The Sacrament of Baptism is often called "The door of the Church," because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but in priority, since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church. Traditionally, the rite (or ceremony) of baptism was held outside the doors of the main part of the church, to signify this fact.
Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and to baptize those who accept the message of the Gospel. In His encounter with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), Christ made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: "Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." For Catholics, the sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ.

Information about Godparents

Godparents join the parents in presenting the child for Baptism and help the child to lead a Christian life in harmony with the sacrament. The Rite of Baptism for Children asks them, “Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?” In helping the baptized child to lead a Christian Life through word and example, godparents assist the parents “in their duty.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains further that godparents “must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized child . . . on the road of Christian life.” In choosing a person to serve as a godparent, parents should consider carefully his or her capacity to provide this help.

Strictly speaking, a child needs only one godparent for Baptism (male or female), but may have two godparents (one male and one female). As long as there is one (Catholic) godparent, a baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic Christian community may serve as a witness to the Baptism. This Christian witness does not assume the obligations of a godparent and therefore should not respond to questions directed to the godparents during the celebration of Baptism. A person who was baptized Catholic but has abandoned the practice of the Catholic faith would not be a suitable choice as an official Christian witness to a Catholic Baptism.  Parents are free to invite others to witness the Baptism, in accord with family or cultural traditions, but only two persons (either two godparents, or one godparent and one Christian witness) are entered, by name, into the official record.  EXCERPT FROM INSTRUCTIONS FOR SACRAMENTS – INFANT BAPTISM © 2012 CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF RICHMOND

Code of Canon Law, can. 874 § 1 requires that a godparent be:

  • At least 16 years old.
  • Fully-initiated Catholic (having received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
    Not bound by any canonical penalty (e.g. a person who is married must be in a marriage which is
    recognized by the Church)
  • Leading a life of faith befitting the role to be undertaken. (Regularly attending Mass on Sunday and
    living the faith)
  • Not parents of the child.

Code of Canon Law, can. 873 requires:

  • There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Baptism Session for Parents

Parents are required to attend one Baptism Session for Parents prior to the Baptism of their child. The session schedule can be found below. Sessions are waived for parents who have attended a session in the 24 months prior to the scheduled Baptism.  Classes are held on Sunday afternoons at 1pm and last about one hour and 15 minutes.  Below is the current schedule of dates. Please call Peggy Byers at 864-4714 or send an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up.


  • June 2, 2024 for new parents
  • August 4, 2024 refresher for parents who took a class over two years ago
  • October 6, 2024 for new parents
  • December 5, 2024 refresher for parents who took a class over two years ago
  • February 2, 2025 for new parents
  • April 6, 2024 refresher for parents who took a class over two years ago
  • June 1, 2025 for new parents

Baptism Schedule
Below are the dates scheduled for Baptism during our regular Weekend Liturgies. Please call Peggy at 864-4714 for availability and scheduling. We are limited to two families per Mass. No Baptisms are scheduled during Advent or Lent. Baptisms may be scheduled to occur during the Liturgy on Saturday 5:00 PM or any of the Sunday Liturgies at 7:15, 8:45, 11:15 AM or 5:00 PM. 


  • June 15/16, 2024
  • July 13/14, 2024
  • August 17/18, 2024
  • September 21/22, 2024
  • October 26/27, 2024
  • November 23/24, 20204
  • January 11/12, 2025
  • February 22/23, 2025
  • May 10/11, 2025
  • June 14/15, 2025

This service is on selected Sunday afternoons.  A Baptism Service is a prayer service with Baptism and lasts about 45 minutes to an hour.  No Baptism Services are scheduled during Advent and Lent. We  are limited to six families per service.  The presider for Baptism Services is one of our deacons.  Here is our schedule through June 2025

  • June 23, 2024 at 1pm
  • July 21, 2024 at 1pm
  • August 11, 2024 at 1pm
  • September 15, 2024 at 1pm
  • October 13, 2024 at 1pm
  • November 17, 2024 at 1pm
  • January 19, 2025 at 1pm
  • February 16, 2025 at 1pm
  • April 27, 2025 at 1pm
  • May 18, 2025 at 1pm
  • June 22, 2025 at 1pm

Paperwork required for Baptism

Prior to scheduling the Baptism or attending the preparation class you will need to complete a Baptism Data Form. You can request the form from the parish office or click here. Catholic godparents are required to complete and submit a Godparent Attestation Forms.  This form is required by the Diocese and must be signed by the pastor from the godparent's parish or his delegate.  Completed forms may be faxed to 804-560-3565 Attn: Peggy Byers, dropped off at the Parish Center, or mailed to St. Edward the Confessor Church, Attn:  Peggy Byers, 2700 Dolfield Road, Richmond, VA 23235.


Updated 5/29/2024



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