Learn About Baptism
Baptism is the way in which the church receives people into the family of God to live life in a new way and with new meaning. At the time of baptism, the person is formally received as a member of the church, and may receive Holy Communion.
Please read the following for information on Baptism:
What Is A Baptism?
According to the Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada, “baptism is the sign of new life in Christ and unites Christ with his people” (p. 146). When we become baptized we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. This means that we are willing to let go of our old ways of seeing ourselves and others. We make a conscious decision to respect ourselves and others, to grow in our ability to live in harmony with others, and to forgive when others hurt us. We believe that we have a responsibility to resist evil in our own lives and to work to transform our society into a caring family which is centered on Christ’s passionate love for the world.
If we are bringing children to be baptized we make a commitment to bring them up to understand God’s purpose for the world and to encourage them to participate in bringing about this purpose. As baptized individuals or parents of a child being baptized we also promise to support the work of our local congregation and diocese through our gifts of time, talents, and financial resources.
If parents are not ready to make baptismal promises or wish to defer baptism until the child is able to make his or her own decision, the church also offers a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child.
This service provides an opportunity for a family to give thanks for the birth of a child and to pray for God’s help in the child’s care and nurture.
Who May Be Baptized?
Adults who believe God is calling them into the Christian way of life are invited to become baptized. As well, a parent who has been baptized and wishes his or her children to participate in God’s creative activity may bring a child forward to receive this sacrament. If there is a second parent who is not baptized, it is customary for that parent to consent to the baptism of the child.
Any baptized adult may present a child for baptism. In the community of God’s people both the child and the single parent will find a church family committed to their support and nurture.
Who Are The Sponsors?
Sponsors can be baptized adult members of any Christian community. They are witnesses to the baptism and accept responsibility for supporting the child’s spiritual development. When a child is baptized the sponsors, popularly called godparents, present the child and join with the parents in making the baptismal promises on behalf of the child.
When Does Baptism Take Place?
Because baptism is the way a person becomes part of the church community, the witness and welcome of the congregation is an essential part of the service. Normally baptism is administered on Sunday or other major feast days of the church, when the congregation is assembled for worship. Members of the congregation commit themselves to support and care for the newly baptized persons and to help them grow in faith.
Baptism of Jesus (January 8, 2017)
This festival day is timed to follow the birth of Christ on Christmas Day. Jesus’ baptism was the event that began his public ministry and his outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. As he gathered at the side of the Jordan River with his cousin John the Baptist we hear the words of God say “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3.22)
Second Sunday of Easter (April 23, 2017)
Every baptism is a rite that takes us into the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ. On Easter Sunday each year we celebrate his triumphant resurrection as he conquers the bounds of death. On the Sunday after Easter we hear his words to his disciples as he says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20. 21-21)
Pentecost (June 4, 2017)
Pentecost is the celebration of the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, while still with his disciples, promised to send an advocate to continue to teach, love and support them on their journey in Christ. We hear in the book of Acts how the spirit came upon the crowd like fire and, according to the prophet Joel, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Jesus, before he ascended to the Lord for the final time, told his disciples “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14. 26-27)
Holy Cross Day (September 17, 2017)
The Feast of the Holy Cross is a commemoration of the discovery of the “one, true cross” in 326 CE by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine. When it was discovered it was acknowledged as the most holy of all artifacts and there still stands in Jerusalem the “Church of the Holy Sepulchre” that was built to house the cross on which our saviour died in 335 CE. As baptisms are our entrance into the ministry, life, death and resurrection of Christ celebrating along with the glory of the cross is only right. In John’s gospel we hear that whoever believes in him will have eternal life and he himself left us with the words “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3.16-17)
The Reign of Christ (November 26, 2017)
This Sunday is the last Sunday in our liturgical year and is a great celebration of our belief in the everlasting kingdom of God. The following Sunday we will begin the season of Advent, of waiting for the arrival of our saviour so on this week we remember the life, ministry, death and resurrection of the one whom we call “Lord of all”. The prophet Jeremiah foresaw that God would provide humanity with a Shepherd who would bring all people together. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians we hear “He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” (Col 1. 18-20)
Preparing for Baptism and is There a Fee?
Candidates for baptism, or their parents(s) and sponsors, receive instruction in the meaning of baptism and of the vows which they will make. The extent of this instruction will vary from parish to parish and according to the age and capability of the candidates.
Baptism is a sacrament, and as such is a gift of God to us.
There is no fee for baptism.
How is Baptism Celebrated in the Anglican Church?
The service of baptism includes the reading of scripture and preaching of a sermon, the presentation of the candidates, and the affirmation of beliefs by the candidates, or in the case of children, those who represent them.
In the Anglican Church water is poured onto the head of the candidate for baptism with the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
The sign of the cross is then traced with water on the candidate’s forehead to show that baptism brings the gift of the Holy Spirit. The candidates are given a candle to represent the light of Christ and are received into the church community. Normally the service continues with the celebration of Holy Communion.
What Happens if Someone Dies Unbaptized?
Sometimes, when a child or adult dies unbaptized, members of the deceased’s family worry about what happens after death. It is important to remember that God’s love is far greater than human love. Therefore, when we say that God judges each of us in perfect love, mercy and justice, we can trust in God’s loving care for all who have died, baptized or unbaptized.
How Does Baptism Differ from Confirmation?
Those who were baptized as children often wish to make a mature affirmation of the baptismal promises made on their behalf by their parents and sponsors. This affirmation is done through the sacrament of confirmation, in the presence of a bishop.
What if I Wish to Become an Anglican but am Already Baptized?
Baptism in any Christian church or denomination is acknowledged as valid within the Anglican Church. Any baptized person may become a member of the Anglican Church by regularly attending an Anglican parish and contributing to its life and ministry. Some parishes and individuals will want to acknowledge this publicly, such as through services of confirmation or reception by the bishop.
Where to go from here?
1) Please view our Dates for 2017 Baptisms (pdf)
2) Choose your date and fill out an Information Form (pdf)
3)Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, or would like to schedule a Baptism.