Baptisms at Faith Lutheran Church


Lutherans use the term "sacrament" to describe two parts of Christian life and worship where an earthly element or sign is linked with God’s promise and Christ’s directive. The New Testament tells us that Jesus Christ commanded Baptism and Holy Communion. For Lutherans, these are rituals of worship but each also shapes broader understanding and daily living.

In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, water and God’s promises connect the one who is baptized with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This sacrament is an outward sign of our salvation and God’s unbreakable promise to us of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ. Holy Baptism marks the entrance into the Christian community, the Church, and gathers the community together as children of God joined by their connection to Christ. Baptism is once and for all, and it is for people of any age. The Lutheran church baptizes infants because we believe that baptism is God’s gracious action not ours.

In the rite of Holy Baptism, the one who is baptized is immersed in a pool of water or water is poured over his or her head as the pastor recites the name of the Triune God, “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” as Christ commanded (Matthew 28:19). The pastor lays hands on the head of the newly baptized and prays for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Other signs that signify a connection to Christ may be given during the rite according to the community’s tradition and history. These may include making the sign of a cross on the forehead, anointing with oil, dressing in a white garment, and lighting a candle. (See more in the Worship FAQ on Baptismal Practices.)

Holy Baptism occurs during the regular worship of a congregation, except in extraordinary circumstances such as the imminent death of the individual. Parents of small children, those who bring for Baptism one who is not able to answer for himself or herself, baptismal sponsors chosen by the community and family as well as those who are gathered in the assembly, publicly commit themselves to the spiritual nurture of the newly baptized during the rite. Those who are to be baptized, parents, and sponsors publicly renounce the forces of evil and confess the faith of the Church using the words of the Apostles’ Creed.

Baptism is “so great, gracious, and full of comfort, we should diligently see to it that we ceaselessly, joyfully, and from the heart thank, praise, and honor God for it.” Martin Luther, LW 35:34, 42.

After Baptism, the Christian life lies in-between the receiving of God’s promises and the fulfillment of those promises in death. Lutherans say that the baptized Christian is both “saint and sinner.” That is, the Christian still sins but at the same time is assured of forgiveness and justified by Jesus Christ. With the assurance of God’s promises, Baptism begins a life throughout which we grow in faith and service through instruction, reminders of God’s love, and the support and example of the Christian community.

Lutherans live with Holy Baptism at the center of life recalling God’s baptismal promises in a variety of ways. The sign of the cross may be made by a Christian, with or without water, at a baptismal font or anywhere, as a reminder of the gift of Baptism. Lutheran worship services often begin with a confession of sin and assurance of forgiveness or with a thanksgiving for baptism that recalls Christ’s baptismal promise. Baptism is affirmed throughout the Christian year on baptismal festivals, at life passages with a rite of affirmation of Baptism, and at death.

For more information on Baptism, read the ELCA’s statement on the practice of Word and Sacrament, The Use of the Means of Grace.*  For more information on scheduling a Baptism at Faith Lutheran Church, please contact the church office.

Faith Lutheran Church - 155 Boyson Road, Marion, IA 52302 - 319.377.9700