What is baptism?
Baptism is a sacramental seal acknowledging our welcome into and acceptance of Christian life. In the United Church of Canada, baptism is one of the two sacraments that we celebrate, along with Holy Communion. At Metropolitan United Church, we baptize any who come to us seeking this sacrament, regardless of church association. Baptism is not a requirement for God's love. We believe people who live or die without baptism are in no way condemned, lost, or damned.
How do I arrange a baptism?
The first step is to meet with one of our ministers. They will review the significance of baptism for you or your child. Through baptism, a person is welcomed into the Christian faith and develops a relationship with a faith community. Baptism can hold tremendous significance for the parent as well. If you are new to Metropolitan United Church, we hope this will be a moment of discovery for you.
Do I have to be a member of Metropolitan United Church to have a baptism there?
Yes, you need to be a member of Metropolitan United Church to have a baptism. For more information on how to become a member, click here.
Do both my partner and I have to be practicing Christians to have our child baptized at Metropolitan?
No, both parents do not have to be practicing Christians to have your child baptized at Metropolitan.
You may also want to consider the option of a Celebration of Birth, which is almost the same as a baptism without the trinitarian formula. This rite of passage enables a family who may blend Christianity with another faith tradition to bring a blessing to their newborn without compromising the belief system of either parent. In any event, one of our ministers can help you with this decision.
Is there a charge for the baptismal ceremony?
No, the baptismal ceremony is free of charge.
What should I expect during the baptism ceremony?
Baptisms normally take place during our regular Sunday 11 a.m. service, witnessed by our full congregation. This is important, because during the ceremony, the congregation makes a promise to the person being baptised to support that person in his or her spiritual growth. The ceremony takes a little more than five minutes, and includes:
- Welcoming to the front of the church during service
- Pouring and blessing of the water
- Asking three questions about your faith and promises
- Anointing with water
- Praying for the newly baptized
- Presenting the newly baptized to the Congregation
The person being baptized will receive a Baptismal Certificate to mark the celebration and it will be recorded in our Baptismal Registry.
May I invite my family and friends to the baptism?
You can invite as many people as you like to the celebration of baptism. Our sanctuary is large and welcoming.
Do we have a space for a reception following the baptism?
Yes, we have a newly designed space called the Metropolitan Centre that is available for your reception, with full kitchen and catering facilities as well as tables and chairs. There is a financial cost for renting out space.
Do you perform baptisms for adults?
Yes, as a Reformed Church, our tradition embraces baptism for people of any age, from infants to elders.
My partner and I are a same-sex couple. Will you baptize our child?
Yes, Metropolitan United is an affirming church and we welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural, economic, and social background.
For more information, please view our Baptism Information Package (2016):