“No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”
The Sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of Christian life, the entrance to the life in the Spirit and access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from original sin, become heirs to the Kingdom of God, are incorporated into the Church and become sharers in the Mission of the Church.
During the celebration of Baptism a priest or deacon blesses the water that will be used as a sign of rebirth. The celebrant prays “We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the water of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life.”
The priest or deacon then pours the water on the heads of the people being baptised or immerses them, saying, “Name, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The water and these words are the signs of the sacrament of Baptism. At this moment, those being baptised are reborn of water and the Holy Spirit. They are reborn into the divine life of God’s grace, become members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
The newly baptized are next anointed with holy oil just as Christ was anointed as priest, prophet and king. This shows that they share in Jesus’ work of bringing about God’s peace and justice in the world.
The newly baptized are given a white garment and a candle. The white garment shows that they have put on the new life of the risen Christ. A candle, is lit from the Easter candle and given to the newly baptized as a sign that they are to keep the light of Christ burning brightly by always following the ways of Jesus.
Baptisms of infants and young children are celebrated, for families who are registered members at St. Mary Parish, on the 3rd and 4th Sunday of each month at 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Both parents must attend a baptism preparation class, especially if the baptism is for a first child or it has been more than four years since the last child was baptized.
When a child of teachable age is to be baptized, a process of preparation is provided for the child, according to his or her age and ability. Please contact the parish office, 740.363-4641 for more information. Please also review the requirements for baptism. Baptismal sponsors must provide a letter from their church stating they are active, registered members of their church and are qualified to act as a sponsor complete with the church seal. This applies to Catholic and non-Catholic sponsors.
Adult baptism follows the ancient order of the catechumenate. This rite, also referred to as RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) offers a person a period of months to inquire and receive information about the Christian life, while regularly attending community gatherings with others who are likewise interested in joining the Catholic Church. In this community environment, the inquirer is given opportunities to learn the doctrine and faith life of the Church, the meaning of and exercises in prayer, the moral and social positions of Catholics, and study scripture and the sacramental and historical life of the Roman Catholic tradition. Generally, the one who seeks baptism is brought into full membership in the Church on the Eve of Easter, with the local community gathered in prayer and praise. Please contact our Director of our RCIA program for additional information.