Congratulations! We look forward to your child being baptized at St. Mary’s. To arrange a Baptism, please call Deacon Kelley at 781-326-0550 ext. 139.
Theology of Baptism
The Church has been baptizing since its conception. It is a celebration of new life, the life of Christ born into the one who is baptized. So profound is baptism that we refer to it as being born again. This life-giving covenant is established with each one of us through the Sacrament of Baptism. Before His Ascension to the Father, Jesus instructed the Apostles to “Go out to all the nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism is the ritual by which the Church realizes God’s covenant with us.
Baptism and Sacred Scripture
Through the Sacred Scriptures, God has revealed his plan for the salvation of the world. God the Father established a covenant with humanity which entails sharing His life completely with those created in His image and likeness. Jesus set the example for us when He chose to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan Rover (Matthew 3:13-14). In John 1:32, John the Baptist testifies I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. The Holy Spirit and water are required for baptism. Although, Jesus’ baptism was not the Christian baptism we experience, it was instead a royal anointing of the Son of David (Jesus) conferred by a Levite (John the Baptist) to reveal Christ to Israel, as it was foreshadowed in 1 Kings 1:39 when the Son of David (Solomon) was anointed by the Levitical priest Zadok. Matt 3:16. In John 3:3,5 – Jesus exhorts us, Truly, truly, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Through the life, death and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, God has established a relationship with every person by which He offers everlasting life. God gives Himself completely to each of us, holding nothing back.
The Essential Rite of Baptism
An essential part of Baptism is that the one being baptized publicly professes faith in Jesus Christ. In our culture we typically baptize infants. The child’s parents and godparents profess the faith on behalf of the child promising God and the Church that they will hand on Christian faith to the child. Aside from the profession of faith, the Rite of Baptism includes anointing with the Oil of Catechumen, to open new life to the Holy Spirit and to protect them from evil, and Sacred Chrism, to seal them in the Holy Spirit. Other powerful symbols used in the rite include the clothing with the baptismal garment, as a sign to the world that this person has been “clothed” in Christ and is thereby destined for salvation. The newly baptized also receives a lit candle (from the Paschal Candle), which is the light of Christ, a central symbol of our Christian faith.
To become a Godparent
In order to become a Godparent, the person must be confirmed in the Catholic faith. The parents are to select a male and a female that they feel will be an example of faith to inspire the child. The spiritual well-being of the child is placed in the hands of the Godparent; therefore, parents must select Godparents who practice their faith.