What is the difference?

Baptism is a rite of belonging in which we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. Confirmation is how we make a mature affirmation of the commitment made at our baptism to be part of the Church. For those who have been confirmed in other denominations, Reception is the mark of one’s desire to be part of the Episcopal Church.

At Saint Mark’s, we baptize people of all ages, offering classes to meet the varying needs of those seeking the rite. We understand baptism, along with the Eucharist, to be one of the two major sacraments—that is, ritual actions that convey God’s grace in a special and powerful way.


Baptisms in the Episcopal Church occur on or near four feast days with a particular association with baptism: All Saints Sunday in November, the Baptism of Jesus in January, Easter Vigil (on Easter Eve) in the spring, and Pentecost Sunday in late spring/early summer. During the closure of the building due to the pandemic Baptisms have become somewhat more complicated


2021-2022 Baptism Dates

  • Saturday,  April 3, 2021 - The Great Vigil of Easter
  • Sunday, May 23, 2021 - The Feast of Pentecost
  • Sunday, August 8 - The Feast of the Transfiguration (special additional Baptismal service)
  • Sunday, November 7, 2021 - The Feast of All Saints
  • Sunday, November 14, 2021 - Bishop's Visitation (special additional Baptismal service)
  • Sunday, January 9, 2022 - The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord
  • Saturday, April 16, 2022 - The Great Vigil of Easter


Baptismal Preparation Class and Rehearsals

Designed specifically for baptismal candidates and their sponsors. Prior to the class, candidates and their families meet with clergy to learn about this rite of initiation into the Christian faith. The day before the baptismal liturgy, typically 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, the baptismal candidates and their sponsors get together to meet one another and to learn more about this ancient practice. Time is set aside to ask questions and to walk through the baptismal liturgy.


Adult Baptism

A series of inquirers classes, usually beginning at the start of Lent, serves two purposes: It acquaints the participants with information about the Episcopal Church and about what it means to live a Christian life and to know Christ. It also prepares individuals for Baptism and Confirmation, or Reception into the Episcopal Church. Confirmations and receptions happen on Cathedral Day when the bishop is with us. Baptisms can happen at the Vigil or on any of the other three baptismal days.



Dean Steve Thomason, sthomason@saintmarks.org, 206.323.0300

Adult Confirmation, Reception to the Anglican Communion, or Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows

Confirmation is the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ by a solemn, public reaffirmation of our Baptismal promises, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. The rite of Reception is similar, for those Baptized adults coming to the Episcopal Church from another Christian communion. For a variety of reasons, people may discover a need several times in their life to publicly reaffirm the meaning of their Baptism, in the presence of the Bishop and with laying on of hands. All three rites are offered at the cathedral on Cathedral Day. Typically, members of the cathedral will participate in The Inquirers' Class as preparation for these rites.

With the Cathedral Day liturgy suspended for both 2020 and 2021, the RIte of Confirmation at the cathedral will take a different form. An outdoor service of Confirmation was offered on November 21, 2020, and similar events may be offered in the future while the pandemic continues.


Youth Confirmation

Confirmation is about making a mature decision to be a part of a community and the desire to have a deeper relationship with God. There is no "right age." Wondering if you are ready? Then begin having that conversation with your parents. Ask about your baptism. Pick up the Book of Common Prayer look at the service for Baptism, Confirmation and the Baptismal Covenant. If you believe this is something you would like to do, then let's begin the conversation.


Confirmation Luncheon and Rehearsal

When the building is open as usual, this event would take place on the Friday before Cathedral Day. This event, along with the Cathedral Day liturgy itself, is suspended for both 2020 and 2021. 

Designed especially for confirmands and their sponsors. This time is set aside for for a celebratory lunch in anticipation of confirmations, receptions, and reaffirmations the following Saturday at Cathedral Day. In addition, there will be time for any final questions confirmands or their sponsors may have about the rite of confirmation, and we will rehearse what to expect on Cathedral Day.



For additional information contact: Dean Steve Thomason,sthomason@saintmarks.org, 206.323.0300

The Cathedral Baptismal Font

by Julie Speidel
Acclaimed Northwest sculptor Julie Speidel has created a Baptismal Font for Saint Mark’s, in white Vermont marble and patinated bronze, which responds to the unique qualities of space and materials in the cathedral nave. Speidel’s sculptures engage an array of cultural influences, reaching back through antiquity to the stone- and bronze-age peoples of Europe, the early Buddhists of China, the indigenous tribes of her native Pacific Northwest, and on into twentieth-century modernism. The artist's design for Saint Mark’s Baptismal Font was influenced by the cathedral’s own architectural elements, incorporating reflections of its rose window, a patina mirroring the Flentrop organ pipes, and geometry mirroring its arched windows. The sculpture was also inspired by the artist’s school-age experiences in and around the cathedrals of England, including a chance encounter with the Archbishop of Canterbury.