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Author Topic: Palm Sunday Baptism  (Read 13647 times)

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Palm Sunday Baptism
« on: August 29, 2010, 11:00:06 AM »
This is crazy planning but I can't help it - I'm a worrier!

I have a due date of late March, very early April. My whole family and my husband's family are religiously Apples, although different varieties (i.e. we and my family of origin are Pink Ladies, a few are Golden Delicious, a couple Granny Smiths, and some generally just stay in the tree on Sundays ;)). We wish to have our child baptised within a couple of weeks of birth, which is typical of Pink Ladies. Traditionally in our family, baptism is followed by a family/friend get-together.

Here's the problem: the first week I feel like we could really plan for is Palm Sunday. Followed by Easter Sunday and then two huge event Sundays for our church. I feel that Easter is for sure out of the question - even if there was no party, I can't ask people to not worship at their home churches on the most significant day on the Apple calendar. And while the church will do a baptism on the two "event" Sundays, those services are very long and I feel that they might be boring for those who aren't members of our church (I have been known to avoid them if I don't know anyone involved personally).

No family members have to travel so they would certainly be free to not attend the service, go to their own place of worship, and instead just join us for the luncheon, absolutely no hard feelings.

So would it be rude to have the baptism on Palm Sunday? Should I just suck it up and wait until mid-May? Should I forgo the luncheon completely due to the timing (although that would probably give me a reputation of being "cheap") and just invite my parents and his at the service?


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 12:09:46 PM »
Before fixing the date, you might ask the family members for feedback about when to do it.  But I wouldn't just forgo the luncheon completely unless you get feedback that your relatives don't want to attend a baptism at that time of year.
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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 12:37:50 PM »
Will the church do baptisms on Palm Sunday?  Ours would not celebrate any baptisms during Lent.  My daughter was baptised last month when she was four and a half months old, which worked out well, as we could time her feedings.  A newborn can be pretty unpredictable when it comes to meal times.  I would at least wait until May if I were you.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 01:07:31 PM »
I think a talk with your priest would be the first step (baptising during Lent vs baptising "late" when the baby is over the couple of weeks you mention). If CookieChica's denomination values early baptism, delaying it just for convenience doesn't sound right to me.

Then, with your priest's recommendation in mind, talk to the family and set their expectations.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 03:13:52 PM »
Your priest probably has delt with this situation many times before and can tell you the cultural norm of your congregation.

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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 01:52:55 PM »
Talk to your priest. Many churches will not do baptisms during lent, our parish is very strict on this.

If your priest is fine with a Palm Sunday baptism then fine but if he says no, then talk to your family about Easter or wait till May.

I would be more willing to wait till May because it is easier for you and the baby.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 03:17:34 PM »
I agree with the other posters who have said to talk to your priest.  I'm pretty sure that my church wouldn't do a baptism on Palm Sunday.  I know that when I was planning my wedding (for late February), we were told specifically that the church didn't want to celebrate it during Lent.  We lucked out and Lent starts very late this year. :)

I also would definitely have the party afterwards.  I actually think that a baptism is one of those things where the party is almost more important than the ceremony itself (for social purposes, though not for religions ones).  It's a much more religion-focused event than something like a wedding, so it would potentially be more uncomfortable for people who do not attend your church (and/or share your beliefs) to attend the baptism.  Thus, the party is extra important to give people a chance to celebrate in a less church-focused way.

And, seriously, every Easter at any church I've ever attended, there is generally at least 1 baptism, and sometimes quite a bit more than that.  A LOT of people get baptized on Easter, both because of the "not during Lent" thing, and because it's a significant and appropriate day for it.  I really wouldn't worry about when your baby is baptized overmuch, and I would choose the date primarily based on your own beliefs and the recommendation of your clergy members.  Once you've chosen the date, you can figure out how to make it possible for your loved ones to celebrate the occasion.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 03:24:25 PM »
If its a Catholic church, I don't think it is permissible to baptize on Palm Sunday, not only because its during Lent but because it is completely out of character for that day, whereas Easter and every Sunday after for the whole of the Easter season (which lasts until Pentecost) is entirely appropriate.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 03:25:12 PM »
Though I don't practice any religion now, I was raised an ELCA Lutheran, and Easter is certainly an appropriate day for a baptism. As others have said, your church may not do baptisms during Lent (mine may have under certain circumstances, but would also have encouraged waiting for Easter Sunday). There is nothing rude about scheduling a baptism when it's best for you and for your church. If you're concerned people will feel pressured to attend your church on a holiday when they'd rather be attending their own, you can include a little disclaimer with the invitation, that people are welcome to attend both the baptismal service and the luncheon or just the luncheon.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 03:30:08 PM »
Our church normally does baptism and receives new members on Easter, but as PP stated, check with your priest/pastor to figure out what his policy is.

I guess the thing you need to weigh is whether the social/family or religious aspects are more important.  You could always do a luncheon on Saturday and make it clear that you don't want the party to interfere with peoples Easter plans.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 03:39:13 PM »
Another thing you might consider (if it is a Catholic church--sorry, but that's the one I am most familiar with) would be to have the baptism on Saturday morning and not as part of a service.  Then, you can have luncheon afterwards and it won't interfere with anyone's Sunday church going.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 05:56:58 PM »
I would prefer to wait, even if they allowed baptism on Palm Sunday.

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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2010, 01:05:12 PM »
I know at my church, it was very difficult to schedule a baptism since there were so many children attempting to book a date. Baptisms during Lent weren't allowed at all, and they would only schedule three children's baptisms on the same Sunday, at only one of their services. So instead of having the whole calendar to choose from, parents had the choice between only two or three available dates. I think it would be a good idea to talk to your parish first to find out what's even possible before you start making any kind of plans with the family.

Whatever you decide, I wouldn't forgo at least a small gathering for lunch or brunch or something. Since you're requesting their presence and asking them to take time to witness something that's special to you, I think you have some host duties to them.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2010, 01:40:30 PM »
Keep in mind, if you are worried about your child's immortal soul, that even the catholic religion is OK with 'emergency' baptisms. This can be done by you in an emergency, all you need is water and a few words. Talk to your priest or minister if this is your concern.


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Re: Palm Sunday Baptism
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2010, 09:12:02 PM »
None of the churchs (different denominations) that we have belonged to over the years allow baptisms on Palm Sunday or Easter.