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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 Young Children (0-6 years)

We celebrate baptisms of young children monthly at one of our weekend Masses. First time parents/guardians are asked to participate in a Baptism Preparation Class to update their understanding of baptism, the important responsibilities of Christian parenting, and learn more about the many ways our parish supports families. All families and godparents are then asked to participate in a seminar the Saturday morning prior to the actual celebration. This seminar will, in a prayerful setting, review the primary prayers of the celebration, celebrate the Welcoming Rite with the anointing with the Oil of Catechumen, and review the practical details for the actual celebration. Click here for more information. To schedule an initial interview and reserve a date for your child's baptism, please contact John Simpson, 206-654-4658.  Please allow at least TWO MONTHS for baptismal preparation.  

Commonly Asked Questions

Are there any requirements in order to have my child baptized at St. James Cathedral?
Parents/Guardians are required to be a registered parishioner here or have a personal connection with a registered parishioner (i.e. grandparents are members of the parish). If a family is a member of another parish, a letter must be received from their own parish granting permission for the baptism indicating that they are registered and have participated in that parish's baptism preparation class. Please allow at least TWO MONTHS for baptismal preparation.

Who can be a godparent?
Church law requires that there is at least one godparent for the child baptized. Godparents need to be active, practicing and confirmed Catholics at least 16 years in age. Godparents need to submit written proof of registration from their parish.

Can a non-Catholic be a godparent?
No, only a Catholic can be a godparent because they are asked to promise to help support raising the child in the Catholic faith. A non-Catholic Christian can witness the baptism as long as there is one Catholic godparent. A non-baptized person cannot be a godparent or witness.

What if the godparents can't come to the actual celebration?
You can have a proxy stand in for the godparent(s). Please let the staff know so they can record the name of the proxy on the certificate.

Can I schedule a private baptism?
No, unless there is an exceptional circumstance. Baptism celebrates the initiation of the child into the parish community and it is very important that the community is present at the time of the celebration.


To schedule an initial interview and reserve a date for your child's baptism,
please contact John Simpson, 206-654-4658. Please allow at least TWO MONTHS for baptismal preparation.

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


Return to the Sacraments Page



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303