Your Special Day
Congratulations on the birth of your baby. Your baby’s baptism is a time for celebration and joy. Naturally you want the best for your baby. The first thing you do after your baby is born is to start loving your baby. You kiss him/her, you hug him/her, you feed him/her. Usually, you hardly think about what you are doing. You simply love your baby. And as you do so, you help your baby to grow into a mature, loving adult – as one of the family.
Our heavenly Father shows his love for us in the same way as you show your love for your baby – by signs and gestures. And the ceremony of baptism is full of them. You and God love in the same way – by signs and gestures. Baptism is one of the most precious gifts that you can give to your baby so prepare for it with prayer and thanksgiving in your heart.
Choose your baby’s Godparents with care. (One male, one female) They must be confirmed and practice the faith. Ideally they should be living near enough to get to know your child. They will be undertaking to share with you the responsibility of handing on the faith to your child. A distant relative in America would not necessarily be the best choice!
May the Lord guide you as you prepare for this Sacrament.
To arrange a Baptism
Contact the Parish Office 064-7761669 to book the baptism. Complete the application form and present it along with a photocopy of your child’s birth certificate on the day of the Baptism
On the day:
Please be on time ….Please be in the Church at least 10 minutes before the time. Advise family and guests of same.
If the Baptism is at 2p.m you need to be in the seat no later than 1.50pm. It is particularly important on the occasion when there are a number of Baptisms as a courtesy to other families. Furthermore the priest is likely to have other appointments scheduled.
You will need the following for the Baptism
- A Baptismal Candle for the ceremony.
- A White Garment (shawl or Christening robe) to be put on during the ceremony.
- While there’s no guarantee that your child won’t cry during the ceremony, it may help if the child is fed just before coming to the church. Bring an extra feed and/or soother in case the baby gets upset during the ceremony.
Questions about Baptism
What is the role of the sponsor at Baptism?
The role of the godparent or sponsor at the baptism of the child is to join with the parents in presenting the child and to be a help and support to the child in growing in faith and living the Christian life.
They stand with the parents and proclaim their faith on behalf of the child. Only one godparent is required but there may be two. In some cultures it is a common and legitimate custom to allow a greater number. It follows from this that the Godparent ought also to live out those same Christian values and way of life that the ceremony implies. For this reason the Church requires that the godparent be a confirmed catholic who has received the Eucharist and lives out the life of faith required by the role.
Must both godparents be catholic?
One godparent must be a catholic who has been confirmed and has received the Eucharist, and who lives a life worthy of the role that he or she is about to undertake. It is possible to have just one godparent.
The Sacrament of Baptism
In the Sacraments we meet Jesus. Baptism is a Sacrament. Sacraments use familiar, everyday things, (like water, oil, bread) to make real for us the presence of Jesus. Each day we use words and signs to communicate with one another. God also communicates with us in the sacraments through words and signs. The signs used in Baptism are water, oil, white garment and light. When someone is baptised, that person is joyfully made a child of God the Father, a brother or sister of Christ, and a member of the people of God, the Church.
Your Baby’s Baptism
Early in the Baptism ceremony the priest says “The Christian Community welcomes you with great joy.” This is the core theme and meaning of the ceremony.
The priest greets the parents, godparents and friends in the Church. The parents declare that they want Baptism for their child, they give the baby’s name and promise that they will bring the child up in the Catholic faith and be good and practicing Catholics themselves. The priest then signs the baby’s forehead with the sign of the cross and invites the parents and godparents to do the same.
All listen to readings from Scripture and some special prayers are said. (Ministers of the Word and/or family members may read the scriptures and prayers.) The saints are also asked to help and guide us. The priest anoints the child on the chest with the Oil of Baptism, as a sign that he/she is being set aside for a special friendship with Jesus.
After the water is blessed, parents and godparents and all present are asked to renew their Baptismal vows. Then the parents and godparents are invited to come around the Baptismal Font. The priest pours water on the child’s head, saying: “I Baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The child is then anointed on the forehead with the Oil of Chrism. The godmother assists in wrapping the child in a white Baptismal shawl. The child’s baptismal candle is lit from the large Easter Candle. This is handed to the parents with the words: “Receive the light of Christ.” The priest touches the child’s ears and mouth and prays that the child may soon hear God’s Word and praise Him in prayer.
In the final part of the ceremony, the family is invited to bring the baby, who has just become a new creation, a new person, to the altar.In this action there is a pointing forward to Confirmation, the Mass and First Holy Communion. To share in the Mass is the privilege of the baptised. These Sacraments will complete the child’s entry into the Christian believing community. This part includes the saying of the great prayer of the Christian community, the Our Father. Finally, special blessings for the baby, the parents and for all present are said. Parents are reminded that they will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith.
Registration of Baptism
After the ceremony, the parish priest records the baptism in the Baptismal Register of the parish. This record includes the full names of the child, parents and godparents, the child’s date of birth, the date of the baptism and the name of the officiating priest or deacon. A Certificate of Baptism can then be issued by the parish as and when required