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 sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission (CCC 1213).
By its very nature, baptism is a public, communal event. It is not a private event affecting only the family, but a sacramental event bringing about the addition of a new member into the Body of Christ, the Church. For this reason, the Church of the Holy Spirit always strives to administer baptism in some public context. Normally, this is accomplished by celebrating baptism with a group of families all bringing their children forth at the same time or, for older children and adults, at the Easter Vigil.
Infant Baptism – Baptism affects a child’s life here on earth and the child’s eternal salvation. Therefore, it is to be carried out with the seriousness proper to its dignity:
- The parents and godparents are to be properly instructed on the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations attached to it. This instruction is carried out by the pastor or his delegate. Parents are urged to make arrangements for baptism preparation during pregnancy.
- Parents, godparents and pastors are to take care that no name foreign to Christian sensibilities is given.
- At least one parent must consent to having the child baptized
- There must be a founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Church.
Adult Baptism – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC) are programs of instruction for older children and adults who have never been baptized and wish to enter the Christian community. Classes meet weekly throughout the year in order to prepare to receive this sacrament with baptism usually celebrated at the Easter Vigil.
Contact Betsy Dunman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 893-3982 for information.