Baptism at Sunday Mass

Have you attended a Sunday Mass at which a baby’s Baptism also occurred?

So far, all four of my children were baptized at a Mass on Sunday. We have moved to a different parish and they do not do this, so for our next baby (due in February) we probably will not have it done at Mass on a Sunday. But perhaps after Mass.

I don’t believe I’ve ever attended a RC Sunday Mass that included a baptism, which I find to be terribly sad. I have, however, witnessed several baptisms that took place during a Sunday Divine Liturgy at my Ruthenian Catholic parish.

That’s wonderful. That’s exactly when and where they should have been baptized.

That is unfortunate. In the absence of emergencies, baptisms should take place during the Sunday celebration of the Mass.

I feel both ways. I can see the value of the entire community being present. And I think it is a witness to bringing forth children. But the parish we are currently in is more family friendly than our old and private baptisms seem to be the norm.

Honestly I don’t care when and where it is done. As long as it is done.

Out of the 4 different priests who baptized our children. One has left active ministry, one has returned to the country of origin, one has been moved to another town and one has left the priesthood entirely. (All within the last 8 years. But where we moved to the priest who will baptize our next child will be a part of the parish until he retires. And if (God forbid) we are stuck in this horrid town too long, he would see the marriage or ordination of our next child. So, being done at Mass or not does not seem to be the important factor.

Is that written somewhere?

*Can. 856 Although baptism can be celebrated on any day, it is nevertheless recommended that it be celebrated ordinarily on Sunday or, if possible, at the Easter Vigil.

Can. 857 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place of baptism is a church or oratory.

§2. As a rule an adult is to be baptized in his or her parish church and an infant in the parish church of the parents unless a just cause suggests otherwise.*

While it is not true that baptisms are not to be done in a parish church on a Sunday outside of Mass except in case of emergency, it is true that it is desirable both to link baptism with Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian life, and to celebrate baptism of individuals in the presence of an assembly of the faithful, rather than in small groups. Still, there are many places where baptisms are done on Sundays, but only at Mass when done at Easter Vigil. It depends on where you are…

I totally agree.

Almost all of our infant Baptisms are done at Sunday Mass.

Yes, a few. Why do you ask?

Apart from the Easter Vigil, the infant baptisms at our parish are generally after the last Mass on Sunday. Because we are an EF parish and use the old rite of baptism, the ceremony takes much longer as there are many more prayers and rituals. There are 4 parts to a baptism in the old rite:

Part I: In the Narthex of the Church:
The Questioning, the Exsufflation, The Sign of the Cross, The Imposition of Hands, The Imposition of Salt

Part II: Admission into the Church Building:
Exorcism, The Sign of the Cross, The Imposition of Hands, The Admission into the Church, The Credo and Pater

Part III: In the Nave:
The Solemn Exorcism, The Ephphetha, The Renunciation of Satan, The Annointing

Part IV: At the Font:
The Profession of Faith, Baptism, The Annointing with Chrism, The White Linen Cloth, The Lighted Candle, The Last Words of Good Will

This ceremony generally lasts between 45 minutes to an hour, and is followed by the parents having the child consecrated to Our Lady. To do all this within the context of the Mass as often as our parish has baptisms (which is very frequent) might turn some people away. Our Solemn High Masses are already about 1.5 hours, so we’d be looking at 2.5 hours every Sunday.

Our baptisms are open to all, however, so it’s not uncommon to see many parishioners staying late past Mass to witness the baptism.

For me, it makes the Mass even more special and joyful. The renewal of our baptismal vows, the welcoming of a new member in the Body of Christ, the opportunity to pray for the newly baptized, … these strengthen my faith and fill me with hope.

However worthy and noble and symbolically and liturgically desirable Baptism at Sunday Mass may be, I have another perspective: Baptisms are an important teaching moment for the family. Frequently family members attend a Baptism who otherwise may not have attended church for some time. The occasion of Baptism is a special and important day for the family. In the setting of all that, I regret that families experiencing their special day may do so at a regular Sunday Mass where 90% of the people in the pews aren’t known to the family, likely don’t care, feel put-upon that Mass is taking longer than they expect, and during the Baptism ritual itself generate a background chorus of throat-clearing, butt-shifting, change-rattling, small child squaling noise to detract from the experience. This is especially pronounced when there were multiple children to be Baptized at the same Mass.

My prior parish used to do this, and I always felt bad that the families usually ended-up feeling that what should have been a special experience instead came across as a. Imposition on the congregation.

For all of these reasons I have always felt that Baptisms outside of Mass, in the end, made for a better experience for the families. I’m sure there are congregations out there that are far more supporting of Baptisms at Mass, but I also don’t think my experiences are unique.

My 8 year old son’s baptism took place at Mass.

Cool! Thanks Easterjoy

We had a baptism at mass just this past Sunday :smiley:

Our baptismal font is at the back of the church, so when Father headed to the back with the family, my little choir (six girls from age 12-21) and I headed down from the choir loft to watch through the windows if the narthex. Apparently, this inspired others in the congregation, because after we went down, we saw children and a few adults coming from all over the church to be close enough to see the baptism! The family of the infant was suddenly surrounded by “extended family.” :thumbsup:

We have had many baptisms during mass, and there have been many at other times as well, including after weekday masses.

Yes, there are congregations that are a lot more supportive of baptisms of Mass. Our parish, however, has baptisms both at Mass and outside of Mass, as it is not always practical to gather one’s relatives in time for the morning Mass. By having an afternoon option available, it spares some extended families from having to either get up at oh-dark-thirty or else pay to stay over the night before in order to be in time for the ceremony.

When both are offered, families can choose which option fits their situation the best.

While I agree that this can happen, it’s all in the way it’s presented and explained by the Pastor. We have a huge cruciform font in the Narthex…and we ask ALL the people to come out and gather around it during the Baptism in the middle of Mass (after the homily)
The Baptismal promises are joined in by all of us. The choir sings, the people cheer…it’s a big deal. People get excited in my parish when there is a Baptism. It’s a source of great joy for our congregation.


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