Baptism is the action through which an individual becomes a part of the Christian community and a member of the church. It is not simply a family celebration or rite of passage; rather, it is a sacred and holy act. In the Episcopal Church, baptism is made available to infants, children, and adults.
When adults are baptized, they publicly affirm their decision to place their hope and faith in God as revealed to us in Jesus and declare their intention to follow Jesus’ teachings and way of life. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, adults seeking baptism spend a period of time preparing to be baptized. The process of preparation is known as the catechumenate and typically lasts ten months (September through June), with the baptism administered at Easter.
When infants and younger children are baptized, parents and sponsors (godparents) promise on behalf of the children to actively raise them in a Christian home and in a church community, so they may grow to know God and embrace the Christian faith. Parents seeking baptism for their children should be actively engaged in the life of St. Andrew’s or in another church community and committed to raising their child within the life of a church community. The baptism of an infant or child is typically administered during worship on one of four Sundays each year: Baptism of the Lord Sunday (January); Easter Sunday; (March/April); Pentecost Sunday (May/June); and All Saints Sunday (November). In the event of an emergency, hardship, or other extenuating circumstance, baptisms may be administered at a different time and location. Preparatory meetings with the rector (pastor) are required prior to a baptism.
In the Episcopal Church, we recognize baptisms performed in other Christian churches and denominations as long as it was administered with water “in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy,” as commanded by Jesus in the Gospels. Once individuals have been baptized, regardless of the church or denomination, they do not need to be baptized again.
If you would like to discuss baptism further or schedule a service of baptism, please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-864-8880.
Click below to watch a very brief video on baptism produced by an Episcopal congregation in Baltimore, Maryland.