Arranging a Baptism

PARTICIPATING IN A FAITH COMMUNITY:

Since baptism is the beginning of life in Christian community, it is desirable that families who are planning to baptize a child choose and become active in a congregation in which they will regularly participate. It is preferable that the baptism be held at that congregation since the members of the parish share the responsibility for nurture of the child.

An infant who is baptized becomes a member of the congregation and parents will normally become members at the same time if they are not so already. However, it isn’t membership alone that is central; rather, that the parents begin attending the congregation so there is a relationship with this particular community of faith. There is not a specific ideal age to baptize an infant or young child. We recommend that you begin attending Holy Trinity for a number of months before beginning the baptismal process.

MEETING:

Please contact Pastor Michelle Sevig (HTLakeview) or Pastor Ben Adams (HTLoop) to discuss the baptismal process. A baptismal seminar for parents is normally offered several times a year at HTLakeview and Pastor Ben Adams facilitates baptismal preparation on an individual basis at HTLoop. The baptism of a child is a unique and opportune time for parents to grow in their own spiritual lives and commitment.

BAPTISMAL DATE:

Since baptism is seen as initiation into a community of faith, the common practice is to hold baptisms during the Saturday evening or Sunday morning service. Baptisms are scheduled on an as-needed basis at HTLoop. Due to the large number of baptisms at HTLakeview, certain baptismal Sundays are designated:

Upcoming Baptismal Dates:

  • Sunday, June 16, 2019 (Holy Trinity Sunday)

  • Sunday, September 8, 2019

  • Sunday, January 12, 2020 (Baptism of Our Lord Sunday)

  • Saturday Night, April 11, 2020 (Easter Vigil)

  • Sunday, April 19, 2020 (Second Sunday of Easter)

  • Sunday, June 7, 2020 (Holy Trinity Sunday)

BAPTISM SEMINAR (HTLakeview)

A baptismal seminar is offered for expectant parents, parents with newborns, those planning a baptism in the coming months, or anyone who would like a refresher on the meaning and theology of baptism. All parents planning to have a newborn baptized are asked to attend this seminar at some point before the baptism of their first child baptized at Holy Trinity.

Baptism isn't a one-time event--it's for life! Topics of the seminar will include baptismal theology, the role of parents and sponsors, and scheduling a baptism. RSVP required to Pastor Sevig prior to the desired seminar.

Currently Scheduled Baptism Seminars:

  • Check back soon for the latest list of dates.

ADULT BAPTISM:

Adults desiring to be baptized participate in a period of spiritual formation, reflection and study. This process usually lasts from six to nine months. Adult baptisms are normally held at the Easter Eve Vigil liturgy.

REHEARSAL:

A rehearsal will be scheduled prior to the baptism to walk through the baptismal liturgy. Sponsors (and parents in the case of infant baptism) are asked to be present.

PICTURES:

We encourage people to be present to the actions of the liturgy and limit the use of cameras and cell phones. We request that flash pictures not be taken during the baptismal service. If a video camera is used, we ask that that it remain in one place during the liturgy.

About Baptism at Holy Trinity

Infant Baptism

When infants are baptized, the parents, sponsors and congregation make promises to provide Christian nurture and instruction for the child. A mutual accountability is involved. In the early centuries of Christianity, adults were baptized. The norm, therefore, was catechesis (instruction) and spiritual formation followed by baptism. Later, the baptism of infants become common for children born into families of active Christians. The baptism of infants means that catechesis follows baptism rather than precede it.

The parents, sponsors and congregation take responsibility for this nurture in the following ways:

  • nurturing the child’s relationships with God and with the congregation, its pastors and members

  • bringing the child to worship

  • teaching the child to pray at meals, bedtime and other occasions

  • bringing the child to Sunday School

  • providing instruction regarding communion

  • providing Confirmation instruction and the opportunity for the child to affirm his/her own baptism

  • celebrating the anniversary of the child's baptism

  • providing an example of a Christian life

  • giving the child a Bible and other religious symbols

Since baptism is the beginning of lifelong growth in the Christian faith, there is not a strong reason for infant baptism if parents are not committed to the spiritual nurture and education of their child within the life of a congregation. In such a case it may be preferable to celebrate a naming or blessing of a newborn. The child may choose to be baptized later as a teen-ager or adult and subsequently participate in the life and ministry of a congregation.We are open to infant baptism when one of the parents is a member of another religion and we occasionally encounter these interfaith situations. Please mention this to the pastor for further conversation.

Method of Baptism

The generous use of water signifies baptism as a bath in which sin is drowned and we are cleansed and refreshed by the Spirit of God.

At HTLoop a larger, clear bowl of water is placed inside of Grace Episcopal’s historic font and water is poured or generously sprinkled over the infant’s head.

At HTLakeview the font contains a large clear bowl that enables the water to be seen and used generously and infant baptism is normally done by immersion: a small infant is dipped into the water three times, or a larger infant may sit in the font while water is poured over their head. At HTLakeview we practice the Orthodox tradition of baptism in which the child is naked. Think of the baptismal font as a womb that gives us a new spiritual birth.

Age for Baptism and Communion

Children may be baptized at any age. Infants three to six months old are ideal for immersion in the font because at this age most babies do not have separation anxiety and are willing to be held by the pastor.

Since Lutherans believe that God's grace is offered before we can understand or respond, both sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion) are offered to children at any age. Some parents choose to commune their child for the first time on the day of their baptism, others wait until the child begins to reach for the bread or expresses a desire to participate. Please speak to Pastor Sevig (HTLakeview) or Pr. Ben Adams (HTLoop) for further discussion and planning.

Sponsors

Sponsors (sometimes called Godparents) are normally baptized and practicing Christians. This enables them to take responsibility for the promises that they and the parents make at baptism.

As parents choose sponsors, they should consider individuals who could serve as role models and would take seriously the Christian nurture of the child. An option to consider: when at least one sponsor is a member of the congregation a special relationship with the parish community can develop.

In addition to sharing the responsibilities above, the sponsors can help make the anniversary of the child’s baptism an important occasion by giving cards or gifts or doing something special with him or her on that day.