Baptism is the first step in a lifelong commitment and discipleship. It is the first sacrament of Christian initiation whereby we are brought into the family of the Church. Through it we are freed from sin and become adopted sons and daughters of God. We can be baptised either as babies/children or, if not previously baptised a Christian, as an adult desiring to become a Catholic (in this case, the adult should refer to the RCIA course detailed elsewhere on our website).
This occasion is exciting. New garments are purchased for the child or even family heirlooms are refreshed. The family gathers, everyone dresses up in their best clothes and the service is followed by a party. All these things are important, but they should not serve to diminish this most beautiful sacrament created by God. Before starting His public ministry, Jesus submitted Himself to be baptised by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove and God spoke of being pleased with His Son. At that moment the Holy Trinity was present. When babies are baptised, they are welcomed into God’s church. In their name, all evil is rejected and their souls are washed from the original sin brought about by Adam and Eve. Instead, they receive many graces from God and by commanding His disciples to baptise all nations, Jesus established the means by which people could begin a new life with God and be dead to sin.
Preparation meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at 7 pm in the church (please check the parish newsletter for any changes). You only need to attend one. These are useful for parents in a practical as well as a spiritual way. Often one of the parents is looking after the baby or is working in the evening. Therefore, we suggest that at least one parent attends the meeting.
A date and a time need to be established for the baptismal ceremony which usually takes place on a Saturday. When you make contact, please propose 2 – 3 dates and times and then it will be easy to check the church diary and book a time and date which suits everyone.
Please make an appointment to see Father Gregory in person, who will give you a form to be filled in. This includes details such as the given name of the baby, the names of the two godparents and so forth. In addition to the godparents, you can have witnesses. Please fill the form in legibly, as the details need to be then transferred to the parish records, and bring it to the Presbytery (please do not send an electronic version, please don’t return it to the catechists at the preparation meeting but bring it to the parish house). Parents are expected to attend a baptismal preparation meeting and so a list of attendees will be returned to Fr Gregory.
All godparents must be baptised Christians and at least one must be a practising Roman Catholic. A commitment is made to play a role in the child’s future spiritual development. You may also wish to have some sponsors (witnesses), who do not need to be Catholic.
As your family and friends arrive for the ceremony, please remind them that they are entering the House of God and to maintain a respectful silence. As they wait, they may use the opportunity to pray for the child.