Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit.
What an amazing gift it is, that God the Creator of this magnificent and awe-inspiring Universe, should share with us humans his creative power in the birth of a baby. But a baby born into a broken world - for when we look around us sin is a condition in which we live.
Then we find Jesus at the age of 30 coming to the Jordan where John was baptizing with water.
And Jesus was baptized, and the Spirit of God came down upon him.
Jesus then began his public life preaching “The Kingdom of God” and how to live it.
Baptism is an initiation into the Kingdom of God by which the life of God is given to those who receive it through water and the Holy Spirit. In the Baptism ceremony there is much which is symbolic.
The celebrant greets the parents with their child and the child’s godparents at the door of the Church and asks the child’s name. The celebrant, on behalf of the Christian community, welcomes the child by tracing the sign of the Cross on the child’s forehead and asks the parents, godparents and members of the community to do the same.
The group then processes from the door to the altar, symbolizing the Journey of Life which the child will make as "a child of God” in the midst of the community. At the altar the celebrant reads a verse from the Gospel or the Acts of the Apostles relevant to Baptism.
From there the group processes to the Baptismal Font where they renew their own Faith into which the child will be baptized.
At the Font, the celebrant blesses the water with the Gift of the Spirit. Using the name of the child, the celebrant pours the water on the child's head - the Water of Life – God’s life. Through the pouring of the water and the celebrant's words, the child is freed from Original Sin. The child is then blessed with Chrism (holy oil blessed by the bishop) and covered with a white garment which symbolizes the cleansing of Original Sin and the child's purity.
The child's godparents are asked to hold a lighted candle which is lit from the flame of the Pascal Candle. The new light symbolizes the Light of Christ, and the godparents are asked to help the parents nourish that light within the child.
From the font the group returns to the altar where the celebrant prays a blessing on the Father and Mother as they undertake to bring up their child as a member of the community that has been given them in The Kingdom of God.
The child is introduced to the assembled congregation.
Having Your Child Baptized
Baptisms are performed every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, at 1:30 pm, and during the Noon Mass on the 4th Sunday of the month by special arrangement. Arrangements for Baptisms must be made at least three weeks in advance. All parents who will be having children baptized should call the parish office to make necessary arrangements and schedule a meeting with a priest if it is their first child being baptized.
When choosing Godparents, please remember that if the Godparent has been baptized Catholic, she/he must be a practicing Catholic and must obtain a sponsor certificate from the Catholic Church where she/he is registered and attends. It is only necessary to have one practicing Catholic Godparent.
Please call the parish office if you have any questions.
For more information on Baptism please watch the following short video produced by the Paulist Fathers: Baptism Video.