How to Find Your Baptism Certificate

 

 

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How to Find Your Baptism Certificate

A Baptism Certificate is typically given to the parents or family of the baptized child at or soon after the child has been baptized. If an adult is receiving the sacrament, then he or she will receive the Baptism Certificate. This small, single piece of paper with a few basic facts contained on it is a religious document.

Baptism is a sacrament that an individual typically receives when they are young. In addition to welcoming the individual into the church, it is a precursor to the remaining sacraments that the individual can receive later on in life. The Baptism Certificate provides proof that the sacrament of Baptism has been received.

A Baptism Certificate generally includes the following information:
• Full name given to the Baptized individual- usually this is also his or her birth name
• Full name of the individual’s mother
• Full name of the individual’s father
• Full name of the church where the individual is baptized
• Exact date the Baptism ceremony took place
• Full name of the godmother or first sponsor of the individual
• Full name of the godfather or the second sponsor of the individual

Baptism Certificates are often requested at the time the individual is about to receive a new sacrament. If the new sacrament is being received at the same church or in the same parish, then the church staff will simply check their records. However, if the individual is receiving the sacrament at a different church a Baptism Certificate may need to be produced as proof that the individual has indeed been baptized. Sometimes, the new church staff will simply contact the previous church’s staff and request the information.

Religious documents, such as Baptism Certificates, are generally found at their point of origin. The point of origin for any religious document would be the church or parish where the religious ceremony took place. Typically, even if the individual moves to a new parish or church, the religious document remains with the original church or parish.
Therefore, if you need to attain a new Baptism Certificate or if you simply want to have one in your possession, the first place to begin looking is the church if origin.

When you make your request, you can start with the full name and the date, including the year, that the Baptism took place. However, if it has been quite a while or if the church or parish is extremely large, more information may be needed.

Include the full name of the individual later in life (for cross referencing if necessary), the full name and the maiden name of the individual’s mother, the full name of the individual’s father, the name and address of the church where the Baptism took place, and the year of birth, or at least a close approximation of it. Additionally, if you are doing a genealogical search on your ancestors, be sure to include all of the above information in your request.

Sometimes the original church is no longer in existence because it has been closed. If that is the case, contact the church that has taken over the geographical location of the first church. If this proves to be too difficult, simply contact the main branch of your religion for guidance.

A variation to searching at the church of origin comes into play when the individual has been baptized on a military base. In that case, the individual or a close family member will need to request the Baptism Certificate from the Military Archdiocese. It is recommended that the request be made through the postal mail, e-mail, or fax. Phone requests are frowned upon and may not even be accepted.

The request generally takes at least two weeks before you will receive the document. It can, however, take up to three full weeks, depending on the difficulty of the search and other business as well. For this reason, it is best to acquire a new certificate as son as you realize that the old one has been misplaced, destroyed, or lost.

To request an official copy of a Baptism Certificate from the Military Archdiocese:
• Send a fax to 202-269-9022
• Send an e-mail to info@milarch.org
• Send a written request to:
Archdiocese of the Military Services, U.S.A.
415 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20017-1518

If you need more information before submitting your request, use the following phone number: 202-269-9100. This number is for informational purposes only.

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