Baptism is one of the two most important sacraments of the Church; the other is the Eucharist. It is administered to individuals of any age who have not been previously baptized in any other Christian denomination. If someone is joining the Episcopal Church from another denomination, their baptism in that denomination is recognized and acknowledged.
We believe Baptism to be a service of Christian initiation by which the individual baptized becomes a member of the body of Christ and the Church. Speaking for themselves or through the promises made by sponsors or godparents, the individuals vow to follow the Christian teachings and way of life. These vows include participation in regular corporate worship as well as individual observance of prayer and study as a life-long practice. One or more of the sponsors/godparents must be baptized in the church. The number of godparents for infants and small children can vary. Godparents should be aware that they take on the responsibility of seeing that the child they sponsor takes seriously their Christian life and formation. It is, therefore, wise for parents to choose godparents whose own Christian life reflects this commitment.
Baptisms at St. Michael's are offered without previous membership of the family required. A minimum of two sessions is required with the clergy to prepare for baptism. The purpose of these meetings is to teach and discuss the issues related to Baptism as outlined above.
Baptisms at St. Michael’s are held five times throughout the year, primarily on four occasions related to themes of Baptism in the Book of Common Prayer and one occasion to honor our Patron Saint, St. Michael. The church calendar varies from year to year and the Baptisms are scheduled according to when these feasts occur. They are:
- The Feast of Christ's Baptism (the first or second Sunday of January after Feast of the Epiphany)
- The Easter Vigil (Saturday evening before Easter Sunday)
- Pentecost Sunday (usually late May to mid-June)
- The Feast of All Saints (always the Sunday after November 1)
- The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (Sunday closest to September 29)
If you are interested in pursuing Baptism for yourself or a child please call the parish office at 973-694-1026.
An application form for baptism can be found here.