Holy Baptism is a rite of belonging in which we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. At St. Peter’s, we baptize people of all ages, offering classes to meet the varying needs of those seeking the rite. We understand baptism, along with the Eucharist, to be one of the two major sacraments—that is, ritual actions that convey God’s grace in a special and powerful way.
When Do Baptisms Happen?
Baptisms at St. Peter’s occur on or near four feast days with a particular association with baptism: All Saints Sunday in November, the Baptism of Jesus in January, Easter (the Sunday after Easter Day) in the spring, and Pentecost Sunday in late spring/early summer.
Does St. Peter’s Perform Re-Baptisms?
The Episcopal Church does not perform re-baptisms. We believe that if you have already been baptized in another Christian tradition, you have been welcomed into the Church universal. Therefore, we recognize and affirm your baptism from your former faith community. If you are a baptized member of another denomination, you may contact that congregation and ask them to send St. Peter’s a letter of membership. Or if they are unwilling to do so, you might ask them to take you off their rolls so that you are no longer counted twice. This is a considerate thing to do for them as most congregations like to keep an up-to-date record of their membership rolls.
Does St. Peter’s Honor Requests for Private Baptism Ceremonies?
Because baptism celebrates entry into God’s family as symbolized by the Church, baptisms are celebrated at one of the four Sunday morning liturgies, when our St. Peter’s community is gathered together. Private baptisms or those at times other than the ones mentioned above are not generally held at St. Peter’s.
An adult wishing to be baptized needs to meet with our Rector for several sessions to learn about the sacrament and become acquainted with St. Peter’s. She is also invited to participate in our Adult Inquirers’ class. The class serves two purposes: it acquaints the participants with information about the Episcopal Church and prepares individuals for Baptism and Confirmation into the Episcopal Church. Baptism can occur at any of the four feast days throughout the year. Confirmations are scheduled when one of our Bishops visits us on a bi-annual basis.
If you are an adult seeking baptism, please fill out the Holy Baptism Form and contact our Rector, the Very Rev. Emily Richards at 215-887-1765.
Baptismal Preparation for Parents and Godparents of Infants and Young Children
Parents wishing to have their child baptized at St. Peter’s need to meet with our Rector prior to the baptism as a way to become acquainted with our community and to learn more about the sacrament of baptism. Once this initial meeting has taken place, then a date for the baptism is scheduled. Parents and Godparents are asked to attend a rehearsal the day prior to the baptism.
Please fill out the Holy Baptism Form and contact the Very Rev. Emily Richards at 215-887-1765 to learn more about baptism for your child and to set up the initial meeting.