Baptism is a ritual of initiation that indicates our desire to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. It is the beginning of a lifelong journey in the Christian faith. Since baptism is the means through which someone joins the Church, we expect baptismal candidates and their families to worship regularly at Grace Church as a way to discern the call to baptism and to explore their interest in joining our faith community.
In the ritual of Baptism, the priest pours water on the head of the candidate three times, and says, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The candidate is also anointed with oil, called Chrism, that has been blessed by the bishop. This is a sign and a symbol that the candidate is "sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ's own for ever."
Following the practice of the early church, we baptize both infants and adults in the Episcopal Church in the belief that God's love extends to everyone regardless of their age or understanding of doctrine. Any baptismal candidate is encouraged to have godparents or sponsors who will pledge to encourage the newly-baptized to follow the Christian faith.
Baptism normally takes place within the Sunday Eucharist because the community pledges to support the baptized in the development of their faith. There are four traditional times for the celebration of Baptism:
- The Easter Vigil (the Saturday before Easter Sunday)
- The Day of Pentecost (the Sunday 50 days after Easter)
- All Saints’ Sunday (the first Sunday in November)
- Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the first Sunday after January 6 [Epiphany])
On occasion, other dates can be arranged with permission of the clergy. Baptisms are only held on Sundays during our regular services, or at the Easter Vigil.
If you or a loved one would like to be baptized, contact one of the clergy for more information.
The Sacrament of Baptism invites Christians into a lifelong commitment to the Christian faith. The solemn vows and promises made at baptism define our faith and our relationship to God, the Church and the world.
In baptism, we commit to the following vows and promises:
- Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
- Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
- Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
- Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
- Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
Come explore what it means to live into these promises at Grace Church! We invite all who are curious about exploring their journey of faith to join us in living this covenant to the best of our abilities.