In the tradition of the Episcopal Church, baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit, into the Christian faith and life. People often ask about the cost of baptism. It’s both free and priceless. Baptism is also God’s free gift of love. Through baptism one becomes a member of Christ’s Body, the Church.
Baptism is not agreeing to an intellectual proposition; nor is it joining a club or social organization. It is incorporation in God’s own life. In baptism we are assured of acceptance as God’s children and are marked, claimed and made Christ’s own forever. Something so important deserves careful and deliberate preparation and commitment.
The Cathedral wants to make the baptism of your infant or child as meaningful as possible. Families who have been, or intend to be, active in worship and engaged in the life of the Cathedral congregation for at least three months may schedule a baptism on the dates provided. It is important that all those baptized have a community in which to grow and live out their baptismal vows. We ask this so that your family may discern if the Cathedral community is place where your family will grow deeper in faith through the knowledge and love of God in Christ. Learn more about joining the Cathedral congregation here.
The Episcopal Church teaches that infants, children and adults may be baptized. Baptismal vows are made on behalf of infants or young children by their parents and sponsors. Older children and adults make their own promises. Because baptism is the outward and visible action that connects a person to God in a covenant relationship, it belongs in public worship, rather than private ceremony. As such, baptisms are offered in the context of the Holy Eucharist. At the service, members of the congregation renew their own baptismal vows and welcome the newly baptized into the community of faith.
Requesting Holy Baptism
The Cathedral administers the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on the days recommended in the Book of Common Prayer: All Saints’ Day in the fall, the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord in January, at the Great Vigil of Easter in the spring, and the Day of Pentecost in the early summer. In addition to these dates, baptism is also offered on the Last Sunday in Epiphany and the second Sunday in July.
A request form (available below) must be completed for each baptismal candidate and returned at least six weeks prior to the baptism date.
Upon receipt of your application, a letter of confirmation will be sent to you. A member of the clergy will also contact you to answer any questions you may have.
Who may request Holy Baptism?
- Former Members and individuals with a relationship with an institution the Close
- Individuals having a past relationship with the Cathedral (former member, alumni of a school on the Close)
- A Cathedral family that has moved out of the area may request the Cathedral for baptism on one of the scheduled dates. However, they must contact the minister of the church in which they are active and request that he/she send a letter to the Cathedral stating:
· the parents are members in good standing of that church;
· that Cathedral clergy has permission to baptize on behalf of that church;
· the required baptismal instruction has taken place in the home church.
Such documentation must be presented four weeks prior to the requested baptismal date. If an individual or a family seeking a baptism has no current church affiliation, please provide an explanation of how that relationship will be established in the days and weeks following the baptism. This documentation should also be received by the Cathedral four weeks prior to the requested baptismal date.
To fulfill the charge in The Book of Common Prayer which states that “parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church,” participation in a 1.5 hour preparation meeting is required for parents and recommended for godparents.
We meet from 1:30 – 3:00 pm on selected Sundays. Parents and godparents will have the opportunity to explore the meaning of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism and the commitment they are making, study the liturgy itself, and meet other baptismal candidates and their families. You may attend any one of the preparation classes, as long as you do so before your chosen baptismal date. Baptism rehearsal occurs the Saturday prior to each baptism in the Cathedral’s nave. The time will be confirmed at the preparation session. The person to be baptized, family members, and sponsors who are in town, are expected to attend. This is a time to work out the logistics for the next day’s service and to answer any final questions.
There is special age-appropriate preparation for children who are old enough to speak for themselves (approximately 4 years and older).
2019–2020 Holy Baptism Schedule
November 3, 2019: All Saints’ Sunday, 11:15 am
Prep class: November 1, 6:30–8:30 pm
January 12, 2020: The First Sunday after the Epiphany: Baptism of Our Lord, 9 am
Prep class: January 11, 9–11:30 am
February 23, 2020: The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 9 am
Prep class: February 22, 9–11:30 am
April 11, 2020: The Great Vigil of Easter, 8 pm
(teenagers and adult candidates only)
Prep class: Those wishing to be baptized at this service take part in a multi-part class over the course of Lent.
May 31, 2020: The Day of Pentecost, 11:15 am
Prep class: May 30, 9–11:30 am
July 19, 2020: The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: 10 am
Prep class: July 18, 9–11:30 am