The Sacrament of Baptism provides the foundation for Christian living; it is the gateway to life with Jesus Christ. It is much more than a “naming ceremony” or a blessing for the baby. Baptism is a sacrament founded by Christ Himself and through baptism:
- We are forgiven Original Sin – Baptism is the ordinary way of getting to heaven.
- We become members of the Church.
- We are born again as children of God.
The sacrament of Baptism is a serious matter and needs careful thought and preparation. The rite itself is quite explicit about the role and responsibility of parents who wish to bring their child into the family of the Church through Baptism. In asking to have your child baptised you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith.
- You come to Mass on Sundays, when God’s family comes together.
- You teach your child to pray.
- You teach your child the beliefs of the Catholic faith and how to lead a good, virtuous Christian life, loving God and loving our neighbour.
There are a number of things you need to do before the Baptism
- See the priest for a baptism application form and once this is returned he will make appropriate arrangements for preparation in readiness for the celebration.
- Choose the child’s name(s). At least one of the names must be a “Christian” name, i.e. the name of a saint.
- Choose godparents – normally one or two. At least one godparent must be a practising Catholic who has been Confirmed and is aged 16 or over.
(Please note: If you live in another parish but wish to have your child baptised at St Mary’s for good reasons, then permission must be sought from the Parish Priest of where you live.)
At St Mary’s, Baptisms usually take place on Sundays. During the preparation in readiness for the celebration, the priest will explain the various rites of the Baptism. You will need to bring a white shawl. The church will provide the baptismal candle, a sign of the resurrection of Jesus. Your family and friends, whether Catholic or not, are of course very welcome to attend the baptism.
There is no charge for Baptism in the Catholic Church. However, if you can afford to, it is customary to make an offering to the Church. This can be given in an envelope to the priest or Deacon on the day of the Baptism.