A reason to rejoice!
Congratulations on the birth of your child. The Church rejoices with you at the arrival of a new and unique person who is loved by God and created in his image.
God has given you a joyous gift. As parents you will want the very best of everything for your child. You have probably spent a long time preparing for your child’s birth. You will have discussed together your plans for that child. Your life as a family takes on a different shape with this precious new addition.
One of the most important things you will want for your child will be to share your faith – your own relationship with God our Father, who reveals his love to us in Jesus.
Since your own Baptism God has continued to call you and to shower his love upon you. Through Baptism we become Christians and share in the life of the Church, which is Christ’s body on earth. The Baptism you are requesting for your child will be the greatest gift that you can ever give – a gift that means a life lived in the love of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your child’s Baptism will be the beginning of a journey of faith – an exciting and challenging journey which will lead the child deeper and deeper into the heart and love of God. It is truly the beginning of the rest of his or her life!
Baptism is a sign of God’s love for us. It is the way in which we are welcomed into the Church. Baptism is a welcome into the local Catholic Community, as well as into the wider Church, you will need to meet with Fr Fergal in order to understand commitment you are undertaking and the celebration of this life-changing sacrament.
Possible dates and times for Baptism should be discussed with Fr Fergal. Baptisms can be celebrated during Mass or outside of Mass on a date convenient to all concerned. (Sunday or Saturday usually)
It is customary to ask all sorts of friends and relatives to be godparents to your child, and there are many good reasons for this. The godparents, however, are really there to represent the whole Church community into which your child will be baptised. They make promises on their own behalf as part of the Church, and on behalf of your child who is too young to speak for him or herself. They are important promises. Canon Law requires at least one godparent to be a practising Catholic over 16 years of age. Non-Catholics can act as ‘Christian witnesses.’
The Church makes no charge for celebrating the sacraments – they are God’s gifts of grace to his people. However, it is customary to give a personal offering to the priest, who receives no income from the Church, only what you give to him on occasions such as a baptism.
Complete the form and return it to Fr Fergal at the Presbytery as soon as possible.
Attend a preparation evening with Fr Fergal. This MUST take place before the baptism can be celebrated.
The family of the child to be baptised would normally be resident in the parish. In exceptional circumstances a baptism could be celebrated when it is not the parish of residence, but only with the express permission, in writing, of your own parish priest.
Finally a BIG QUESTION to be answered
If you are not attending Holy Mass each week, can you, in all conscience, make the promise to bring your child up in the practise (not just the knowledge) of the faith, as the rite of baptism demands?