October 19, 2020



Baptism is the rite of initiation into the Church.  In the early church it was most often for adults although whole households were baptized when the adults became believers.  The baptism of children assumes that the parents or sponsors are living out their faith in a meaningful way.

In Baptism we become a member of the Body of Christ – both Christ and Christ’s Church. We promise to engage in Christ’s work, the ministry of the Church.

“Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ. Baptism unites Christ with his people. That union is both individual and corporate. Christians are, it is true, baptized one by one, but to be a Christian is to be part of a new creation which rises from the dark waters of Christ’s death into the dawn of his risen life. Christians are not just baptized individuals; they are a new humanity.

As the World Council of Churches document Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry has reminded Christians, the scriptures of the New Testament and the liturgy of the Church unfold the meaning of baptism in various images (often based on Old Testament water symbols) which express the mystery of salvation.

Baptism is:

participation in Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6.3–5; Colossians 2.12);
a washing away of sin (1 Corinthians 6.11);
a new birth (John 3.5); an enlightenment by Christ (Ephesians 5.14); a reclothing in Christ (Galatians 3.27);
a renewal by the Spirit (Titus 3.5);
the experience of salvation from the flood (1 Peter 3.20–21);
an exodus from bondage (1 Corinthians 10.1–2)
and a liberation into a new humanity in which barriers of division, whether of sex or race or social status, are transcended (Galatians 3.27–28; 1 Corinthians 12.13).

The images are many but the reality is one.

Several dimensions of baptism became clear as the early Church developed its practice. Initiation into the Church was a vital concern of the whole Christian community and not only of the candidates for baptism and their immediate families. Preparation for baptism was a responsibility shared among various members of the community, both ordained and lay. Becoming a Christian had as much to do with learning to live a new lifestyle within the Christian community as it did with specific beliefs. When the day of baptism finally arrived, the event took place within the context of the Sunday eucharist, when the whole community was gathered and where the newly baptized received communion for the first time.

The celebration of this rite of Holy Baptism requires careful preparation by both the community and the candidates. The service should take place when a congregation gathers for the principal Sunday eucharist, ideally on days that are particularly appropriate for baptism—Easter (especially at the Vigil), Pentecost, All Saints, the Baptism of the Lord—and with the bishop present.”
-From the Introduction to the Baptismal Liturgy of the Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada ©The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada 1985.

The Baptismal Covenant-From The Book of Alternative Services

Celebrant Do you believe in God the Father?
People I believe in God,
The Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Celebrant Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.
Celebrant Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People I believe in God the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Celebrant Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and
fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant Will you proclaim by word and example the good
news of God in Christ?
People I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbour as yourself?
People I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God’s help.

If you are interested in Baptism for yourself or for your child, please email office@stgeorgescathedral.ca for an application form. St George's Administrator will arrange for you to meet a member of the clergy who will help you prepare for Baptism.