Congratulations on the birth of your child! A newborn in our midst can lead us to reflect more deeply on the mystery of God’s great love for us. As a parent, you are the first model of God’s love to your child and the first teacher to your child in the ways of Faith. May God bless you with wisdom, strength and grace as you live out your responsibilities as a Christian parent.
The Basics of Baptism
Baptism is the first Sacrament and the gateway to all the other Sacraments. Through it we become adopted children of God and members of his Body, the Church. Our Christian Faith tells us that in Baptism, we:
- are reborn through water and the Holy Spirit as adopted children of God;
- join Jesus in his death and resurrection as we pass through the water;
- become members of the Church in which the Holy Spirit dwells and acts;
- become disciples of the Lord Jesus;
- are given the pledge of eternal life; and
- are forgiven of sin and transformed into a new creation full of God’s grace.
Preparation for Baptism
When you are ready to have your child baptized, please contact the Parish Office at least 3 months in advance of your intended date to register your child for the Sacrament. The parents will then meet with the priest to complete the registration form and the Baptism Preparation session. You may ask any questions you have at this time.
The Parents’ Commitment
The celebration of Baptism is the first step in the making of a Christian. Following Baptism, your child begins the journey of Faith toward full membership in the Christian community by the eventual celebration of his/ her First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Parents are asked to nurture the faith life of their baptized child each step along the way. This is the commitment parents make on their child’s baptismal day.
The Role of Godparents
Godparents have a very special role in Baptism and in the faith journey of the child and the parents. Godparents help the parents so that the child will come to profess the Faith and live by the teachings of the Church.
There are certain requirements to act as a godparent. Parents should inquire at the Parish Office regarding these requirements prior to asking any individual to assume this important spiritual role.
What will Happen at the Celebration?
The following is a brief outline of the Baptism Rite when celebrated during Mass:
1. Reception of the Child. The parents and godparents are questioned about their intentions and the child is claimed for Christ.
2. Preparatory Rites. After a short prayer, the priest anoints the child with the Oil of Catechumens for spiritual strength.
3. Rite of Baptism. This includes the blessing of the water, the vows of renunciation, the profession of faith, the Baptism, an anointing with Sacred Chrism, the clothing with a white garment and the lighting and presentation of the baptismal candle.
When Baptism is celebrated outside of Mass, a Liturgy of the Word comprising of a proclamation of Sacred Scripture and the offering of intercessions occurs after the reception of the child. The celebration concludes with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and special blessings on the parents before the final blessing and dismissal.
A Note about Photography
If the Baptism is celebrated during Mass, we ask that photography be limited to the baptismal ceremony itself and be done with the minimum of distraction and in a respectful manner.
When are Baptisms Celebrated?
The celebration of Baptism normally occurs during a Sunday Liturgy on a date chosen between the parents and the pastor, or on the third Sunday of the month at 12:30 pm at St. Mary’s.