Spiritual Journey

Saint James' Episcopal Church - Hackettstown, New Jersey


Baptism is the rite of initiation into the church, in which a person is made a member of God’s family in the body of Christ. Adult candidates for baptism make promises on their own behalf. Sponsors for young children and infants make promises on their behalf. At baptism we promise to continue our spiritual growth by participating in the breaking of the bread and in prayer. We promise to persevere in resisting evil and to repent when we sin. We also promise to strive for justice, to promote the dignity of every human being, to seek and serve Christ present in every human being, loving our neighbor as ourselves. At baptism we take on as our life's main goal to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ.

Holy Baptism is to be celebrated in the Church during the principal service on a Sunday. Because Baptism is initiation into the body of Christ, it is always (except in the rare case of emergencies) celebrated in the presence of the congregation, which is the visible body of Christ today. We follow Prayer Book directives and reserve certain days of the Church year for the celebration of Holy Baptism. Those days are: The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (which always is celebrated on the Sunday following The Epiphany, January 6); The Easter Vigil (which is held the evening before Easter Day) or on the Sunday following Easter Day; The Feast of Pentecost (which is celebrated 50 days after Easter Day); and on the Sunday following All Saints Day (the Sunday after November 1). Baptism services may be added on other Sunday mornings, when that is appropriate.