we worship: 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.
For both adults and children, Baptism is one of the two primary sacraments of the church, along with Holy Communion. Baptism is a wonderful opportunity for the community to gather and celebrate the person's adoption as a child of God, and his or her initiation as a member of the church.
At the time of Baptism, the person being baptized is formally received as a member of the church, and may receive Holy Communion. If we are bringing children to be baptized at Epiphany we make a commitment to bring them up with the Episcopal traditions Epiphany teaches and shares. 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. Members of the congregation commit themselves to support and care for the newly baptized persons and to help them grow in faith.
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 holy oil 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.
Baptisms at the Parish of the Epiphany take place on the first Sunday following Epiphany (January), the Second Sunday of Easter (March/April), the Day of Pentecost (May/June), All Saints’ Sunday (November). Parents, godparents and/or sponsors meet with the Rector to discuss what Baptism means for that person. The Baptism service also 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.