“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." (Book of Common Prayer, p.298)
Holy Baptism is the first great sacrament of the Church, given by Christ, and a prerequisite for full participation in the church. St. Mark’s holds services of Holy Baptism in conjunction with the service of Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings on the days specified by the Book of Common Prayer for baptisms. Please call the church office for upcoming baptism dates.
“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 and small children, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates.” (BCP p. 298)
Older children and adults wishing to be baptized at St. Mark’s, as well as the parents of infants and smaller children, will be instructed and prepared by the clergy for the baptism. There are promises to be made and obligations to be kept in conjunction with baptism; it is a joyous occasion, but one to be taken seriously. All inquiries should be directed to one of the clergy well in advance of the date for the baptism. The information required for our records is on the application. Click here to download the form, to fill out and return by e-mail or snail mail.
Some frequently asked questions about baptism…
1. How many godparents must/may I have?
At least one baptized person is required as a godparent/sponsor; there may be as many others as desired, as long as they are baptized.
2. Must a godparent have any special qualifications?
The godparent /sponsor must have been baptized and must be willing to make the pledges contained in the ceremony. These include pledges to be responsible for seeing that the child presented for baptism is brought up in the Christian faith and life, to renounce evil, to accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and to participate in the work and worship of the Church.
3. May we have a private baptism?
Our guide on this matter is The Book of Common Prayer, which states that “Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast.“ Accordingly, barring extraordinary circumstances, we only schedule baptisms at the Sunday services (and the Easter Vigil) specified above. Of course, emergency baptism can be administered at any time.
4. I would like for my grandchildren to be baptized at St. Mark’s. Can this be arranged?
That depends on both pastoral and theological considerations. If the parents live elsewhere it is preferable for their child to be baptized there, in the Christian community of which the parents are members. If, however, the parents have yet to establish a relationship with a church, or if there are family considerations and strong pastoral or historical reasons to have the baptism at St. Mark’s, it may be appropriate for the child to be baptized at St. Mark’s. The parents must be willing, however, to make the pledges relating to Christian commitment—including the pledge to bring the child up within a Christian community of faith. This means that they will make good faith efforts to join a church in the community where they live.
5. Is there a fee for baptism?
No, but a free will offering to the church is always appropriate.