Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- Acts 2:38
The Sacrament of Baptism is often called "The door of the Church," because it is the first of the seven Sacraments not only in time, but also in priority. The reception of all other Sacraments depends on it. Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church.
The Role of the Community
Baptisms are normally celebrated during Mass. Christian initiation is an ecclesial event - the sacramental act by which the community welcomes others into its life. It's presence and involvement constitute the basic shape of the sacramental sign.
The Holy Spirit calls us to faith. Anyone of any age is always welcome to answer the call, come and see, learn about the Catholic faith, and prepare for baptism to enter a new life in the Body of Christ.
Adults wishing to be baptized are required to attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This program is offered once a year through the parish.
For the baptism of infants and young children, parents are required to be registered parishioners, attend a baptismal preparation class (roughly two hours), and plan to raise their child in the Catholic faith. Candidates who are baptized as infants and young children develop their faith first in the home, through the example and guidance of their parents and godparents. Holy Cross offers baptismal classes once a month for parents of infants and young children. Please see the parish bulletin or contact the office for the date of the next baptism class. Baptisms are scheduled on weekends within the celebration of the mass, with baptism dates being scheduled though the Baptismal Prep Coordinator. for more information contact the Baptismal Prep Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org .
For baptism of older children (school aged), the child together with the parents are required to attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC). Holy Cross offers the RCIC program as needed.
The Sacrament of Baptism as described by Fr. Raphael Mary of the Catholic Newman Center at the University of Washington.