THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
“Baptize all the Nations in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” –Matthew 28:19
What is BAPTISM?
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission. ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the Word.'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph #1213)
Baptism is the first of three sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. “The sacraments of Christian Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life… The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph #1212).
BAPTISM OF INFANTS AND SMALL CHILDREN
(AGES 0 TO 6 YEARS OLD)
Congratulations! The birth of child is such a wonderfully blessed occasion! We are so eager and excited to welcome your child into our parish family. Through the sacrament of Baptism, your child becomes a member of Christ’s body and a part of our Incarnation Parish Family.
Parents must be registered members of the parish for at least three months and must participate in Sunday Liturgy at Incarnation Church on a regular basis. Below are some guidelines of the Infant Baptism Ministry:
- Need to Register? Click here.
- Parents are required to schedule a Baptism Interview with Deacon Matt Shirina at least one month before the date of baptism.
- To schedule a Baptism Interview, please contact Deacon Matt Shirina at email@example.com or call (813) 884-3624.
- At this interview, parents should bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate. Topics such as godparents, dates, and the Baptism liturgy will be discussed.
- Parents are required to come to two preparation meetings in order to enable all families to enter into the celebration of their child’s baptism with “full, conscious, and active participation”.
- The Preparation classes explores the faith commitment and responsibilities of parents who choose Baptism for their children and the class will go over the signs and symbols of Baptism through a summary of the parts of the ritual and their meaning. (For Parents and Godparents, i.e., Adults only)
- The Preparation classes also encourages parents and godparents to reflect on their relationship with God and the Catholic Church fostering involvement in parish life and ministries that nurture the domestic Church.
- The donation and all paperwork such as documentation that the godparents are fully-initiated and practicing Catholics is due no later than the Baptismal Preparation Class.
- If parents are unable to attend both Baptismal Preparation clasess, the Baptism will be rescheduled for another month.
- Sponsors (Godparents) need to have a sincere interest in your child and be committed to supporting his/her godchild through prayer and good example. They need to be confirmed, practicing Catholics, worshiping on a regular basis and able to receive sacraments. Sponsors who are not registered members of our parish need a Sponsor Certificate or letter from their own parish stating they are eligible to be a sponsor for Baptism. One sponsor may be non-Catholic, who officially is called a ‘Christian Witness’ rather than Godparent.
- The normal donation for Baptism is $50.00 and includes the cost of a baptismal candle, baptismal garment (that is placed over the child’s clothing), and the baptismal certificate. This donation is customarily given at the preparation class.
To find out more information about the Baptism of Infants and Small Children, please contact Deacon Matt Shirina at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (813) 884-3624.
BAPTISM OF ADULTS
(AGES 7 AND UP)
Welcome! We are so glad that you are interested in being baptized. We would love to learn more about your faith journey, and walk with you towards the sacrament of Baptism.
Concerning the Baptism of Adults, below are the guidelines for Incarnation Catholic Church:
“For the purpose of Christian Initiation, children who have reached the age of reason, generally understood as seven years of age, are considered adults in a limited sense. As much as possible, their formation in the faith should follow the general pattern of the ordinary catechumenate, making use of the appropriate adaptations permitted in the rite. ‘They should receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, together with the older catechumens.'” (National Directory for Catechesis, paragraph 36 and Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults, Appendix III, paragraph no. 18.)
In other words, because the Catholic Church acknowledges age seven as the age of reason, those children (7 years old and above) are prepared to receive the sacraments by a different process. The children who have reached the age of reason “are capable of receiving and nurturing a personal faith. They are also capable of a conversion appropriate to their age.” (National Directory for Catechesis, paragraph 36). Unlike a younger child, for example, a child who has reached the age of reason is able to understand more fully what occurs in each of the sacraments of Initiation.
The process in which a child age seven and older prepares to be baptized is called ‘The Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults’ or R.C.I.A. In the R.C.I.A. process, once the unbaptized persons have been fully prepared and are ready to enter the Catholic Church, the unbaptized receive all three sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil. From start to finish, “the process may take several years before they receive the sacraments” (National Directory for Catechesis paragraph 36).
For more information regarding the Baptism of Adults (Ages 7 and older), the R.C.I.A.process, or a calendar of meeting dates and times, contact Deacon Matt Shirina at email@example.com or (813) 884-3624.