Baptism

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Baptism at Epiphany and Christ Church

Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church wants your baptism or the baptism of a member of your family to be as meaningful as possible. Because baptism is the primary sacrament of membership in the Body of Christ, families desiring to have a child baptized at Epiphany and Christ Church should be active parishioners of record (meaning actively attending and participating in the life of the parish and contributing on the record to the expenses of the parish) for at least one year prior to the desired baptismal date. When you are ready to schedule a baptism, contact Ms. Constance Horsley to schedule an appointment to discuss the baptism (973-676-8886).

Celebration of Holy Baptism takes place as a public service during regularly scheduled worship; Private baptisms are not offered and are only done in extreme pastoral emergencies. Dates for baptism at Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church follow the guidelines set forth in the Prayer Book and occur four times a year: at the Baptism of our Lord in early January, at the Easter Vigil in March or April (the customary time for adult baptisms), on Pentecost Sunday in May or June, and on all Saints Sunday, the first Sunday in November.

One pre-baptismal class is required and both parents, all sponsors (godparents) and candidates age 7 and above are expected to attend. The class will be scheduled for all candidates for the same date. The class is a presentation of our understanding of Holy Baptism and includes a rehearsal of the baptism service.

More About Baptism

Baptism is a serious commitment on the part of parents, sponsors/godparents, and our entire faith community. It marks the start of --or a significant decision on the part of adults and older young people -- to live a faithful life as a follower, a disciple, of Jesus.

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About the Celebration

Celebration of Holy Baptism takes place as a public service during regularly scheduled worship; Private baptisms are not offered and are only done in extreme pastoral emergencies. Dates for baptism at Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church follow the guidelines set forth in the Prayer Book and occur four times a year: at the Baptism of our Lord in early January, at the Easter Vigil in March or April (the customary time for adult baptisms), on Pentecost Sunday in May or June, and on all Saints Sunday, the first Sunday in November.

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Pre-Baptism Class

One pre-baptismal class is required and both parents, all sponsors (godparents) and candidates age 7 and above are expected to attend. The class will be scheduled for all candidates for the same date. The class is a presentation of our understanding of Holy Baptism and includes a rehearsal of the baptism service.

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Selecting Sponsors/Godparents

The persons you select as a sponsor/godparent:

  • Must already be a practicing Christian. Only such persons, in good conscience before God and the Church, can make the baptismal renunciations and promises on behalf of the candidate.
  • Need not be an Anglican/Episcopalian.
  • May be a family member, relative or friend.
  • Should participate regularly in a Christian congregation for his or her own spiritual growth.
  • Is expected to enter into a long-term relationship with the person baptized.
  • Must present a sponsor letter from their pastor certifying their active membership in a Christian church.

People often ask about the appropriate number of sponsors. The church requires that sponsors be one or more baptized persons. Church tradition formerly specified two men and a woman for a male candidate and two women and a man for a female candidate. We suggest that at least one woman and one man, other than the parents, be selected. This provides several persons for the baptismal connection between candidate and sponsor and creates balance and variety.