Baptism is the first mystery of Christian Initiation. In baptism, the Church welcomes a newly enlightened member into its midst. Baptism is the inauguration of a new life: a life in Christ.
Lessons from the Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
“The Father reveals and grants us eternal life through his Son in the Holy Spirit. This life of the new creation becomes accessible to us not only after death, but even now. Through the Holy Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation, along with the Eucharist, we are united to Christ. In Him, we become heirs of divine life, bearers of the Holy Spirit, who reveals to us the full truth of Christ. The Spirit leads us along the paths of Christ’s commandments and prays within us: “Abba! Father!” (Rom 8:15). Through these Holy Mysteries we become members of the Body of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit.” (409)
“In his conversation with Nicodemus, Christ speaks of the inauguration of the new life as a process of being “born anew” or “from above” (see Jn 3:3). This new birth is a birth of “water and the Spirit” (Jn 3:5). Performed by water in the liturgical rite, it becomes a reality through the Holy Spirit’s power. Baptism is for us the beginning of the fullness of life for which we were created…In Baptism, God not only saves us from sin, but also grants us the inestimable treasures of new life.” (410)
Baptisms at Our Parish
Baptisms are a joyous occasion not just for the family but also for the parish community. Baptisms are an occasion for the entire parish to celebrate and welcome a new Christian and parishioner. As such, it is ideal if the baptism occurs within the context of the Sunday Divine Liturgy so that the entire parish community may be present for the initiation of a new member of the Body of Christ. While this is the ideal, a convenient date and time can be arranged with the priest.
Baptism comes from the Greek word baptisma (βάπτισμα) which means “to immerse.” In our parish, baptisms are done by immersion in water. This may conjure up feelings of fear and worry in the mother of the child, but there is nothing to be concerned about. The child is not fully immersed in the water -just up to his/her shoulders – and then water is gently poured over the head by the priest.
After the baptism, the child is clothed in the white Baptismal Garment (sometimes called the kryzhmo). Speak to the Parish Priest if you are looking to purchase a Baptismal Garment or if you are unsure if what you have is acceptable.
If you would like to have your child baptized in our parish, please complete the following form and contact the Parish Priest (email@example.com) to set up an interview.
The role of Godparents in the life of the newly baptized cannot be understated. Godparents are chosen by the parents in order to help them raise and educate the newly baptized in the faith. With this in mind, the Church mandates that Godparents must be active and practicing members of the Catholic Church. At minimum, one Godparent must be Catholic while the second Godparent can be Orthodox. If it happens that the second Godparent is a baptized Christian but not Catholic or Orthodox, then they, along with the Catholic Godparent, can be a Christian Witness at the baptism. If you are unsure or confused about how and who to choose, speak to the priest.
Please read the following before choosing Godparents and you can also pass this along to them so that they can better understand their role in not only the baptism but also in the life of their soon-to-be Godchild.