Baptism

“Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit.”
—Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). 985

St. Edward the Confessor is happy to welcome the Lord’s newest members into the family of faith! We baptize many infants, and also children, teens, and adults.   Through Baptism, the human person is washed clean of original sin and restored to the image and likeness of God.   It is a spiritual birth celebration.

Click here for more information on Infant Baptism.   There are scheduled classes during the year for first-time parents who have a baby to baptize.  They are posted in the bulletin.  For those onto their second child to baptize in their family, you just need to call the parish office to give us info for the child’s baptism record, and then to ask that the pastor /clergy to call you to schedule the baptism. 

Non-registered members (of infants/children to baptize) will be offered specific saved times for baptisms on the parish calendar; registered members can have an open choice (as a perk for being a participating member).  The Rectory phone number is 301-249-9199. Baptisms are usually on a Saturday or Sunday at the clergy’s availability.   Some baptisms are celebrated within a Sunday Mass, too, if it is the agreed by the family and pastor to do so.  The parish benefits in seeing an infant baptism in her Sunday liturgy—so we provide that option.

For those asking for baptism who are older than a little child, we have programs of preparation for Baptism. We baptize school-age children, as well as teens and adults after some faith instruction.   Each have preparation programs for readiness and understanding of their receiving this Sacrament, so to make that day of becoming a Christian an experience that is special for you.

The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, as we are born of the water and the Spirit. Baptism is necessary for salvation (John 3:5), and conveys a permanent sign that the new Christian is a child of God. Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11). The martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch, in his Letter to the Ephesians written about 100 AD, stated that Jesus "Christ was baptized, that by himself submitting he might purify the water." Baptism is prefigured in the Old Testament through the saving of Noah and his family during the Flood (Genesis 7:12-23, 1 Peter 3:20-21), and Moses crossing of the Red Sea during the Exodus, leaving captivity for the Promised Land (Exodus 14:1-22).

The Greek word baptizein means to "immerse, plunge, or dip." The candidate in early Church centuries would likely get plunged down into water three times to show the drama of a life going down into self-dying into Jesus, as like going under the water and held there.   Today, while there are some candidates who want such a dunking (immersion baptism), mostl of the time the person has water poured on their head three times by the clergy witness, as he pronounces "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." The candidate is then anointed on the head with sacred chrism.

Why is the rite done?  It is because Jesus commanded it to be done.

"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 you."

Gospel of Matthew 28:19-20

It also is done because we are following Jesus in His Baptism Rite. "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."

Gospel of Mark 1:9-11

"It is done because Jesus taught about it. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he (she) cannot enter the kingdom of God."

Gospel of John 3:5