Sacrament of Baptism
Congratulations on the birth of your child.
To bring new life into the world is indeed both a very special gift and a challenge. Thank you for wanting your child to join the family of the church through Baptism. You have decided to give your child the chance to grow up in Christ. We want to help you carry your decision by giving you our whole hearted support.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213)
Are you ready for your Child’s Baptism?
When you ask for your child to be baptised it is your faith that is important. At the ceremony, you speak on your child’s behalf. You present your child for Baptism and promise to nurture the new life of grace your child receives. It is therefore important to be part of the faith community as this is the community into which your child will be baptised.
Choose your child’s Godparents with care! They must share your faith and be at least 16 years old. It is customary to have two Godparents though only one is required. Godparents must be Catholic. The reason for this is that they understand and share the responsibility of handing on the faith to your child as (s)he grows up. Non-Catholics who are practising members of other Christian communities can be chosen as witnesses to stand with Godparent(s) during the ceremony.
The Baptism of older children
Sometimes parents request baptism of an older child – say three or four years old. The above notes also apply to the baptism of older children. However, once a child reaches the age of reason (about the age of seven or eight), the child will undergo a period of catechesis in the faith.
If you do not live in St Michael’s Parish
Strictly speaking your child should be baptised in the parish where you live. However, you may regard yourself as a member of “the worshipping community” of St Michael’s, attending Mass here regularly. In this case please speak to the priest of the Parish where you live and ask for written permission for the baptism to take place here.
There is no fee for a Baptism, however, it is customary to give a gift to the parish priest and a small donation to the parish if you desire.
Request for Baptism
Initial enquiries regarding your child’s Baptism and an application form can be made through the Parish Office.