Originally for adults, Baptism is a celebration of Conversion or change of life, and of Belonging, becoming part of the Community of disciples of Christ called ‘the Church’.
Baptism is now often celebrated for the infant children of members of the Church, on the strength of their parents’ faith and with the expectation that that faith will be passed on to them by their Parents:
“Parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of Faith; May they also be the best of teachers” (Rite of Infant Baptism).
If you hope to Baptise your child, download the form ‘Your Child and Baptism‘, complete it, and return it to the Parish office (9 Stow Hill), or give it to the priest to deliver. Please note electronic submissions of the completed form will not be accepted.
Adults interested in being Baptised and Confirmed into the Catholic Church should start by joining the regular Sunday congregation, and then talking to one of the priests about how they might proceed.
Older children over ‘the age of reason’ (8yrs) but not yet reached the age of majority (18yrs) will undertake the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children of a Catechetical Age (RCIC).
Why Should We Baptise Our Baby?
- Celebrating Baptism is a chance for all the family to get together, to celebrate and to thank God for the new life which He has given.
- It is a time to remember that your baby is a part of God’s family as well as part of a human family.
- Jesus told his disciples to baptize people who wanted to become Christians, and to join the Church.
- Baptism is the ‘gateway to the Sacraments’; it is the opening to life in Christ. From Baptism we receive the grace and opportunity to grow in knowledge and love of God through his Word Jesus Christ teaching us in the Scriptures, and his Spirit helping us to recognise and realise his saving touch in Jesus in the celebration of the other sacraments.
- Baptism is NOT an insurance policy to ensure that your child goes to heaven, but it encourages them to be open to God and to know of His love for them.
What do I need to know prior to the service?
Most of your questions will be covered in the Parents Preparation for Baptism meetings, which run in the Parish every few months. During the meetings you will be given an outline of the Baptism service, items for consideration, and some insight into the commitment you are undertaking for your child. At the end of the three meetings, you will have the opportunity to fix a date, time and place for the celebration.
Choosing Godparents – things to keep in mind
When choosing a Godparent for your child it is important to remember that the Catholic Church has the requirement that at least one Godparent must be at least 16 years of age, made First Communion and Confirmation in the Catholic Church, and a regular attender at Mass. Your chosen Godparent will be given a declaration to sign that they understand the responsibility they are undertaking and meet the minimum criteria set out by the Catholic Church. They will then have to take that declaration to their parish priest to verify their suitability to be nominated as Godparent.
The role of a Godparent is often misunderstood. To discover more about what it means to be a Godparent and why the Church has the criteria above, take a look at the video below on the ‘Role of Godparents’.
How do I join the Parish Preparation for Parents?
Download the leaflet ‘Your Child and Baptism’, complete it, and return it to the Parish office (9 Stow Hill), or give it to the priest to deliver. Please note electronic submissions of the completed form will not be accepted.