Baptism

We’re glad that you are interested in Baptisms at Trinity and are ready to find out more information! Please see our Baptism FAQs below. Let us know if you have any questions, need any information, or if you would like to discuss holding a baptism here at Trinity Church.

Who can be baptized? 
Anyone. We do expect that if you or your child are baptized here that it will be the beginning of a long-term affiliation with our congregation, if you are not already a member. 

What preparation is expected for children?
For infants and young children, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will meet with the clergy for a conversation about the meaning of baptism and commitment to the church. For children who are elementary-aged and up, the clergy will meet with the candidate and her/his/their family for an age-appropriate conversation about baptism. 

What preparation is expected for adults?
Adults will meet with the clergy for an initial conversation and will then be directed to a parish baptismal preparation course (of several classes) or independent study with follow-up with the clergy.

At which services will we baptize people?
Primarily at the 10 am Sunday service for English-language baptisms and the 5 pm Sunday service for Spanish-language baptisms. The 8 am Sunday service is also an option. Traditionally, the Christian Church baptizes candidates on four designated holy days: The Baptism of Our Lord (usually the second Sunday of January), the Easter Vigil (the evening before Easter Sunday), Pentecost (50 days after Easter, usually late May or early June), and All Saints Sunday (the first Sunday of November). In recognition that these dates do not always work for families, we will offer baptism up to once a month at the 10 am Sunday service. Until the Covid health crisis is over, we also offer the option of “private” baptisms following the 10 am service and coffee hour, usually at 12:30. We are also open to beach baptisms on Sundays. 

During which seasons of the church year will we allow baptisms?
Any. Traditionally, Lent was a time of preparation for baptism and so no baptism were performed during the season, but given the realities of modern life, we hold baptisms at any time of year.

How many baptisms per month? 
Once a month at the 10 am service, but there may be multiple candidates baptized at the service. During the Covid health crisis, we are open to scheduling multiple private baptisms throughout the month.

Do you do private baptisms outside of emergency situations?
Generally not, but pastoral circumstances sometimes necessitate such an eventuality. Requests will be reviewed by the clergy on a case by case basis. Non-emergency private baptisms will always be done on Sundays or at another time during the week (Monday-Thursday) when the clergy are available. During the Covid health crisis, we are flexible with non-emergency private baptisms.

What about sponsors/godparents? How many do I need? How many may I have?
A candidate must have at least one baptized sponsor (also known as godparent) who is not a parent (baptized parents are automatically considered sponsors). If no one is available, the church will arrange for a parishioner to meet with the candidate/family and serve as a spiritual resource. A candidate may have up to 4 sponsors. There is no requirement relating to the gender of the sponsors. Sometimes a family asks if a godparent may be a member of another religious group. While an official baptismal sponsor/godparent must be a baptized Christian (of any denomination), there is no reason why a candidate may not have an additional spiritual mentor who is an adherent of another religion (and this person may join the family and sponsor(s) at the font, if desired). 

Must I attend your church?
We do ask that you attend a service and meet with the clergy before you or your child are baptized. We hope that you will make Trinity your spiritual home.

Are there any classes or requirements for sponsors/godparents?
There are no requirements other than being a baptized Christian. 

What do I do on the day of the baptism?
Plan to arrive at the service 20-30 minutes early (plan for time for parking, especially in the summer months) to make yourself comfortable. Please tell your guests to do the same. Services begin on time. You may sit wherever you like. Note that the baptismal font is near the entrance of the church. There are no requirements about attire. Trinity parishioners often dress casually for services, but dress however you would like to look in your pictures. There is no requirement that the candidate wear white or a special gown, although white was traditionally worn by candidates in the past. Please note that photography/videography/cell phone recording is not allowed during services. You may take photos after the service. This is to make sure that everyone is “in the moment” of this sacred ritual (and also not distracting others). Please let the clergy know if you would like them to “stage” a photo of the baptism after the service. 

Are there fees?
There are no fees for baptism, but those seeking baptism are expected to make Trinity their spiritual home, which means making an annual pledge of financial support to the parish. If you are not ready to do that, we do invite you to consider making a gift in honor of the baptism. There is no suggested gift amount, but it should be something meaningful to you. The average gift amount offered in thanksgiving for a baptism is $150, but people make gifts of any amount between $50 and $500. There is, of course, no maximum!
How do I get started?

Contact Jill Osis, Parish Administrator, by email or phone (732-775-5084) to get started. She will send you a baptism information form and put you in touch with the clergy.