At St. Matthew’s we welcome all children, youth and adults to be baptized.
Baptism is the full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the church. God establishes an indissoluble bond with each person in baptism. (Book of Common Prayer, p age 298) In this sacrament, “God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the church, and inheritors of the Kingdom of God.” In Baptism, we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection, born into God’s family, the Church, forgiven our sins, and given new life in the Holy Spirit. At Baptism, “it is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.” (Book of Common Prayer, page 858)
Each candidate for baptism in the Episcopal Church is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons. Sponsors (godparents) speak on behalf of candidates for baptism who are infants or younger children and cannot speak for themselves at the Presentation and Examination of the Candidates. During the baptismal rite the members of the congregation promise to do all they can to support the candidates for baptism in their life in Christ. They join with the candidates by renewing the baptismal covenant. The water of baptism may be administered by pouring or immersion (BCP, p. 307). Candidates are baptized “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” and then marked on the forehead with the sign of the cross. Chrism may be used for this marking. The newly baptized is “sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever.” When all baptisms have been completed, the celebrant and congregation welcome the newly baptized within the Holy Eucharist (or Mass) as the chief service on a Sunday or another feast. The baptismal promises are made for infants by their parents or sponsors, “who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him” (BCP, pp. 858-859). Adapted from: www.episcopalchurch.org.
For Children of Non-Members: For those interested in having their children baptized, but who are not members of St. Matthew’s, baptism will only be scheduled with the assurance that the parent(s) will fulfill the promises and vows of Baptism by maintaining an active connection to our community. As such, the parent(s) will agree, at a minimum, to attend services, with a view to eventually becoming members of our community.
Customary Donations: There are no fees charged for the Sacraments of the Church. However, a gift to the Parish in your name or in the name of the baptized child is appropriate and gratefully received. Your offering will help cover the expenses of St. Matthew’s as well as support our continuing outreach efforts to the community.
Readings for Reflection:
Holy Baptism, Book of Common Prayer, pp. 298-308
The Catechism, Book of Common Prayer, pp.858-859
If you are interested in Baptism for yourself or for your child, please contact the Parish Administrator at either by calling (305) 665-7333, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.