Baptism of Older Children


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What is Baptism?

”Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.  Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission:  Baptism is a sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”  (Catechism 1213)  Through baptism, we become part of the royal, priestly people of God, called to holy lives of prayer and service.

At St. James, the sacrament of Baptism is celebrated communally, in the context of the Sunday Eucharist.  As the great poet and Anglican divine John Donne wrote, “The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and engrafted into the body whereof I am a member.”

Baptism of Older Children (7-17 years)

St. James Cathedral welcomes children of catechetical age, along with their families, on a journey of preparation for initiation into the Catholic community. The Church prepares older children and adults for all the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation by participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (link to the RCIA page). Those children who have never been baptized will participate in the RICA process adapted for older children and celebrate their sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Those children already baptized in other Christian communities will make a profession of faith into the Catholic Church and will receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation in the Rite of Reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.

As participants in the children’s RCIA, the children enter a process, a way of growing in response to God’s call. This process is marked by a number of stages, and occurs within the entire faith community of St. James Cathedral. Parents/guardians of children in the RCIA process may find that their child’s journey towards initiation prompts them to think about their own faith, and perhaps to re-examine it in a new light.

The RCIA initiation process calls for significant family involvement, in terms of regular parent classes, participation in special rites during Mass, family prayer, and living the experience of a Christian life each day. RCIA for Children sessions, including any sessions for parents/guardians, take place on Sunday mornings like the regular Sunday school program, with classes from 10:45am - 11:50am, followed by participation in the noon Mass. 

For more information, contact TerryAnn Bowen, 206-382-2018.


For information on the baptism of younger children, click here.
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