“Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 298)
Holy Baptism is one of the two great sacraments of the Church, the other being Holy Communion. Both of these are sacraments given to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ, who told his disciples to “go into all the world and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism, which includes the anointing with Sacred Chrism, draws the newly-baptized into the Body of Christ, names them as a beloved child of God, and enlarges and enriches the Church.
Holy Baptism is most appropriately celebrated on certain days of the Church year, specifically All Saints Day (November 1 or the Sunday following), the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the Sunday after January 6), Easter Sunday, and the Feast of Pentecost. In extraordinary circumstances and at the discretion of the priest other dates may be available. The baptism of infants is entirely appropriate and encouraged. In this case, the parents of the child, as well as other Christian adults (known as godparents), make the promises on behalf of the child. As the Church has long attested, Holy Baptism is something God does for and to us, not something that we can earn or that we merit, so it is entirely proper to baptize children who are not yet able to make these promises on their own. Adults, of course, are welcome to be baptized as well, and to affirm their commitment to “confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with [the Church] in his eternal priesthood.” If an adult has been already baptized in another tradition in the name of the Trinity, they would most likely not need to be baptized again.
If you are interested in exploring baptism at St. Andrew's, either for yourself or for your child, please contact Fr Jim.