Congratulations and Thanks
Congratulations on the birth of your child! Our 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. We will help you carry out your decision by giving you our wholehearted support.
Parents are invited to visit the Sacristy or the Parish Office where there are forms available to apply for baptism for your baby. Once the parish receives your filled-out form, a member of our parish team will arrange to visit you at home to help you prepare for the celebration of the Sacrament. During the meeting the Sacrament of Baptism as well as practicalities around the ceremony are discussed and outlined. Godparents are very welcome to attend.
Baptism Dates and Arrangements
Call into the parish office or the sacristy to get a form and book a date for your child’s baptism, allowing 3 to 4 weeks notice. Baptism is offered each Sunday at 12:30pm.
Booking Your Child’s Ceremony
To arrange a baptism in our parish please contact Parish Office on (071) 966 2643.
Your Baby’s Baptism
Your child’s baptism is a time of celebration and joy. Naturally, you want the best for your child. We want to help you plan and prepare for their Baptism in the best possible way.
An important question:
Why have you requested baptism for your child in the Church?
There may be many reasons: It seems to be the thing to do? Someone else in your 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 step on the Christian journey. On the day your child was born, he/she was welcomed into your family. On the day of baptism they are welcomed into the bigger family of the Lord which is the Church. In and through baptism we enter into a unique and special relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and we live out that relationship in and through the people around us, our own family, and the wider community of faith that the parish is. 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.
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. It is also a sign of welcome and blessing from the whole community.
The Holy Oils:
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. The Oil of Chrism is used to anoint Kings and Queens at their coronation; the anointing with oil sets people aside for a mission. Likewise, 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 bring up your child in the practice of the faith. At their baptism, you will promise to live by Christian values and pass on those values to our child. You will promise to bring your child to Mass and the Sacraments for this is an important part of what it means to belong to the Christian family. Having made these promises, you will be invited to profess the faith that you promise to pass onto your child. Together with the community, you will pray for the grace to live as the first, and most important, teachers of faith to your child.
Water is essential for life! It is the most important symbol that we use for the celebration of baptism. By the pouring of water and the words “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” your child will be baptised into the new life of Christ. Water is fundamental to all of life. We cannot live without it. It slakes our thirst, it cleans us in preparation for the day ahead. In baptism, water symbolises the cleansing from original sin that baptism into Christ offers. So also, baptism into the new life of Christ means just that: our whole life is to be directed by and animated by our relationship with Jesus 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. So, baptism is the first of many steps on the Christian journey.
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, after your child has been baptised, they are 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, and to share some bible stories with them. Often you will read them a bedtime story. If you purchase a good Children’s Bible, you will find biblical stories there that can easily be told at bedtime to your child.
As they grow a bit older, children love to visit the Church to light a candle. This is a tangible, simple and easy way of sharing your own faith with your child. Lighting a candle can be a treat, much the same as a bar of chocolate or an ice-cream.
The easiest way to pass on your Christian faith is to bring your child to Mass each Sunday. We know that there are many demands on parent’s and children’s time. But, we cannot hope that our children will have the benefit of faith unless they have practiced that faith all through their childhood and into the rest of their lives. Faith is only relevant if we decide to make it relevant. Bringing your child to Mass allows them to experience God, Church, Faith and the Sacraments in a communal setting. You and they will gradually come to realise that faith is not an individual person’s choice, but the way of life of a whole community and family of faith.
We believe that Christian faith is a great gift and benefit to your child for their whole life. 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 Ceritificate of Baptism can be issued by the Parish Office as and when required.
In recent years our parish has welcomed adult men and women who have presented themselves for baptism. People from other lands and traditions find that the faith of their friends and neighbours have inspired them to want to learn more about becoming a Catholic and being baptised into the Christian faith.
If you wish to explore the possibility of becoming a Christian member of the Catholic Church then please contact any of the Parish Team. We will welcome you, and help you on your faith journey.