The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is full initiation into the Christian Church. In it a person is joined mystically to Jesus Christ and to his or her fellow Christians. Through it he or she is made a partaker of the grace and power of Christ’s resurrection out of death and of the new and transformed life which His resurrection brought into being for humankind.
To use a metaphor from the lips of Jesus, Holy Baptism is like a planted seed. If it is not nurtured nothing comes of it. But if it is planted in good ground and cared for, it will “bring forth good fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” (Mark 4:20)
Therefore, the Church of the Advent has the following requirements for the parents and godparents of infants and young children whom they wish to be baptized.
- At least one of the parents must be a member of the Parish who has supported the life of the Advent by regular Sunday attendance for at least six months and a pledge of financial support. Without this minimum commitment to the Christian faith on the part of parents, the Baptism of their child would be empty, meaningless, and finally dishonest on the part of both the parents and the clergy.
- If the parents are not members of the Parish, but for some pressing reason wish their child to be baptized at the Advent, they must demonstrate comparable membership in another Parish. A letter or a phone call from the member of the clergy in charge is expected.
- Parents and godparents must be able to affirm in all good faith and for themselves the promises made on behalf of the child and also the teaching of the Apostles’ Creed which is the substance of the baptismal affirmation and the Christian faith. (The Book of Common Prayer, pp. 302-305)
- Parents must meet with a member of the Advent clergy to discuss the meaning of Baptism at least once before the Sacrament is administered.