The sacrament of Baptism and joining the church
In holy baptism a person is received into the universal Christian church and the local parish. The Lutheran church baptises infants, older children and adults.
Jesus came and said to them:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20 (NRSV)
Baptism is one of the two sacraments of the Lutheran church alongside the Eucharist. In a baptismal service, the person being baptized is marked with the sign of the cross, baptized with water and blessed by the laying on of hands.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church practises infant baptism. Parents want the very best for their child. In the Christian church the best we know is life as a child of God in his protection and care, and this is received in baptism. In baptism a child joins God's family as God calls the child by name to be his own. Baptism also links a child with centuries-old Christian tradition.
Do you wish to get baptised or have your child baptised?
If you wish to become a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and your local parish, if you're seeking baptism or if you wish to have your child baptised, please contact your local parish. It is recommended you do this well in advance of your desired date.
A child under the age of 12 can only be baptized and taken into the Evangelical Lutheran Church if at least one of the legal guardians is a member of the church. Infants are typically baptised at the age of around two months, but there is no age limit. With children and youths aged 12 to 17, a written permission from both the child and his or her guardian(s) is required, but the guardians no longer need to be members of the church themselves.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church does not re-administer baptisms. If a person has been baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, he or she will not be baptised again and can join the church without baptism.
With youths and adults baptism and entering the Evangelical Lutheran Church is always preceded by lessons in the Christian faith and the Lutheran confession. These lessons can take many forms, for example as private lessons by the parish priest or a confirmation class.
Baptism is conducted by a pastor in a church or some other church facility, at home or at some other suitable place. A baptism in a church can take place in a public worship service or as a separate occasion. Regardless of the manner and place, however, baptism is a Christian worship service as well as a family occasion.