Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.
This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to "plunge" or "immerse"; the "plunge" into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as "a new creature."
This sacrament is also called "the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit," for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God.
With great joy and gratitude to Almighty God, the Parish Community at Saint Mark welcomes the gift of life among the families of the parish. Parents who are registered and practicing their faith among us bring their children into the community through the waters of Baptism at the Sunday Liturgies. With rare exceptions because of the child’s needs, all Baptisms are celebrated in the midst of the Sunday assembly making visible and real the incorporation of the child into the church and the Body of Christ.
Since parents are asked during the Rite if they are ready and willing to bring their child up “in the practice of the faith” it is assumed that they are already doing so themselves living a sacramental life in this parish. Once every month, the parish Deacon meets in the Apostles Chapel with parents following the 10:15 a.m. Mass. At this time there is a presentation on the meaning of the Sacrament and the responsibilities of parents who come seeking Baptism for their child. Attendance at this meeting is required.
Because the Celebration of the Rite of Infant Baptism requires much handling, immersion, anointing, and dressing of the infant; it is preferred that the date be set at some time after the baby has gained sufficient strength to be handled safely and comfortably (usually after about three or four months). Baptisms are scheduled by Cheryl Jacobson in the parish office.
The Sacrament of Baptisms for Adults is normally celebrated at the Great Vigil of Easter as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).