The Sacrament of Baptism at St. Anne’s Church
Thank you for your interest in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at St. Anne’s Church. To help prepare you for making your decision to be joined with Christ and his Church through Baptism, we urge you to read this customary, and then talk to the Rector.
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.
Baptism is the way in which the Church receives people into the family of God so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we are enabled to live to life in a new way and with new meaning. At the time of baptism, the person is adopted by God into God’s family and one is formally received as a full member of
- The Holy Catholic Church
- The Anglican Communion
- The Episcopal Church in the USA
- The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
- You become a member of this local faith community, St. Anne’s
Your desire to be baptized, or have your children baptized, at St. Anne’s means that you are ready to be joined with Christ and his Church and to become a full and active member in the life of St. Anne’s Church. At St. Anne’s it is our greatest hope that you will join with us at in our regular worship, prayers, and fellowship. If you are not ready or able to become a member of St. Anne’s we can help you locate a priest and a parish church near your present dwelling.
When Does Baptism Take Place?
Because baptism is the way a person becomes part of the faith community, the witness and welcome of the congregation is an essential part of the service. Normally baptism is administered during our regular Sunday 10am Eucharist or other major feast days of the church, when the congregation is assembled for worship. The members of St. Anne’s commit themselves to support and care for the newly baptized persons and to help them grow in faith.
Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast days.
Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at
- The Easter Vigil
- The Day of Pentecost
- All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day
- The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (or the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany).
We recommended that, as far as possible, baptisms are reserved for these occasions or when a bishop is present, though we will try to make exceptions for pastoral considerations. We try to keep our Baptisms close to these important feast days. Normally baptisms are not scheduled in seasons of Lent, or Advent. Please talk to the Rector about your dates first.
Godparents or Sponsors
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. Parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of Baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church.
An old custom is that godparents will also present their godchildren before the Bishop at the rites of Confirmation at age 16.
To help you understand more about the Sacrament of Baptism please study the following excerpt from our Book of Common Prayer.
What is Holy Baptism?
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.
What is the outward and visible sign in Baptism?
The outward and visible sign in Baptism is water, in which the person is baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
What is the inward and spiritual grace in Baptism?
The inward and spiritual grace in Baptism is union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.
What is required of us at Baptism?
It is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Why then are infants baptized?
Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God.
How are the promises for infants made and carried out?
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.
Catechism – Book of Common Prayer page 858
If you are interested in baptism, please come to a Sunday service and speak to the rector, or contact the church via email or phone.