Baptism during Lent

Question from Elizabeth on 1/21/2008:

I have always been told that you cannot baptize during Lent. One of my friends asked me to baptize her baby and she wants him baptized in mid-February. When I asked my priest, he again advised me that baptisms were not done during Lent. Today she stated she called one of the other Catholic churches in town and the secretary told her that it would be okay. Is there a reson why my priest says no and another priest says yes, or does each priest make his own decisions about this?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 1/21/2008:


Baptisms may be done on any day and are not prohibited during Lent. Your priest is incorrect to deny baptism during Lent. I should mention though that the ordinary minister of baptism is a priest or deacon, which means that you should not baptize your friend's baby unless the baby is in danger of death and no priest or deacon is available.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers

1 comment:

  1. Lent is oriented toward the celebration of the sacraments of initiation at Easter, so care must be taken to maintain this central focus. Ideally, the baptism of infants should not take place during Lent except in the case of emergency in keeping with the ancient tradition of the Church... Infant baptism during the Easter Season follows the traditional custom of the Church. It is good to reflect on our preparation for Lent
    1. No Gloria is said or sung (GIRM #55); specific solemnities during Lent are the exception.
    2. We abstain from “Alleluia” during Lent, especially during the Gospel Acclamation (#62) but including in other music as well.
    3. It is forbidden for the altar (sanctuary) to be decorated with flowers (Laetare Sunday [4th], solemnities and feasts are an exception (#305).
    Abstaining from infant baptism in solidarity with our Catechumens who await the Easter waters and Sacraments of initiation within the Vigil Celebration...seems most appropriate...give it to God...always consult your Bishop's office...a parish secretary may not have the authority or the knowledge of the Bishop's heart on this matter.