What is baptism?
Baptism is both God’s gift and our human response to that gift. Through baptism, Christians are brought into union with Christ, with each other and with the church of every time and place. In the Episcopal Church, people are baptized either as children or adults. Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the mark of their acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of their participation in God’s forgiveness, and the beginning of their growth into full Christian faith and life.
When an infant or young child is baptized, one or both parents (and one or more sponsors) promise to assume certain responsibilities for the Christian nurture of the baptized child. Although it is not necessary to be a member of St. John's Cathedral, one of the parents should be a member in good standing of an Episcopal church. Those who are baptized at an early age are given an opportunity in their youth or adulthood to make a personal profession of faith through confirmation.
Parents, in consultation with the priest, may choose sponsors for infants and young children who are to be baptized. Older candidates for baptism are encouraged to have sponsors. Sponsors accompany new Christians on their journeys of faith and make promises regarding their spiritual responsibilities.
Baptism is not only a personal celebration in the lives of the individual candidates and their families, but also a central celebration in the life of the local church which embodies the universal church in a particular place. For this reason, baptism should take place in the presence of the community of faith gathered for public worship. In officiating at a service of baptism, the priest acts as a representative of the church universal. Baptism should occur only once in a person’s life.
To schedule a baptism
Adults who wish to be baptized, and parents who wish their child to be baptized, must meet with the priest at least once prior to the baptism.
The scheduling of the baptism considers the needs of the baptismal family and the calendar of the church. We generally do not perform baptisms during the season of Lent. The following days are particularly appropriate for baptisms: The Baptism of Jesus (early January), The Easter Vigil (on Easter eve), Pentecost (May or June), and All Saints (the Sunday closest to November 1).
There is no fee for baptisms.
Contact person: The Very Rev. Heather VanDeventer, 509-838-4277