From a reader…
I was reading the bulletin of my former parish recently and noticed they are no longer doing baptisms during Lent. I know this is a recent policy change – probably related to the hiring of a new sister to oversee such issues – because my daughter was baptized during Lent at this parish just a few years ago. I can think of a dozen reasons why this is a bad policy on its face, but is denying baptisms during Lent permissible? Thank you.
GUEST PRIEST RESPONSE: Fr. T. Ferguson
There is absolutely no prohibition of baptisms taking place during the season of Lent in the universal law. Baptisms may not take place from Holy Thursday until the Easter Vigil, but that small window of exclusion seems reasonable. In addition, the sacrament of baptism is most fittingly celebrated at the Easter Vigil and during the Easter season.
I could see, towards the end of the Lenten season, encouraging families to wait until Easter to have little Athanasius or Sexburga baptized at Easter (the Easter Vigil might be a bit too much of an ordeal to expect an infant and her sleep-deprived parents to endure), and I can see not having a large, public baptismal ceremony with multiple children being baptized during the penitential season of Lent. But hopefully, the parish in question, even if they don’t advertise regular baptisms during Lent, is not prohibiting baptism during Lent. That’s just foolish.