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Can a Baby Be Baptized During Lent?


In this podcast, Christina shares that her nephew will soon be baptized, but she heard that baptisms shouldn’t be performed during Lent. She asks Father Dave if this is true, and if so, why?

Father Dave explains that it’s not that we can’t perform baptisms during Lent, but we shouldn’t.

“The reason that the answer is ‘shouldn’t’ is because Lent is our desert time leading up to the waters of Baptism at Easter,” he said. Father Dave points out that what we see in a lot of the prayer and scripture readings during the latter portion of Lent leading up to Holy Week and Easter are about baptism. “So, as we’re building up to a thing, typically, we keep that thing at bay. It would be like a couple preparing for marriage, and the Church would say that they should be abstaining from that thing that is reserved for marriage.”

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Father Dave also explains that there are, of course, exceptions: “Now all that being said, Lent is six weeks, and the Church also places an importance on baptizing babies. So, it doesn’t force people to say you must wait six weeks.” Typically parishes won’t do more public celebrations of baptism. He points out that some parishes celebrate infant baptisms during the course of Sunday Mass throughout the year. Typically parishes would not do that during Lent and would keep baptism ceremonies more private.

The Sundays of Lent are really preparing the entire community for the waters of Baptism at Easter because we are walking along with those who are preparing for Baptism for the first time. Lent itself was created in the first place as a final stage of retreat for those who would be baptized at the Easter Vigil.

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So, the Church doesn’t completely forbid anyone from being baptized during Lent. Especially in cases of emergency baptisms. However, generally baptisms run contrary to the narrative of Lent. Father Dave also says shares that despite all this, the policy of baptisms during Lent vary from parish to parish. (Original Air 01-04-18.)