Lillian Elaine & Matilda Rae Towne, Tiffany & Salem’s daughters & G’ail & Rusty’s granddaughters will be baptized Sunday, March 6th, at St George’s parish during Holy Eucharist. During this special day & during the baptismal liturgy Lillian Elaine & Matilda Rae will be received into the one, holy, catholic, & apostolic church.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is full initiation by water & the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the church. God will establish an indissoluble bond with Lillian Elaine & Matilda Rae in their baptism. God adopts them, making them a member of the church & inheritors of the Kingdom of God (Book of Common Prayer, p. 298, 858). In baptism they will now share the new life of the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins. Baptism is the foundation for all future church participation & ministry. As a candidate for baptism in the Episcopal Church they’re sponsored by at least one baptized Christian. During the baptismal liturgy their parents, grandparents, & godparents will speak for them at the Presentation & Examination of the Candidates.
During the baptismal rite St. Georgians promise to do all we can to support Lillian Elaine & Matilda Rae by renewing our own baptismal covenant—by reiterating the Apostles’ Creed. If Deacon Jane Towne—the twins’ great grandmother—is well enough to attend, she will pour—affuse—the waters of baptism upon the twin’s heads. If Deacon Jane can’t make it, it’ll be an honor to baptize her great granddaughters. She/I will baptize them with the words “in the Name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit,” & then she/I mark on their foreheads with the sign of the cross. After they’re baptized, they’re chrismated with the oil of Sacred Chrism & “sealed by the Holy Spirit & marked as Christ’s own forever.” As a result of their chrismation, they’ll share in Christ’s royal priesthood. Then we will all welcome them into the household & family of God.
As part of this liturgy—& it’s a major component—we’ll be asked to affirm our support of Lillian Elaine & Matilda Rae by reaffirming our own baptismal covenant.
As we remember from our catechism, baptism is normally administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast day. It’s especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, Easter Day, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints’ Day, or the Sunday following, & the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.
Also, Easter Sunday & ALL Sundays—the Orthodox call them “Little Easters” are always special days in the life of St George’s parish. We’ll soon be able to celebrate the Risen Lord on Easter Day. The year 2022 will be even more Spirit-filled because of Lillian Elaine & Matilda Rae’s baptism.
I urge you to attend our baptismal liturgy on this special day in the life of St George’s. Our COVID-19 protocols are still in effect, i.e., masks are required & vaccinations & physical distancing is strongly encouraged & recommended.
Grace & peace,