"Baptism is both God’s gift and our response. It's a sign and seal of our common discipleship. Through baptism, Christians are brought into union with Christ, with each other and with the church of every time and place." (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, World Council of Churches, 1982) St. James’ welcomes people of all ages into the Christian church through the sacrament of baptism. In infant baptism parents thank God for the gift of a child, make a commitment to start the child on the journey of faith, and ask for the Church's support. There are no private baptisms. This sacrament requires the participation of the whole assembled congregation.
"Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s body, the Church. The bond which God establishes at Baptism is indissoluble" (Book of Common Prayer, p. 298). Whether this sacrament is performed early in life or as an adult, baptism in the Episcopal Church is the foundation for a commitment to new life through Christ. At baptism, the person being baptized vows to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, to trust in his grace and love, and to follow and obey him as Lord (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 302-303). In the case of infants and young children, who are unable to answer for themselves, these vows are made by their parents and sponsors (godparents) who promise to bring up the child in the Christian faith and support him or her through their prayer and example. Below you’ll find information on the process of baptism at St. James' for adults and for children.
Infant and Child Baptism
At Saint James', having a child baptized includes a meeting with the priest-in-charge, a series of baptism classes for parents, and a period of congregational prayer for the child and parents prior to baptism. To begin, consult with our priest-in-charge, Fr. Noble, choose a date for the baptism, and begin the preparation. Parents are required to attend baptism classes, not only to learn more about baptism, but also to reflect on their own faith journey and on their hopes for their child’s life of faith.
The role of godparents is a special one. In the case of infants and young children, they make a vow on behalf of the baptized to support him or her in the Christian faith and life. A godparent should be someone with whom you share your faith and whose life is one that you hope your child will emulate. The Book of Common Prayer requires that there be at least one baptized godparent present for the baptism. If a godparent cannot be present at the baptism, it is recommended that you choose another baptismal date when she or he can be present.
To start the process of having your child baptized, please speak to Father Noble or call the office (732) 222-1411 for an appointment with him.
Holy Baptism is ordinarily offered on the following days:
- Baptism of Our Lord Sunday, (Community Mass)
- Easter Vigil Baptism 2017
- Saturday (Eve of Easter)
- Pentecost Baptism 2017 Sunday (Community Mass)
- All Saints' Day Baptism 2017 Sunday (Community Mass)
Baptism for adults (and older children) is distinct from infants and young children in that candidates are asked to answer for themselves at the baptism. They are also invited to prepare for the sacrament through self-examination, prayer, and inquiry with the support of the congregation. As with infants and their godparents, adults are required to choose at least one sponsor who has already been baptized and who will vow to support the baptismal candidate in his or her faith within the wider Christian community. To begin the process, please speak to Father Noble or call the church office (732) 222-1411.