Baptism

The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of sin. Water is poured on the head and the following formula is said: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church.

Through the sacrament of baptism, we are forgiven of orginal sin as well as all personal sins. We become adopted sons and daughters of the Father, members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit. "The person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

In ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by an ordained minister. However, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

 

Please click on the below links to learn more about:

 

Infant Baptism

 

If you are interested in having your child baptized, please contact our Parish Office: 570-421-2342.

 

Adult Baptism

 

If you are an adult and have considered becoming a baptized member of the Church, please contact our pastor, Fr. Jerry: frjerry@ptd.net or call the Parish Office: 570-421-2342.

 

Baptisms at St. Matthew's Church are performed on:

  • First Saturday of month after Vigil Mass

  • Third Sunday of month after 8:30 a.m. Mass
  • Every Sunday at 12:15 p.m. Mass (not on holidays and limited to two baptisms per Mass
  • 1:45 p.m. Spanish Mass (not on holidays and limited to two baptisms per Mass)

"Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." (John 3:5)

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