Grace Church, Rutherford, NJ

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What is Baptism?

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. BCP p. 298. Holy Baptism is the first great sacrament of the Church, given by Christ, and a prerequisite for full participation in the church. As long as a person has been baptized with water “In the Name of the Father, Son and of the Holy Spirit,” there is no reason for a person to be re-baptized.

Conditional Baptisms are only administered in the event there is no certainty that the candidate has been baptized. Emergency Baptisms are administered at any time and can be administered by a lay person in the event a priest is not available.


“Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons. Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of infants and small children, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates.” BCP p. 298. When baptizing young children, it is fitting parents serve as God parents of their child.

Sponsors are asked to make two promises:

1. Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life?

2. Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ?

By responding “I will with God’s help,” a sponsor is promising to take upon him or herself the responsibility to raise the child in the Christian Faith not only by what he or she professes but also by his or her own example.

Older children and adults wishing to be baptized at Grace along with the sponsors of young children will be asked to renounce evil and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Together with the congregation, they will be asked to commit or re-commit themselves to the Baptismal Covenant.

Scheduling Holy Baptism

Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast. Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany). It is recommended that, as far as possible, Baptisms be reserved for these occasions or when a bishop is present.

Emergency Baptism can be administered at any time and it does not have to be administered by a priest.

At Grace Church we recognize the importance of having special family and friends in for the occasion; therefore, we will baptize individuals outside of these dates provided there is a good reason for it. For instance, if your parents or some other special person or persons will be coming from out of town, we will do what we can to accommodate the family.

Prayers & Oblations of Bread & Wine

If a member of the family wishes to lead the prayers for the Baptismal Candidate, please arrange this with the clergy in advance. This is a nice way to include a family member on this special occasion. It is also appropriate for the oblations of bread and wine at the baptismal Eucharist to be presented by the newly baptized or their godparents when the child is an infant.

Baptismal Bowl

If you have a bowl with significant emotional attachment, an heirloom for instance, we are happy to perform your loved one’s baptism from this bowl. Bowls may be crystal, silver, ceramic or gold.