Baptism at Grace

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.

– The Book of Common Prayer

Aviso: La Iglesia Episcopal Grace ofrece Bautismos en español. ¡Vaya con Diós!

Baptism invites the person being baptized, adult or child, into two kinds of relationships:

A Connection Between a Person and God

At Grace Episcopal baptism is incorporated into regular worship services on specified Sundays during the year and occasionally at other times. Because baptism is an outward and visible action that connects a person to God in a covenantal relationship, it belongs in public worship rather than a private ceremony.

At baptism, a person receives these inward and spiritual gifts from God:

Birth into God’s family, the church
Forgiveness of sins
Union with Christ in his death and resurrection
New life in the Holy Spirit

Baptism is not just agreeing to an intellectual proposition, nor is it joining a club or organization. It is incorporation into God’s own life. The Episcopal Church teaches that infants, children, and adults may be baptized.

At baptism, the person to be baptized makes certain renunciations and promises. These baptismal vows are made on behalf of infants or younger children by their sponsors or godparents. Older children and adults make their own promises.

A Connection between a Person and Others

In the public ceremony of baptism, the gathered community joins in welcoming a new member into the body of Christ, the church. This community includes the family and sponsors of the person baptized and the local congregation and clergy.

Baptismal sponsors have a special role:

Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons. Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidate and their intention to support them by prayer and example in the Christian life. Sponsors of infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates. It is fitting that the parents be included among the godparents of their own children. Prior to the baptismal service, parents and sponsors will be instructed by the clergy.

– The Book of Common Prayer

A Humorous Note about Baptism at Grace Episcopal

Actor Robin Williams who is an active member of an Episcopal Church in California, lists ten reasons to become an Episcopalian. One of those reasons listed is “You don’t have to be able to swim to be baptized.” While some churches do practice full immersion baptism, Grace Episcopal Church follows the tradition of sprinkling with water. That is why our baptismal font is more of a stone bowl for holding a small amount of water rather than something the size of a hot tub.

Suggestions for Selection of Baptismal Sponsors

The person you select to serve as a sponsor:

should be a Christian. Only such a person can, in good conscience before God and the Church, make the baptismal renunciations and promises on behalf of the candidate,

should participate regularly with a Christian congregation for his or her own spiritual growth,

is expected to enter into a long-term relationship with the person baptized,

may be a family member, relative or friend.

People often ask about the appropriate number of sponsors. The church requires that there be one or more baptized persons. In the past, Church tradition specified two men and a woman for a male baptismal candidate and two women and a man for a female candidate. We suggest that at least one woman and one man, other than the parents, be selected. This provides several persons for the baptismal connection between candidate and sponsor. This arrangement provides depth and variety for the candidate.

A booklet explaining the sponsor’s role and offering suggestions on how to fulfill it is available from the clergy or the church office. We recommend that you give one or send one to each sponsor prior to baptism.

Dates for Baptism in 2011

January 9, April 23 (Easter Vigil service – evening only), June 12, November 6

One additional Sunday during the summer may be available for baptism depending upon demand.

*Please note that in emergency circumstances such as medical crises or imminent military deployment, emergency baptism can be arranged by contacting the clergy.

Preparing for Baptism

Grace Church hopes to make your baptism or the baptism of your family member as meaningful as possible.  Once you have submitted an on-line or paper form to the church office, you should receive a confirming letter in about a week.  A member of the clergy will contact you to discuss the service and answer any questions you may have.