Baptism

BAPTISMAL OVERVIEW

A baptism is more than just a ceremony in the first days of your child’s life.  There are really three parts to a baptism service:

First:  Baptism is an act of faith.  As a couple you are saying, “We view life in a way that is framed by our faith and God’s presence.”

Second:  Baptism is a promise making time.  Three promises are spoken during this very short ceremony:

  1. You will be making promises to your child about the way you intend to raise them and the faith you intend to share with them.
  2. Your sponsors/Godparents will make a promise to your child as well.  Their promise is to have a special role in your child’s life as a spiritual guide and take care of them should anything happen to you.
  3. The church will make a promise to be there for your family and your child.  The church promises to provide continuing opportunities for education and fellowship for both you and your child.

Third:  Baptism is a ceremony that takes place within the setting of the church service.  This is done because we believe the child is more than your child, it is also the child of God, and therefore it’s life can only be fully lived when lived within the family of God, the fellowship of the church.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

Because you take your faith seriously and seek to baptize your child within the fellowship of Epiphany Church, we would ask these things of you:

First:  Please visit our worship service at least twice before you make your final decision to have your child baptized here.  We ask this for a very specific reason.  We have been in the business of making promises to our children for four generations and have existed for over 90 years.  As you can see, we take our promises seriously.  We truly want you to be comfortable with us.  We want you to feel good about the kind of people and the type of church that is making these promises to your child.  You can only make that decision if you take the time to get to know us.

Second:  At your convenience, call the church office and make an appointment to see the Pastor, privately.  This is a time when you can ask questions about baptism, and how Epiphany views it’s children and baptism.  It is also a time to share your feelings about parenthood and the responsibilities you now have.

Third:  At the same time you make an appointment with the Pastor, you can arrange to meet with your Hostess.  They will show you around the church and acquaint you with:

  • The nursery facilities
  • The sanctuary where the service will take place
  • Where your family will gather and also where they will be seated.

Fourth:  Take some thought and prayer about whom you choose to be your child’s Godparents/sponsors.  It is more than just a way to honor friends.  It is a special honor and a special relationship you are asking them to have with your child.  A relationship that reflects the values and faith you have and it should be special to you and to your child.

THE DAY OF THE BAPTISM

The family and the sponsors are asked to be at the church 20 minutes before services (approximately 9:30am).  Your hostess will meet you and:

  • Have bulletins ready for you and your extended family.
  • Show your family where they will be seated.
  • Explain to your sponsors/Godparents where they will be standing during the service.
  • Let you check the baptismal certificate for accuracy.
  • Show any children of your extended family where the    Sunday School rooms are and where the nursery is.

The Pastor will also greet you and welcome your family to worship.  He will explain where the baptism will take place during the worship service.

THE WORSHIP SERVICE

During the Service of Baptism, only the sponsors and the parents will be asked direct questions and be expected to respond.

Pictures are encouraged.  We only ask that they be taken as unobtrusively as possible.  Anyone taking a video is asked to stand along the outside wall, well back from the family and use the zoom lens.  These offer the best results and the photographer does not intrude upon the service itself.  Your sensitivity will help us to continue to allow such freedom in our worship service.

For More Information Contact:  the office (716)741-1441

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