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
2023 Baptism Dates
- Sunday, January 8, 2023 - The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord
- Saturday, April 8, 2023 - The Great Vigil of Easter
- Sunday, May 28, 2023 - The Feast of Pentecost
- Sunday, November 5, 2023 - All Saints' Sunday
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.
A series of inquirers classes, usually beginning at the start of Lent or in the Fall, 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.
Canon Wendy Claire Barrie, email@example.com, Canon for Intergenerational Ministries, with any questions, and to arrange a meeting with clergy (required).
When you are ready to move forward with the process, please complete the Baptismal Registration Form here.
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 perform a public Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows, 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.
Teenagers, ages 13–18, who desire to dig deeper into the church and their own beliefs are invited into the year-long process of preparation for youth confirmation. You don't need to be sure that you want to be confirmed to take this class. Asking those questions is the work we do together. The confirmation class is currently underway; learn more here. For more information, email Rebekah Gilmore, Interim Director of Youth Ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you are ready to move forward with the process, please complete the Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation form here.
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.