Baptism Policy for Unity United Church – Revised October 2014 waterbaptismWhat is Baptism? In The United Church of Canada, baptism at whatever age, is the sole rite of initiation into membership in the Church. The Service of Baptism is held within the regular Sunday worship service where the congregation offers its support and nurture to the candidate for baptism and her or his family, as appropriate. In the service, water is poured into the Baptismal Font, prayers for God’s grace are offered, and the candidate for baptism is presented to the congregation. In the case of infants and children, those sponsoring the baptism (usually the parent or parents) respond to questions about faith and the nurture of the child in the Christian tradition. Older individuals respond directly to those questions. Who do I arrange for a Baptism? If you are interested in baptism, please contact us and we will get you in touch with the minister. She will review the significance of baptism for your child (or for you). If you are new to Unity United Church, we hope that you will find this to be a time filled with potential for you to discover a relationship with us. Do I have to be a member of Unity United Church or the United Church of Canada to have a baptism there? No, you do not need to be a member to have a baptismal service here. Do both my partner and I have to be practicing Christians to have our child baptized at Unity United Church? No. Both parents do not have to be practicing Christians to have your child baptized at Unity United Church. Is there a charge for the baptismal ceremony? No. There is no cost for the baptismal ceremony. What should I expect during the baptism ceremony? Baptisms normally take place during our regular Sunday 10 a.m. service, witnessed by our full congregation. This is important, because during the ceremony, the congregation makes a promise to the person being baptized to support that person in his or her spiritual growth. The ceremony takes about 5-7 minutes, and includes:
  • Welcoming to the front of the church during a worship service
  • Pouring and blessing of the water
  • Asking three questions about your faith and promises
  • Anointing with water
  • Prayer for the newly baptized
  • Presentation of the newly baptized to the Congregation
The person being baptized will receive a Baptismal Certificate to mark the celebration and it will be recorded in our Baptismal Registry. May I invite my family and friends to the baptism? How many? You can invite as many people as you like to the celebration of baptism. Do you perform baptisms for adults? Yes. Our tradition embraces infant baptism, and we do welcome adults to be baptized. First, you should consult with the minister to discuss the meaning of baptism, and a date for the celebration will be determined at that time. My partner and I are same-gender. Any problems baptizing our child? No problem at all. We welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation, or of their social, cultural and economic background.