Christenings and Baptisms
Christenings and Baptisms at St. Mark's
Baptism or Christening is when a person makes a public commitment to their Christian faith.
If you would like to be baptised or would like to have your child baptised then please be in touch with the Church Office and we will try our best to arrange for this to happen.
We like services to happen during our main act of worship on the first or third Sunday of the month, but are aware that this is not always convenient. An alternative is for the service to happen at 1pm after our morning worship.
You will be invited to take part in the service following your Christening/Baptism when you will be presented with a certificate and Baptism candle.
So what is it?
Jesus himself was baptised in the River Jordan, before he began his ministry on earth. The Church has followed the tradition in his example since then.
There are many powerful symbols in the act of baptism.
The person passes through the water of death, showing that their old life apart from God has died, and is raised to new life.
This reflects the death and resurrection of Christ.
Through the water we are washed clean of our sin. Through out the Bible there are images of God saving his people through water and these are reflected in the service.
Through Baptism we enter into a new life as part of the own church family and the worldwide Christian family.
Other symbols from the service include a candle, representing Jesus the light of the world that with our new faith we take into the world on his behalf, and being signed with a cross using special oil blessed by a bishop, the cross is one of the oldest symbols of the faith.
Baptising children and infants
Parents have brought children and infants for baptism since the early days of the Church.
It is a way of expressing their love and thanks for their child, declaring their commitment to raise them as a Christian, and welcoming them in to the church as they begin their journey of faith.
The difference from adult baptism is that parents and Godparents make the declarations on behalf of the child who is too young to understand.
These declarations state a commitment to bring their children up within a Christian family, to bring them to church regularly, and to teach and encourage them in their faith journey.
This will lead to them bringing the child for confirmation when they are old enough, so that they themselves can ‘confirm’ the declarations made on their behalf at baptism.
Adults have also been baptised since the early days of the church, as a symbol of their new life as a follower of Christ. It usually follows a period of preparation where they learn about Christian faith and how that translates in to everyday life.
Whereas it was once always the Bishop that carried out the baptism, as the church grew it became physically impossible for them to do this, so priests were given permission to baptise.
Originally the baptism was immediately followed by being anointed with oil and partaking in Holy Communion.
This later was broken in to two parts, making two separate services. The baptism became one service, and receiving anointing and Holy Communion another – the confirmation service.
However, if it is an adult being baptised, it’s more usual still for both to take part in one service.