The Sacrament of Baptism
The Church has always understood Baptism to be necessary for salvation, because Christ tells us explicitly: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) Therefore, in order to become a “Christian”, one must first become baptized. When performed with the proper intentions, along with the proper form and matter, the Sacrament of Baptism cleanses the soul of all previous (1) Original Sin, (2) personal sin, and (3) all punishment due to those sins, and further gives the individual sanctifying grace, in order to help the soul live and act as temples of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, baptism places an indelible mark on the soul, which forever seals the individual as an adopted son or daughter of God.
Infant / Child Baptism is for children from birth to the age of reason/discretion (about 7 years of age). A preparation class is required for the Parents and Godparents of the child to be baptized, per the policies of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The class examines the sacramental, theological, historical, and liturgical significance of the Sacrament of Baptism. The class will also discuss and review what will be required of the parents and godparents during the actual Rite of Baptism. Please also note that children should not be brought to the class, with the exception of newborns/infants, and to find childcare for older children so that the parents and Godparents can have their full attention on the class lessons.
Prior to the class, the parents and Godparents will need to watch a short video online on the formed.org website. Please click and download the FORMED.ORG Baptism Video Login Instructions document for instructions which includes the name of the video the parents will need to watch and the separate video that the Godparents will need to watch.
The general schedule of the required class and baptisms will be as follows:
THE SATURDAY PRIOR TO THE BAPTISM:
The class meets from 9:45 – 11:30 AM in the Parish Office Fireside Conference Room (available 4 times a year on January 13, 2018; April 14, 2018; July 14, 2018; and September TBA, 2018). You need only attend one class prior to the Baptism.
Saturday: 1 to 2-hour class on the Theology & Liturgy of Baptism, including an overview/rehearsal of the Baptism.
THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY IS THE BAPTISM:
Baptisms are offered four times a year, typically on the Saturday following the Baptism class.
January 20, 2018 – immediately following the 9 AM Mass
April 21, 2018 – immediately following the 9 AM Mass
July 21, 2018 – immediately following the 9 AM Mass
September TBA, 2018 – immediately following the 9 AM Mass
Parents/Legal Guardians Requirements
Parents must be registered parishioners of St. Mark Parish, and in good standing with the Catholic Church, by regularly practicing the faith and adhering to the teachings of the Church. This includes attending Mass every Sunday and on all Holy Days of Obligation as well as receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year, and educating yourselves and your family on the teachings of the Catholic Church. At least one of the parents is required to vow to raise the child in the practice of the faith which includes instructing the child in the ways of the faith and presenting their child to receive all other sacraments, including First Holy Communion around the age of 7 and Confirmation around the age of 16. The pastor may determine that baptism is to be delayed if there is a lack of intent on the part of the parents to raise the child in the Catholic faith.
Because the sacrament of Baptism is a public sacrament, private individual Baptisms are not available. Baptisms are usually scheduled the third Saturday of the month at 10 AM (please see the schedule listed above). Invitations and/or plans should not be made or sent out until ALL of the following steps have been completed:
- An “Infant/Child Baptism Registration Form“, “Infant/Child Baptism Information Form” and all “Godparent Commitment Form(s)” have been read, completed, and submitted to Veronica Olson in the Parish Office (click on each title to download the PDFs);
- A copy of the child’s Birth Certificate has been submitted to Veronica Olson in the Parish Office;
- And Veronica Olson has spoken with you and confirmed the date of Baptism. You can reach her at [email protected] or 206-364-7900.
When considering candidates for the role of godparent(s), the following requirements must be met:
- Canon Law requires potential godparents to be at least 16 years of age. They must be active, authentically practicing Catholics in good standing with the Church who have received the sacrament of Confirmation, have received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, and are not bound by any canonical penalty. For example: If married, they must be in a valid sacramental marriage recognized by the Catholic Church. If divorced and remarried, they must have completed the annulment process prior to being married again in the Church, etc.
- Although one godparent is sufficient, when there are two, one must be male and one must be female. The minimum number of godparents is one, the absolute maximum is two.
- They must take the “Godparent Commitment Form” to the Catholic Church that they are registered, active parishioners at and request that the Pastor or a Parish staff member sign and stamp the parish seal on the form. This serves as confirmation of the potential godparent’s active parishioner status and good standing in the Church by their parish.
If you have any further questions about Infant/Child Baptism, please contact the Director of Liturgy & Parish Life, Veronica Olson, at 206-364-7900 or [email protected].