Why can baptisms occur at Sunday Mass, but “this should not be done too often”? (Rites, pg 369 #9)
The reasons for this guideline are practical ones.
- Depending how many baptisms a parish has over the course of a year, they could prolong the Mass on a regular basis and cause consternation amongst the congregation.
- The additional parts and music to the Mass can be confusing/disruptive for the music ministry and altar servers.
- Having a section of crying babies that can’t be taken out of the main church or into a cry room because they need to be present for the different parts of the rite of baptism can be problematic if baptism is regularly part of Sunday Mass.
- The readings on any given Sunday may not easily lend themselves to preaching about baptism.
To do Sunday baptisms at Mass on an occasional basis is a wonderful way of highlighting the connection of an individual baptism to the parish community as a whole and the connection of baptism to the Eucharist. However, if done too often it does pose pragmatic issues.