A covenant with God and the congregation

Through baptism, people are united with Jesus Christ and received into his body – the worldwide church. In baptism, God makes a covenant with the baptized person, just as he did in the Old Testament with Noah after the flood (Genesis 9).

The act of baptism, which originally consisted in immersing the person being baptized and his emerging from the font, marks the bond between him and Jesus Christ, who died and rose for us. This is why baptism is of fundamental importance for the Christian churches.

The church baptizes in the name of the triune God, and in doing so follows Christ’s command: ‘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).

Since 1973 the Protestant, Catholic, and Old Catholic Churches in Switzerland have recognized each other’s baptisms. Infant baptism is customary in the 25 churches of the Protestant Church in Switzerland (PCS). Some people refrain from having their children baptized in infancy because they wish to leave it up to their children to be baptized out of faith, in the spirit of early Christian baptismal practice. In both cases this event, which is significant for a person’s life, is celebrated together with the congregation in worship.