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Baptism

Baptism

Welcome!

Are you thinking about being baptized or having your child baptized?


Here are answers to some questions people often ask when considering baptism. If you are interested in baptism at St. Anne’s Church, and don’t see the answer to your question here, contact one of our clergy or our Minister for Christian Formation with Children and Youth. If you want to schedule a baptism, please fill out this form.

What is baptism?

Baptism is the way we enter the family of God, the Church. We believe that God loves all people, no exceptions, whether they join the Church, acknowledge God’s presence with them, or believe in God, or not. But Baptism is the way we say yes to God’s love and begin our Christian life publicly, accepting the gifts of forgiveness of sins and belonging to God and the Christian community. Our Book of Common Prayer describes Baptism this way: “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” (page 858).

Here’s more of how the Prayer Book describes Baptism:

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 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 (pages 858-859).

At St. Anne’s Church, we help prepare adults and children, and the parents and godparents (also called “sponsors”) of infants for Baptism at a Baptismal Workshop, held the day before the Baptism. At the Baptismal Workshop, we talk more about the meaning of Baptism, the requirements of Baptism, and the responsibilities of Baptism. We have information for adults as well as an interactive teaching about Baptism for young children. We also do a rehearsal of the Baptismal service. [See below for more information.]

Here are some more questions you may have:

What is the right age for baptism?

There is no specific or required age for Baptism. In the Episcopal Church, we baptize babies, children, and adults of all ages. When babies are baptized, we are reminded that Baptism is a gift, a grace, from God. We don’t earn Baptism or have a right to it. We don’t do something to qualify to receive this gift. But accepting the gift does indicate our willingness to make promises and a commitment to God in Jesus Christ. The promises are summarized in our renunciation of Satan and acceptance of Jesus Christ and in the Baptismal Covenant. You can read the promises here and the Covenant here

When adults are baptized it reminds us that we do make a conscious choice to live out our baptismal promises and to follow Jesus Christ.

How is Baptism done in the Episcopal Church?

We baptize with water, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Most often water is sprinkled on the forehead of the person being baptized, but we are happy to arrange for Baptism by full immersion instead if desired. Baptisms are done within one of our regular worship services on special Sundays during the year. For the next several Baptismal dates, click here.

Do you ever do private Baptisms?

Since Baptisms are public affirmations of our intention to follow Jesus Christ, Baptisms are normally done during Sunday worship. On rare occasions, such as in an emergency, a Baptism may be done privately.

I’ve been baptized before. Do I need to be re-baptized to become a member of the Church?

No. If you were baptized with water and in the triune Name of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), your baptism is recognized by us as baptism.

How do I choose godparents for my children? Do they have to be Episcopalian?

Godparents, also called sponsors, promise to “be responsible for seeing that the child you present
is brought up in the Christian faith and life” and by their “prayers and witness help this child to grow
into the full stature of Christ” (Book of Common Prayer, page 302). Godparents don’t have to be Episcopalian, but since they promise to help make sure your child is raised as someone who follows Jesus and participates in a Christian Church, we recommend that godparents be active Christians, who attend church on a regular basis, who pray regularly, and have their own active life of faith in order to carry out the promises they will make at your child’s Baptism.

I’m an adult. Do I still need godparents?

Even adults need sponsors. No one becomes a Christian all by themselves, and no one lives out their faith life in complete solitude. Although adults make their own promises for themselves at their Baptism (so their sponsors don’t speak on their behalf like godparents do for infants and children), adults still choose a sponsor or sponsors to present them and stand with them at their Baptism.

How many godparents or sponsors should I choose?

There is no required number. Most people choose two or three.

Is there a fee for Baptism?

There is no fee for Baptism. If you would like to make an offering of money or volunteer time in thanksgiving for your child’s Baptism or your own, you are welcome to, but we do not charge a fee.

I would like to schedule a Baptism. What do I do next?

Click here to fill out the Baptismal form, or call Connie Saeger-Proctor in our office.

Information about the Baptismal Workshop:

People preparing for Baptism (usually called Candidates) and their families attend a workshop and rehearsal the day before the Baptism. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon.

Who should attend the workshop and rehearsal?

Adult Baptismal Candidates are required to attend the workshop. Family and sponsors of the adult candidate are encouraged to attend.

If the Baptismal Candidate is an infant or child, a parent is required to attend the workshop. We strongly encourage both parents and godparents to participate in the workshop. Siblings, grandparents, and other relatives may also attend. This workshop is child-friendly. One of the presentations is interactive and is designed especially for the participation of young children. We also have children’s activity packets available.

What is the purpose of the workshop and rehearsal?

The Baptismal workshop is an opportunity for adult candidates and/or families of child candidates to meet one another and members of St. Anne’s Church staff, and learn about Baptism, and St. Anne’s Church. The workshop has two learning explorations (presentations), a rehearsal, banner making, refreshments, and social time. During the workshop individuals and families will learn about Baptism by hearing about its history, the promises, meaning and symbols. Families explore and find meaningful Christian images and make a banner to help their child remember his or her Baptism which will strengthen Christian belonging and identity.

The rehearsal is a time for families to practice what will be done at the Baptism. They will see where their family will be seated, see the Baptismal font, Paschal candle, and meet the staff and volunteers who will guide them through the Baptism.

Where is the Baptismal workshop and rehearsal held?

The workshop is held at St. Anne’s Parish House at 199 Duke of Gloucester Street. Following the workshop participants walk up Duke of Gloucester to Church Circle where the church is located.

Where is the Baptismal workshop and rehearsal held?

The workshop is held at St. Anne’s Parish House at 199 Duke of Gloucester Street. Following the workshop participants walk up Duke of Gloucester to Church Circle where the church is located.

Baptismal Banners


Banners should reflect a Christian symbol that is significant for you and your child/family. For older children and young people this is a time to help them identify a symbol that is significant for them. You should begin thinking about the symbol you want and perhaps what other important things you want on the banner (name, date, family symbol, etc.) Below is the web address of the booklet that we use during the workshop. We welcome your creative thinking in designing your banner, so please do not limit yourself to only this web-site.

http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/symbols.htm

Contact for the Minister for Christian Formation with Children and Youth

Connie Saeger-Proctor
410-267-9333 ext. 211
clsaeger@stannes-annapolis.org

All Material © 2008 St. Anne's Church, Annapolis, MD 21401-2520

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