyond the immediate family.
What are the expectations of the church after baptism?
Because baptism is a rite of initiation and welcome, the church yearns for the newly baptized to have an authentic relationship with God and the Christian assembly. A mark of this relationship will be regular participation in the life of this parish. We invite candidates for baptism to take seriously this aspect of the Christian life, expressing a sincere commitment to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers” (Baptismal Covenant, Book of Common Prayer, page 304).
How much does baptism cost?
There is no charge for this or any other sacramental rite. As a sign of God’s love freely bestowed upon all people, baptism comes without a price tag. Many people, however, feel called to make a monetary donation in thanksgiving for a baptism. A donation to the church is both welcome and appreciated—and fully tax-deductible.
How do I prepare for and schedule a baptism?
Simply contact our Rector Emily Williams Guffey by email or by calling the office at 313-259-6688.