Baptism is the rite of initiation by which we become a part of the Body of Christ, the Church. Baptisms at Christ and St. Luke’s also include Christening, or anointing with oil blessed by the Bishop. Except in extremes circumstances, it is the norm in the Episcopal Church to hold baptisms as part of one of the public Sunday services. Private baptisms are no longer the custom.
In the case of infant baptisms, the parents and sponsors (godparents) promise to raise the child in the Church. Therefore, in order for a baptism to be approved, the parents must agree to be sure the child they present is regular in church attendance and faith formation. At the age of reason (minimum age is 16) and following instruction, the child may be confirmed by the Bishop.
Please contact the Church Office for a meeting to set up a baptism. Public baptisms are celebrated on the baptismal feasts of the church year: All Saints (November), Baptism of Christ (January), Easter Vigil (March or April), and Pentecost (May or June).
If you are coming from another Christian denomination and have already been baptized, you may be Confirmed or Received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop. You are then an automatic member of Christ and St. Luke’s. Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows are offered at Christ and St Luke’s at one service conducted by the Bishop each June.
Confirmation is for those who have been baptized, but never Confirmed; or Confirmed in a Christian denomination without a bishop in apostolic succession. Reception is for those who have been Confirmed in a Christian denomination by a bishop in apostolic succession. Reaffirmation is for those who are already members of the Episcopal Church, but who would like to reaffirm their faith commitment and have the Bishop lay hands on their head and pray for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
In each of the above cases, you kneel before the Bishop who will then with differing prayers, Confirm or Receive you into the Church, or bless your Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows.
Confirmation preparation for youth, 16-18 years old, focuses on the five Baptismal Covenant questions found in the Book of Common Prayer (pages 304-305). For more information on youth confirmation classes contact the Church Office.