The Sacrament of Baptism

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Some frequently asked questions

 

 

  • How soon can I / we have my child baptised?

    Children should be baptised within the first few weeks or months after birth. Arrangements can even be made before the child is born. It is wrong to put off the Baptism simply in order to have a more elaborate celebration party afterwards. It is better to have the Baptism sooner and make the celebrations simpler. A date and time for your child's Baptism can be provisionally given once you have completed the parish form and have met all the criteria. The Baptism date and time will only be confirmed once you have completed the Baptismal Preparation Course.

 
  • Must I / we be Catholic to present a child for baptism?

    At least one parent must be a Catholic to have their children baptized in the Catholic Church..
 
  • I / We are not married, can my child still be baptised?

    Yes, and I know I do not need to remind you of the importance of marriage for yourselves and the Church. We are also aware that there are many reasons why people are either together and not married or separated. This is not the time or the place to discuss this, but please feel free to talk to one of the priests about this subject.

 

  • Who can be a godparent and how many can we have?

    The choice of godparents is important, as these will be the people who support you bringing up your child in the Catholic faith. A godparent represents the Catholic Church, and then serves as the role model for your child by living a fully Christian life, providing a lifelong example of Christian living, encouraging your child in the experience of our Catholic faith. Therefore the godparents should be people whose faith lends itself to this living example.

    There are usually two godparents, but there must be one and no more than two will be permitted. If two godparents are desired, one must be male and the other female and if there is one this can be either male or female. According to Canon Law, the law governing the Catholic Church, godparents must be at least 16 years of age, practicing Catholics and should have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, meaning they are fully initiated into the Catholic Church, and be living a life in harmony with the Catholic faith.

    There are occasions when it is permitted to have one Catholic Godparent and a Christian witness at Baptisms. A Christian witness must be a practicing baptized member of another Christian denomination accepted by the Catholic Church.

 
  • Is there any preparation course that we need to attend before out child is baptized?

    Participation in our Baptismal Preparation Course is a pre-requisite to your child being baptized here at St Clare's. The preparation course is run throughout the year and lasts for three sessions one of which the Godparents will be required to attend. The course is designed to give parents and godparents an even greater appreciation of this sacrament and will present you with suggestions on how to pass on the beliefs and values of the Catholic Church to your child.
  • Do we have to make any payment for the Baptism?

    No fee is charged for administering the Sacrament. It is however customary to make a donation.
  • Baptism and parents responsibilities

    Because of the lifelong nature and consequences of Baptism, the Church is insistent that the sacrament should only be administered if the child's parents are committed to what they are undertaking and have also been prepared in such a way that they clearly understand the nature of Baptism and are able to demonstrate this.

    Parents are responsible for instructing and forming their children in both the teaching and practice of the Catholic faith. Although Catholic schools exist to help parents in this regard, they are not a substitute for it. The best instruction that you can give your child is through commitment and good example in the ways of prayer and Christian living. The atmosphere at home is especially important. The Church views the family as the basic building block for itself and the wider society.

    Baptism is the great moment that begins the spiritual journey. It is the way of life that you are seeking for your son or daughter. It is wonderful that you desire your child to share in the sacramental life of the Church. As you make this request for your child, it should also be a reality in your own life for example:

    Do you participate in the sacramental life of the Church?

    Do you regularly attend Mass?

    Do you make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

    Are you fully initiated into the Church through Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation?

    We understand that life can get complicated and we are not here to judge. But, we expect that parents lead by example. The birth of a child often raises questions and issues about the faith life of adults.

 

 

If after reading this information you feel ready to present your child to the Church for baptism please fill in our online form on the next page or see one of the priests after Mass. Once your form has been submitted one of the priests will contact you to make an appointment for you to come and discuss your child's Baptism. After the initial meeting with one of the priests and on acceptance onto the Baptism Preparation Course one of our baptism preparation team will be in contact with you to confirm the details of the next course dates and times.

With all our best wishes and prayers during this important time in your family's life.

 

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