Baptism of Paul by Ananias (12th Century)
Mosaic in Palatine Chapel, Palermo, Sicily
The outward and visible sign of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism is the pouring of water over the candidate (or the candidate's immersion), accompanied by the words "I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The inward and spiritual grace is the forgiveness of sin, membership in Christ's Body, the Church, and adoption as a son or daughter of God and an heir of God's Kingdom.
The next Rector of St. Uriel's will have the responsibility of setting detailed policies and procedures regarding preparation for and scheduling baptisms. Meanwhile, the following policies are in place during the interim period.
Since baptism involves a public commitment to the life of the Christian community, baptisms normally take place during the Sunday Mass. In exceptional circumstances, and for urgent reason, they may be scheduled at other times.
It is also desirable that baptisms take place in Eastertide or on one of the "great baptismal days" of the Church Year: the Great Vigil of Easter (recommended for adult baptisms); the Day of Pentecost; All Saints Day; and the First Sunday after the Epiphany (the Baptism of Christ). Except in emergencies, baptisms are not normally administered during the season of Lent.
To request baptism for an infant or child, please contact the parish office and arrange to speak with the Interim Priest.
Traditionally, a child being baptized will have one or more sponsors (godparents) in addition to the parents. Such sponsors need to be baptized and practicing Christians, and it is desirable for at least one of them to be an active member of the Episcopal Church (or another Church in full communion with the Episcopal Church).
Before the baptism takes place, the Interim Priest will want to meet with both the parents and godparents for necessary preparation, including a rehearsal and instruction on the meaning of baptism and the vows taken by the parents and godparents during the liturgy.
It is never too late in this life to be baptized! If you have not been baptized you are most welcome to speak to the Interim Priest who will be happy to arrange the necessary preparation, which will normally include in-depth instruction in the Christian faith and life. Adult baptisms are especially appropriate at the Great Vigil of Easter.
Registering your Baptism
Since baptism is an unrepeatable Sacrament, we never re-baptize those who have already been validly baptized in another Christian communion or denomination. (If you have questions about the validity of your baptism, please consult the Interim Priest.)
If you were baptized in another denomination, you may ask to have your baptism recorded in the parish register at St. Uriel's. This will establish your canonical membership in the parish (and in the Episcopal Church). The parish office will normally need a copy of your baptismal certificate.