Christian life begins with the sacrament of baptism, the full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s body the Church. Baptism is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual Grace. Through this sacrament we become united with Christ in His death and resurrection and forgiven of our sins so that we may participate in a new life in the Holy Spirit. Baptism is an important act of obedience to God’s will and a sign of His love and adoption for the persons being baptized.
In the Episcopal Church, Baptism is the initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into full membership of the Church. Baptism is one of the two most important sacraments of the Church. (The other is the Eucharist.) It is administered to individuals of any age who have not been previously baptized in any other Christian denomination. If someone is joining the Episcopal church from another denomination, their baptism in that denomination is recognized and acknowledged.
The liturgy of baptism is usually celebrated within the Sunday Liturgy of a Christian community as a public event. The Cathedral of Saint James celebrates baptisms on specific feast days in the Church’s calendar:
· The Feast of Christ's Baptism
(usually the first or second Sunday of January)
· The Easter Vigil
(Saturday evening before Easter Sunday)
· Pentecost Sunday
(usually late May to mid-June)
· The Feast of All Saints
(always the Sunday after November 1)
If you are an adult, and wish to baptized, we encourage you to participate in our cathecumenal course, which prepares adult for the rites of baptism, confirmation, or reception into the Episcopal Church. Please contact the Dean if you are interested in participating in this course.
Parents of babies and young children who are being presented for baptism should also contact the Dean. He will be able to give you details about dates for Cathedral baptisms. Parents and godparents will need to schedule an appointment with the Dean as part of baptismal preparation. The pastoral session with parents and godparents will include time to share and imagine what it means to raise a child in the Christian life today, as well as the roles of parents and godparents. Our conversation will lead us to exploring the Church’s teaching of baptism as we find it in the Book of Common Prayer.
While baptisms are often planned months in advance for public worship events, always know that any Christian can baptize another person, particularly if there is a life-threatening emergency. Baptism requires water poured over the person, saying, “(Name), I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Please let the Cathedral Office know if such an emergency baptism has taken place.
Today please pray for: