We are always happy to welcome candidates for Holy Baptism. If you live in the area and are seeking baptism for you or your child then you should begin by attending Sunday worship and introducing yourself to the Priest. At that initial meeting we will decide together the date for the baptism.
If your roots are in this Diocese and you wish a baptism here but are living away you should initiate contact for baptism preparation in your local parish and also contact the Parish Priest by telephone at least 3 months in advance of your desired baptism date. The Anglican Church of Canada baptizes both infants and adults to receive them into the family of God.
What is baptism?
Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ and unites Christ with his people. When we become baptized we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. We let go of our old ways of seeing others and ourselves. We learn to see one another through the eyes of Christ. We make a conscious decision to respect others and ourselves, to grow in our ability to live in harmony with others, and to forgive. We have a responsibility to resist selfishness in our own lives and to work to transform our society into a caring family centred on Christ’s passionate love for the world. At the time of baptism, the person is formally received as a member of the church, and may receive Holy Communion (or Eucharist).
What is infant baptism?
In the Anglican Church, children may be baptized, with parents and sponsors making these commitments for them. The parents and sponsors and the parish community also commit on their own to bring these children up in the church to understand God’s purpose for the world. If parents are not ready to make baptismal promises or wish to defer baptism for a while, the church offers a service of thanksgiving for the gift of a child. In this service the family gives thanks for the birth and prays for God’s help in the child’s care and nurture.
Who may be baptized?
Any adult who believes God is calling her or him into the Christian way of life is invited to be baptized. Any baptized adult may present a child for baptism. Usually the person bringing the child forward is a baptized parent. Baptized or not, it is customary that both parents of the child consent to the baptism of the child. A single parent may bring a child to be baptized on her or his own.
Who are sponsors?
Sponsors are baptized adult members of a Christian community. They are witnesses to the baptism and accept responsibility for supporting the person’s spiritual development–his or her growth in Christ. Both children and adults have sponsors. Traditionally, children have had three sponsors (often called godparents) two relatives or family friends of the child’s own sex, and one of the opposite sex. Today however parents are often the sponsors of their children. When a child cannot answer for herself or himself, the sponsors make the promises on his or her behalf.
What is the service of baptism in the Anglican Church of Canada?
The service includes the reading of scripture and reflection, the presentation of the candidates, and the affirmation of beliefs by the candidates, or in the case of children, their parents and sponsors.
Baptism can be in the form of immersion, or by the pouring of water on the head of the candidate for baptism. The priest or deacon says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. The sign of the cross is then traced with water on the candidate’s forehead to show that baptism brings the gift of the Holy Spirit. The candidate is given a candle to represent the light of Christ and is received into the church community. Normally the service continues with the celebration of Holy Communion (the Eucharist).
What if I wish to become an Anglican but am already baptized?
Baptism in any Christian church or denomination in the name of the God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, is accepted by the Anglican Church of Canada. Anglicans do not re-baptize. Any baptized person may become a member of our church by regularly attending an Anglican parish and contributing to its life and ministry. In some parishes individuals new to the Anglican Church may wish to acknowledge Anglican membership publicly by participating in the services of confirmation or reception.
The Diocesan Bishop is always present at St John the Evangelist on Wednesday in Holy Week, the week immediately before Easter, to formally receive adults into the Anglican tradition and to confirm adult candidates. Arrangements should be made with your local parish priest.