The Church encourages Catholic families to have their children baptized as soon as possible after birth not to deprive the child of the
fundamental importance of baptism. If there is any danger of death the baby must be baptized immediately (Code of Canon Law 867.2)
and anyone can baptize by pouring water over the head of the baby. At the same time saying the words: "I baptize you
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit "
The date of the baptism will depend partly on the mother's health for it is important that she is present; and partly on the time needed
for the preparation of the parents (Code of Canon Law 867.1). This is why it's a good idea to inform the priest before the birth that you
want to have your child baptized.
If you have experienced some difficulties with the practice of your faith it may be helpful to allow a little longer in order to clarify your
own beliefs and to rebuild a life of faith within your family.
In the first few centuries of the Church the custom grew up of changing one's name at baptism to express some Christian idea, such as
Irene (which means peace), In succeeding centuries, the Church advised the parents to call their children after a saint.
In choosing baptismal names parents should keep in mind the thought that the child will bear these names throughout life. They should
be careful to avoid names or combinations which will subject the bearer to ridicule. Nicknames should not be given in baptism.
Making more Christian names available will increase our knowledge of the great number of saints and holy persons who have given glory to
God by their exemplary lives. By assuming these names we honor these persons and through them almighty God, the Source of all their goodness
and virtue. Such names are certainly more becoming to members of the human race redeemed by Christ Jesus than the names of pagan gods trees,
flowers and places.
The parish is more than willing to provide resourceful material from where one can select names for boys and girls. Please feel free to can
Godparents go back to the days when most adult converts to the Christian faith had no Christian parents. Godparents spoke up for
the baptized person and, if necessary, helped him or her to grow in the faith. Today, in the vast majority of infant baptism these tasks
belong primarily to the parents.
We all come to offer support to the child's upbringing in the Christian faith. However, the Church insists that at least one godparent
who is Catholic be named whose primary role is to help the parents in bringing up the child in the Christian faith.
(Code of Canon Law 874.1) Godparents are the guarantors of the faith. Most parents choose two. When this happens, provided
one godparent is Catholic, it is certainly allowable for a non-Catholic to act as a"witness" to the baptism. Either one
of the parents cannot be/act as a godparent.
It remains important, however, that the non-catholic is baptized and of sufficient age and maturity to appreciate their role. Furthermore,
it may also prove to be embarrassing for a non-Catholic who will be asked, together with other godparents, to make a public profession of the
faith in which the child is about to be baptized when that person does not fully embrace the beliefs we are professing.
If the godparent cannot be present in person, he or she may appoint another person to serve as a proxy...
Ordinarily the appointment of the proxy should be made by the godparent in writing or before two witnesses,
in order that there be certainty as to who is the responsible person.
No it is not. We will be happy to arrange for the baptism of your baby. The priest will simply want to be assured, as with any
other parent, of your own commitment to your child's Catholic upbringing.
No. There may be one godfather, one godmother, or one of each (Code of Canon Law 873).
Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It means that we become a member of God's family; we become a Christian. We cannot become what
we already are. The baptism can't be repeated but it is desirable that you have a celebration in church and share the prayers and blessings
which are part of the baptismal ceremony. You may also wish to appoint godparents at the same time. Such a service is a lovely "thanksgiving"
for the safety and well-being of your baby.
Yes, but you will need to allow time for the child's preparation. The child will need to be given some instruction about baptism so that he/she
understands what is happening. You may well feel that you would also find some form of preparation helpful in order to clarify any
points about the faith which have given you difficulties. People sometimes wonder about how to approach a priest. After Sunday Mass
is not always the best time as there are usually crowds of people around. Try to book a time convenient for both of you in order to
meet in an atmosphere of quiet and peace.
The baby is entrusted to the mysterious but infinitely kind and powerful love of God. If anyone has any doubts about such love, then
contemplate the crucifix. The cross proves that God's love is greater than any human mind can understand or follow.
Jesus told us that
"unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God". (John 3: 5) At times this has led people to suggest
that unbaptized infants pass into a state of "limbo" - where the baby is excluded from both heaven and hell. Such a suggestion however,
misses the whole point of God's love: for loves us from the moment of conception. It is clear that very many who are unbaptized receive
God's Spirit and so are welcomed into the kingdom of God. God shares his life with us in various ways - of which baptism is the most important
Experiencing anxiety is perfectly understandable. Even people who attend church services regularly can feel nervous and shy about taking
a central part in an important ceremony such as their child's baptism. However there is no need to be worried. The celebrant (priest/deacon)
will guide you through it step by step and indicate exactly what part you play as parents. During the preparation for the baptism don't be
shy about mentioning any point or action which does worry either of you. It is important that me day of your baby's baptism doesn't become an
ordeal but a family occasion to be enjoyed and celebrated by everyone present.
Nothing. There is no fee for baptism or any other church service. One can never put a price to the divine Life God gives us through the
sacraments which the Church administers. If you care to give something, a free-will donation will be gratefully accepted and the Church
always appreciates your generosity.