“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded of you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Baptism is the first sacrament celebrated in the process of becoming a full member of the Church community. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Baptism is, like all the sacraments, a gift from God. Water is the universal symbol. Water is absolutely essential for all life. Water cleanses and restores. It is the waters of Baptism which give us new life. In accordance, through Baptism we die to ourselves in order to be restored and resurrected in the new life of Christ.
“The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1279).
The information below describes the process for having your child baptized.
The child and parent(s) are invited to participate in our Sunday program, “Take Back Sunday.” This begins with the family’s participation at the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Eucharist, followed by breakfast together, followed by individual instruction for the child as well as the parent. Please note that parental (or assigned adult) participation for all parts of this program (9:30 a.m. Sunday Eucharist, breakfast, instruction) is required for this process. Contact the Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation, Mary Beth Scott at MScott@abvmcenterach.com or 631-588-6408, ext. 124.
Go to the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program.
Registered parishioners are invited to have their children baptized at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary RCC. Baptisms are usually celebrated at 1:00 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month. Please note that a date for baptism cannot be confirmed until the following take place.
Q. Does Assumption parish do individual or group baptisms?
A. The number of children signing up for any particular date varies throughout the year. Sometimes there is one child, sometimes several. We try not to exceed eight families at any particular baptism.
Q. Does Assumption parish do private baptisms?
A. The parish does not do private baptism except in extraordinary circumstances, e.g., sickness of the child. All baptisms are celebrated at the parish celebration, which is usually the first or third Sunday of the month at 1:00 p.m. If a family has a personal friend who is validly ordained, a separate baptism time can be arranged depending on the parish schedule.
Q. When do baptisms occur?
A. Baptisms are usually celebrated at 1:00 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month.
Q. How many godparents should we have?
A. The church requires only one godparent, although you may choose two. If you do choose two godparents, one must be male and one female. Please make your choice based on their ability to help you raise your child in the belief and teachings of the Catholic Church.
Q. Do both godparents have to be Catholic?
A. To be listed as a godparent the individual must be a fully initiated Catholic, i.e., baptized and confirmed, and an active, registered parishioner of a parish. Always keep in mind that the role of godparent isn’t an honorary duty on the day of baptism, but a lifetime of shared faith with the child.
Q. Can a non-Christian be a godparent?
A. No. Only a person who is baptized can be a godparent or sponsor.
Q. What is the difference between a godparent and a sponsor?
A. A godparent is a fully initiated Catholic, i.e., he/she has celebrated baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. A sponsor is a baptized Christian from another denomination, e.g., Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, etc. Please note that a person who was baptized Catholic and is now participation in another Christian denomination cannot be chosen as a sponsor or a godparent.
Q. Who can be a godparent/sponsor for Baptism (or Confirmation)?
A. A person sixteen years or older who has been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church can be a godparent. If married, the marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church.
Q. Who can be a Christian witness for Baptism?
A. A person sixteen years or older who is baptized in a Christian religion can be a Christian witness. Their baptism must have followed the following ritual, baptizing the person by pouring water or immersing the person “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” A baptized Catholic who is not confirmed or who now participates in another Christian denomination cannot be a Christian witness or a godparent.
Q. Do the parents need to be married in the church to have a child baptized?
A. No. The church does require, however, a reasonable assurance that the parents will bring the child up in the faith, which means that the parents are participating members of the Eucharist. If a couple is not married in the Church or not married at all, it would be helpful if they meet with one of the priests or deacon to discuss their situation.
Q. Can I have two people of the same sex be godparents?
A. The church requires one godparent. If there are two godparents, one must be a man fully initiated into the church and one must be a woman fully initiated into the church. This means that they have been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith.
Q. Can a Jewish or non-baptized person be a godparent or sponsor?
A. Only a baptized and confirmed Catholic can be a godparent; only a baptized Christian can be a Christian witness. Unbaptized people, regardless of their “Christian” attitudes and exemplary life cannot be a godparent or witness since they cannot “sponsor” someone to be a member of a group to which they do not belong.
Q. If the person I want to be a sponsor/godparent cannot be present, can I use a proxy?
A. Yes. The proxy, however, must fulfill the same requirement that a sponsor fulfills, e.g., if the proxy is for the godmother, the proxy must be female, baptized and confirmed, and, if married, the marriage must be recognized by the Church. If the proxy is for a female Christian witness, the person must be female and baptized.
Q. What if my child has been baptized already?
A. Baptism can happen only once. If a child has been baptized in the hospital, for example, or for any other reason (grandma in the kitchen) the parish will provide the entire ceremony and blessings without the pouring of water.