BAPTISM is one of two sacraments “ordained by Christ himself.” So what does it mean? What are its benefits? What happens if I don’t know if I was baptized or not? Why kids?
It means, like many sacraments many things but, chiefly it is a spiritual cleaving between the Holy Trinity and the very soul of the baptized. The intention is to make certain representations of faith AND to the community. The Catechism says this, “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.” It is the first step to fullness of faith in spirit and in fact. It is therefore not just an initiation rite although it does have some of those aspects.
What are the benefits? First and foremost a sacred union between the baptized and the full Body of Christ and God’s church. Secondly, it is the gateway through which we promise to study and inwardly digest the word of God. Finally, it is also the sacrament that opens the doors to receiving Holy Communion (the other sacrament ordained by Christ himself).
Are you baptized? If you do not know the answer to this there is the rite of “Provisional Baptism.” There is also a lovely rite of “Renewal of Baptismal Vows.”
Here is the challenge. So many today want the baby baptized but seem to avoid the covenant of teaching, raising, and joining the church. It is problematic. For adults St. Anna’s requires a time of training and learning before baptism of an Adult. Current policy for infant baptism is that the parents, or God Parents, must be regular in attendance before the sacrament will be offered. As Rector, I believe that a child’s soul is NOT in peril without baptism. This sacrament must be understood fully and in a sacred sense. It should never become simply an event to celebrate a child and have a party. We are here to help you get a grounding on this most blessed of sacraments. Make an appointment to visit with the Rector.
Certain Times are set aside for Baptism. The preferred dates for baptisms are: Easter Sunday and all Sundays during Easter Season (early spring), Pentecost Sunday(late spring), All Saints Sunday (early November), and the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (early January). Private Baptism is not encouraged unless an emergency exists. ONCE BAPTIZED YOU MAY RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION.