Holy Baptism at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Holy Baptism is one of the primary sacraments of The Episcopal Church. Through full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit we become members of Christ’s Body, the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.
Holy Baptism is a gift given by the grace of God, and not merited by one’s acceptance or understanding of it. Infant Baptism is a sign of the faith of the community into which a child is baptized. Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God.
In the case of infants, promises are made for them by their parents and sponsors, who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him. Older children and adults enter into the Baptismal Covenant for themselves.
The Episcopal Church has stated that Holy Baptism is appropriately administered in the context of one’s own congregation. Although membership at St. Mary’s is not required, an important part of Holy Baptism is when the members of the congregation who witnesses the baptismal vows agree to do everything within their power “to support these persons in their life in Christ.” Baptism is, therefore, a community event.
St. Mary’s follows the Episcopal Church practice of administering Holy Baptism on or near the Great Vigil of Easter, the Feast of Pentecost, All Saint’s Day and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany).
Upcoming dates for Baptism at St. Mary’s are:
- Sunday April 23, 2017
- Sunday, June 4, 2017: Pentecost Day
- Sunday, July 30, 2017
- Sunday, September 24, 2017
- Sunday, November 5, 2017, All Saints’ Sunday
- Sunday, January 7, 2018, The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
- Sunday, April 8, 2018, (Easter Vigil transferred)
- Sunday, May 20, 2018, Pentecost Day
- Sunday, November 4, 2018, 10:00 AM: All Saints’ Sunday
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. The gender of the sponsors or godparents is irrelevant. A total of three to five, including the parents, is recommended. Sponsors or godparents must be baptized Christians, but need not be Episcopalians.
Rehearsals for each baptism are held on the day prior (Saturday). At that time the priest who will be performing the baptisms will provide further information and instructions to the candidates, parents, and sponsors and answer their questions.
There is no fee for Holy Baptism. You may wish to consider providing the flowers for the altar on the day of the Baptism, or making a music memorial.
To schedule Holy Baptism at St. Mary’s, please complete the form below. You will receive an acknowledgement of your request and further information.
Thank you for your desire to express your commitment to the Body of Christ by participating in this Blessed Sacrament and for choosing St. Mary’s as your spiritual home. God’s blessings be upon you.