Baptism

We are delighted that you are considering having your child baptised.

This is a sacred moment in your child’s life and marks the beginning of their friendship with Christ through the life of His Church. This is also an opportunity for you to thank God for the gift of your child and to renew your own commitment to the practice of your faith.

On the day of a child’s baptism

They are plunged into the death and resurrection of Christ. They are drenched in His divine life of love and mercy. From that moment onwards, the seed of this relationship with Christ is to be nurtured by their parents who are called to be “the first and best teachers of the faith by what they say and do.”

“the first and best teachers of the faith by what they say and do.”

Baptism

As parents, your child’s baptism is an opportunity for you to reflect on your own friendship with Christ and the ways in which it might grow stronger within the parish family.

To begin the process you are invited to follow the steps outlined below:

The practice of your Faith

At a baptism, the priest or deacon says these words to the parents:

PRIEST/DEACON: You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

PARENTS: We do.

These words indicate that the parents have freely asked to have their child baptised and that they are accepting “the responsibility of training him or her in the practice of the faith.”

Of course, parents can only train their child in the practice of the faith if they are meeting Christ weekly at Sunday Mass themselves. It is at Sunday Mass that Christ speaks to us as friends through his living word, the Sacred Scriptures, and feeds us with his own divine life in Holy Communion.

If you are practising your faith, then this is a grace-filled moment to deepen your friendship with Christ through his Church. The blessing of your child is also a moment of renewal for your own faith as you recognise the goodness of God and his plan for your family.

If you are not practising your faith, then Christ is inviting you to restore your relationship with him and re-establish the bonds of friendship with Him. The baptism of your child is also an opportunity for you to renew your own baptismal promises by joining the parish family at Sunday Mass.

However, if you have no desire or intention to practice your faith, then you must consider with what honesty and integrity you can answer “We do” on behalf of your child on the day of their baptism.

Introduce Yourself

Fr Matthew typically greets people at the door after the Sunday Masses, and if you are new to the parish or returning after a period away he will be delighted to meet you. Once you have joined in our parish Sunday worship and feel ready to accept the responsibilities involved in bringing your child to baptism, then you can mention this to Fr Matthew after Mass any week and he will explain the next step. After you have spoken with Fr Matthew about baptism, please email the parish office with your contact details and the details of your child, so that we can begin making arrangements. If you aren’t already registered as a parishioner, this is a good opportunity to do so, either by picking up a registration card in the church porch or completing the form online.

Baptisms usually take place in a short service (not a Mass) at 2pm on the first Saturday of the month. There are occasional variations to this and sometimes a baptism might be celebrated during one of the regular Sunday Masses.

Every other month we hold a baptism preparation session on a Saturday morning. This is a chance to meet with other parents and find out more about the meaning of baptism and the ceremonies that occur during the celebration of baptism.

Once you have spoken to Fr Matthew and then emailed the parish office you should expect to hear from one of our baptism team. They will ask for some details, book you in for the baptism course and arrange a date for the baptism itself.

What are the requirements for Godparents?

Godparents make the baptism promises alongside the parents and commit to supporting the parents in their responsibilities as Christian parents, primarily through prayer. As a minimum there must be one godparent who is a baptised, confirmed and practising Catholic who can be physically present. Baptised practising Christians of other denominations are permitted as additional godparents (officially known as ‘Christian Witnesses’). Parents are not allowed to be godparents as well. Occasionally the chosen godparents are not able to be present and if so another baptised adult can act as godparent by proxy (we will ask the actual godparent to confirm in writing). As space in the baptismal register is limited, as a general rule we do not permit more than four godparents.

What do I need to bring?

Even if the child is to be dressed in white for the service (which is not necessary) there is a ritual clothing in a white garment during the service. The “white garment” is simply a white shawl or similar, which you are asked to bring. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to be white otherwise the symbolism is lost! We provide everything else including a baptismal candle for your child to keep.

Is there a fee?

We do not charge for the sacraments. It is, however, customary to make an offering towards the upkeep of the priest and parish, and it is much appreciated if you are able to do so. This can be cash in an envelope, an online gift via this website, or a card donation via the self-service screen in the porch.

As members of our parish family you are also invited to consider a regular contribution to the costs of running the parish and its work, and you can find more information on the giving page.

FAITH & LIFE

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March 13, 2024

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March 13, 2024