What Does the Act of Baptism Mean to Us?
Baptism enacts and seals what the Word of God proclaims: God’s redeeming grace offered to all people. Baptism is God’s gift of grace and God’s summons to respond to that grace. Baptism calls to repentance, to faithfulness, and to discipleship.
In Baptism, you are dedicating your child to our Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout our lives, we are called upon to make serious decisions. The decision of Baptism and Dedication you make for your child is one of the most sacred and significant you may declare. By it you confess your faith and formally dedicate yourself to our Heavenly Creator and pronounced your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Jesus further said, “ Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, Christ, instructs us that all should come to faith with the eyes and heart of a child. In Jesus Christ, we are set free of the punishment of sin and oppression of law. By grace in faith we are forgiven and assured eternal life.
What Are the Parent’s Spiritual Requirements?
The nature of Baptism and the questions that are being asked require that at least one of those acting as parent or guardian be a Christian/Catholic. Baptism, after all, is a declaration of the parent’s Christian/Catholic faith and an affirmation of the intention to raise the child as a Christian/Catholic believer. If you do not affirm the Christian/Catholic faith, there would be no reason for you to desire your child to be baptized.
What Happens at the Baptismal Service?
Rev. Ron will read a statement about Baptism based on Matthew 28:18-20, “Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The pastor will continue to comment about the gift of baptism, perhaps sharing other verses of Scripture, and saying words similar to these: “Obeying the word of our Lord Jesus, and confident of his promises, we baptize those whom God has called. In baptism God claims us, and seals us to show that we belong to God. God frees us from sin and death, uniting us with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. By water and the Holy Spirit, we are made members of His church, the body of Christ, and joined to Christ's ministry of love, peace, and justice. Let us remember with joy our own baptism, as we celebrate this sacrament.”
The spiritual charge is given to the parents and they are asked to keep the spiritual welfare of their child at all times and to raise that child in the admonition and love of God. The godparents or sponsors are also asked to keep the spiritual welfare of their godchild. Just before the baptism, the child is recognized as a gift from God and we dedicate and give back that gift to God and asked that God remove all sin, cleanse and protect the child as He/She is raised in the faith and love of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ through the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as mandated by the scriptures.
The baptism will now take place and the child is given to the Pastor who will baptize by pouring water over the head of the child.
After the baptism, the child will be anointed with holy oil, using the sign of the cross on the forehead, chest, ears, shoulders, hands and feet. The forehead to protect the mind, the chest to protect the heart, the ears so that the child may hear and receive God’s Word, the shoulders as they take on the yoke of Christ, their hands that they may always do the right thing with them and their feet that they may walk in the paths of the commandments of Christ.
After the baptism,. Then, clothing the baptized person with a white robe, he says:
The servant of God ________________ is clothed in the robe of righteousness, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Can We Use Our Family Traditions During the Service?
We encourage the use of traditions that are appropriate and consistent with the church’s traditions and practices. Many families will have a family baptismal bowl, or will want to purchase their own bowl to use as a Confirmation gift when the child professes his or her own faith. Baptismal gowns that have been used for generations make a wonderful addition to the service. The child’s first candle can be added to the service. If you have any family or cultural tradition that you would like to use in the service, you will want to speak with the pastor.
Do We Need to Have Godparents?
The role of the Godparents or Sponsors is to provide special assistance and encouragement to the child and the family in their spiritual journey. You may or may not wish to invite people to serve as Godparents/Sponsors for your child. Godparents or sponsors must believe in the Christian/Catholic faith and need to be present at the baptism and will stand with the family during the Sacrament. They may wish to provide a special baptismal gift of a meaningful and permanent nature such as a silver or gold cross, the child’s first bible, or a baptismal bowl to be used by the minister in the baptism service.
Who Can Stand With The Family During The Baptism?
This is primarily up to the family. Families normally invite the child’s sponsors, grandparents and siblings to stand with the family. There may be another very special person you wish to stand with you.
Can We Take Photographs or Video During the Baptism?
We encourage the family to do what they can to preserve this moment so that in coming years they can frequently tell the child about the baptism. Photographs and videos can be an important element of this service.
Can We Have the Child Baptized More Than Once?
Yes, because there are many times in worship when believers acknowledge the grace of God continually at work. As they participate in the celebration of another's Baptism, as they experience the sustaining nurture of the Lord's Supper, and as they reaffirm the commitments made at Baptism, they confess their ongoing need of God's grace and pledge anew their obedience to God's covenant in Christ." This usually takes place when a child reaches the age of accountability and desires to recommit their faith in God.
Can We Have A Private Baptism?
It is the parent’s decision to invite guests or not.
What Do We Do to Arrange For the Baptism?
Call or email Rev. Ron to discuss his availability for the date, time, location and details of your baptism. Once availability is determined you can go online to confirm your date by paying a $100 non-refundable deposit. Should you cancel you have up to one year to reschedule your ceremony. We accept most major credit and debit cards through PayPal. Once your deposit is received your date and time is confirmed and you will have unlimited phone and email access to Rev. Ron to assist you in the planning of your child’s baptism. The balance is due and payable on the day of the baptism.