Congratulations and Thanks
We extend a warm welcome to all who visit our Web site, and a very special welcome if you intend to have your child baptised in our Parish.
Congratulations on the birth of your child! The Parish Community shares in your joy. Thank you for wanting to have your baby join the family of the church through Baptism. By asking for your baby’s Baptism, you are publicly thanking God for His gift to you and making a commitment to bring up your child in the Christian faith. Baptism is the beginning of your child’s journey of faith. Your efforts will not only help your baby to grow up in the love of God; they will also help you to grow in God’s love. As you teach your child to pray, you yourself will deepen your prayer. This is the responsibility you take on when you present your child for Baptism. We will help you carry out your decision by giving you our wholehearted support.
Your Baby’s Baptism
An important Question… An important Question… An important Question…
Why have you requested baptism for your child in the Church?
There may be many reasons… Seems to be the thing to do? Someone else in the family wants it? It’s on my “to do” list? I’m afraid something might happen my child? It’s a significant step that starts the faith journey?
How the Church sees Baptism
The Church sees Baptism as the first important step on the Christian journey. On the day your child was born, he/she was welcomed into their family. On the day of baptism they are welcomed into the bigger family of the Lord, the Church. In baptism we enter into a unique and special relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and we try to live out that relationship in and through the people around us. Or put another way … In Baptism we become
- A son/daughter of God the Father
- A brother/sister of Jesus Christ
- A temple of the Holy Spirit
- A member of God’s family, the Church.
Parish Application Form:
To request baptism for your child, please contact the Parish Secretary, at the Parish Office, (Tel: 065 707 9829). There is a requirement of 6 weeks notice. You will be given the Application Form and the Baptismal Literature at the Office.
A copy of your baby’s Birth Certificate must accompany the Application Form, which must be signed by both parents and returned at least one week before the Preparation Meeting to the Parish Office.
In our parish, we are blessed to have a dedicated Baptismal Team. If you live outside the parish of the Divine Word, a letter from that parish is required. This is to receive permission from your own parish priest to have your child baptised in our parish.
Should you for any reason need to change the date of Baptism which you have booked, please consult the Parish Secretary as early as possible.
A Preparation meeting is held each month to which parents and godparents are invited. This meeting is informal and aims to provide parents and godparents with a greater understanding of the sacrament of Baptism. It is also a good way to meet other parents in the parish. The meeting is usually held on the Monday prior to the first Baptism of the month at 8:00 p.m. in the Parish Centre. It lasts approximately one hour. Attendance is required, and a team member will confirm the date with you.
Choose your child’s Godparents with care. They must be practicing Catholics, confirmed, and be at least sixteen years of age. They will be undertaking with you to share the responsibility of handing on the faith to their godchild, as he/she grows up. The basic requirement for Baptism is one Godparent. If there are two, they must be male and female. A Christian of another denomination cannot be a Godparent or Sponsor. However he/she can be a Christian Witness at a Catholic Baptism. The child will still need a Catholic Godparent.
The Symbols Used in the Baptism Ceremony…
The Sign of the Cross:
A stamp or imprint on something is a sign of its origin or ownership. The sign of the cross which we make at the beginning of the ceremony on the child’s forehead, claims him/her for Christ.
In the Celebration of Baptism TWO different oils are used;
- The Oil of catechumens – The child is anointed on the chest with this oil as a sign that the Lord is giving them strength for the Christian journey they are beginning.
- The Oil of Chrism – A very sacred oil, which the child is anointed with on the top of the head. Oil is used to anoint kings and monarchs, it sets people aside for a mission. We are set aside for the Christian mission on the day we are baptised.
Profession of Faith:
YOU have requested baptism for your child. In doing this YOU ARE MAKING A COMMITMENT to bringing up your child in the faith. – We promise to live by Christian values and pass on those values to our child. We promise to bring our child to Mass and the Sacraments, for this is what it means to belong to the Christian family. Therefore we profess the faith that we promise, before the community gathered, to pass onto our child. We pray for the grace to live as good Christian witnesses before our child.
Water is essential for life! In Baptism, water symbolises the new life we receive in Christ. Just as we nurture and care for a plant or shrub, in order for it to live a healthy life, we too must nurture and care for our faith in order for it to grow healthy and strong.
The White Robe is a symbol of Christ. After they were baptised, the early Christians used to clothe themselves in white garments to show that they had “put on Christ”. In the same way, the child, during the baptism ceremony, is clothed in the white shawl to show that they are “clothed in Christ” or “wrapped up” in the love of Christ!
The Baptism Candle:
The large Easter Candle (or Pascal Candle) is lit for the Baptism ceremony. This light symbolises Christ, the Risen Lord, who overcame the cross and rose to new life. It is a symbol of hope! A smaller Baptism Candle is lit from the Easter Candle. This light, love and hope of Jesus is being passed on to the new Christian through YOU the parents.
After the Baptism Ceremony…
As your child grows it is important to pray with them, share some bible stories (maybe purchase a Children’s Bible), visit the Church to light a candle for someone who is sick, attend Mass…etc.
We pray God’s Blessing upon you in the challenge ahead of bringing up your child in the faith….
Registration of Baptism
The parish records the baptism of your child 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 be issued by the Parish Office as and when required.
If you would like more information, please contact us by phone: 065 707 9829 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org