Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
When we receive a new infant, child, or adult into “the household of God” through the sacrament of Holy Baptism, we celebrate a deep truth of creation: that we are all members of God’s family whom God welcomes home with open arms.
When we baptize, the hidden is revealed for a moment, and we see the unconditional love of God embracing a soul who has never done a thing to earn that love. And we learn once again that we can do nothing to earn it either. We can only respond to God’s unconditional love in our lives. In baptism, we celebrate the beginning of this response.
Baptism occurs within a faith community. This community agrees to support the candidate in the living out of their baptismal promises. We promise to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, and to respect the dignity of every human being. Therefore it is important that Baptisms take place during our Sunday Eucharists. There are particular days that are appropriate for Baptisms: the Great Vigil of Easter, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day, the Sunday following, the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord in January, and the Sunday following the Feast of St. James in July.
It is expected that families of infants to be baptized will be regular in their attendance at worship at St. James’ for a period of three months prior to the Baptism. It is further expected that the family will continue their regular Sunday attendance at Church throughout the child’s upbringing. Older children preparing for Baptism should attend Church School at St. James’ for a period of three months. Adults who wish to be baptized should call the church office and a special course of preparation will be arranged.
Every candidate for Holy Baptism is presented or sponsored by one or more baptized persons. There is no limit to the number of sponsors. In the case of children, parents or guardians are normally included. The selection of godparents is important. Care should be taken to choose individuals who are expected to have a long-term relationship with the child and a significant relationship with the Church. Adult inquirers will be matched with a parishioner who will serve as a spiritual mentor during the preparation process and will be one of the sponsors at the baptism. Click here to download an application for baptism at St. James'. This information is required for the person’s baptismal certificate. To discuss a baptism please call the church office at (203) 748-3561.