Baptism

The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).

 

Baptism is a joyous occasion not only for a family but for the church community as well.  We, at St. Joseph, are thrilled to be a part of your family’s preparation and celebration.

Baptism for infants (birth up to age seven) does involve preparation.  At our parish, the preparation begins with a family interview.  At least one parent will need to meet with the pastoral assistant responsible for baptism to discuss the sacrament and receive the necessary paperwork for the baptism.

Next, parents and godparents who have not completed a baptism preparation class in the previous five years will need to register for and attend a baptism preparation class. Baptism classes are two-part classes that meet on Monday evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m., in the side classrooms inside of Marian Hall on the following dates:  July 25 & August 1, 2016, October 17 & 24, 2016, February 6 & 13, 2017, and April 24 & May 1, 2017.  Please register each attendee by name and phone number by emailing to tracyj@stjoevan.org.  Please note that classes with fewer than 10 pre-registered participants will be cancelled.

Upon completion of the interview, paperwork and class, parents may schedule their child’s baptismal date.  At St. Joseph, baptisms take place during the Mass time of choice on a pre-selected weekend date.  The dates that are currently scheduled are:

2016 - May 14-15, June 4-5, Aug. 6-7, Sept. 10-11, Oct. 1-2, Nov. 5-6, Dec. 3-4.
2017 - Jan. 7-8, Feb. 18-19, Apr. 22-23, and June 3-4

To schedule an interview contact Tracy Joy at 360-823-2833.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Do both parents have to be Catholic?  No, but one parent must be an actively practicing Catholic.
  • How many godparents can my child have?  One or two godparents may be selected.  If two are chosen, there must be a male and a female.
  • What about non-Catholic godparents?  A family may have one non-Catholic, baptized person as a Christian Witness, but they must have a Catholic godparent of the opposite gender as well.
  • Do we have to be registered in the parish to have our child baptized?  No, but the family should be regularly worshiping in the parish community.  If the family is registered in another parish, they must have their pastor’s approval in writing for the baptism to take place at St. Joseph.
  • What if my child is older than seven years?  You and your child will need to work with Diane Boggs, Pastoral Assistant for RCIA and Marriage, on the process to bring your child into full communion. Contact Diane at 360-823-2828.  For more information about RCIA, click here.

 

Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)