Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which we become part of the Church. In many of the medieval Churches the Font stood to the back of the Church by the door as a reminder that there is only one door to the Church, and that is Holy Baptism.
In John chapter 3 we read in Nicodemus coming to Jesus and being told no-one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born again by water and the Holy Spirit. In this passage we believe Jesus is talking about Baptism.
The core shape and form of Baptism is essential, it requires water (the outward and visible sign) and the form of the words ‘NAME, I baptise you in the Name of the Father and Of the Son and of The Holy Spirit’
These days people offer ‘naming ceremonies’ and the Church is not able to accept this as a form of Baptism. We have no intention of diminishing the value naming ceremony, however as Jesus himself commanded Baptism as essential, we have no choice but to require it.
It is also important that across the various denominations we recognise and respect Baptism, whilst the essence of the essential is part of the practice (ie water the the invocation of the Holy Trinity). People are in fact Baptised into Christ, the rite may be Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Uniting or some other denomination, the issue is that they are Baptised. We do not ‘re-baptise’ (It is just not possible) people baptised in another tradition and we repudiate anyone who would purport to do so. Whilst the Church we sometimes struggles to find unity, on this point the Church is one.
In Anglican rite we will normally sign the candidate with the sign of the cross, the mark of our salvation and the victory that won for us in Christ’s Death and Resurrection.
At S Stephens we normally also give the the candidate a lighted candle (lit from the Great Easter (Paschal) Candle with the words, Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father. We are all called as Christians to follow Christ and to allow his light to shine through us that others may see and believe.
The form we need for the Baptism Information can be downloaded here Application for Baptism