You have decided to have your child Baptized. This is good. The Church is glad. If someone asks you why are you doing it? What would you answer? Do you know the reasons for baptism? Could you explain to someone what the Sacrament of Baptism is?
There are 2 reasons for Baptism:
1. Forgiveness of sins
2. Entrance into the Church. When someone asks you why you are having your child baptized, you can tell them for the forgiveness of sin and to enter the Church.
There are 4 main symbols for Baptism- if you remember these; you will always remember the meaning of Baptism.
1. Water. We wash with water, we drink water. a. In baptism the water is for washing away our sins. This is not just for when we are baptized but for all of our life. b. Just like our lives are dependent on water, our lives are dependent on God. For us, life is living in love, mercy, forgiveness, and justice. Death is living in doubt, despair, manipulation, and deceit.
2. Candle. A candle gives light so we can see. If you are in a dark room with no light you could not see, although everything would still be in the same spot if the light was on. In baptism God gives us the light of Christ. We see love, mercy, forgiveness, and justice because we see in Christ’s light. Without this light we would not see these things. The world would be dark.
3. White garment. How we dress depends on what we are doing. In baptism we put on a white garment because of what we are doing, following Christ.White is the color for holiness. God puts his holiness on us.
4. Oil. Oil used to be used to mark out someone who was going to do something special. In the olden days if you got a big promotion at work you would be anointed with oil. In baptism oil marks us out to do something special: to be a follower of Christ as priest, prophet, and king. As priest we share in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. As prophet we share in Jesus’ mission of proclaiming the kingdom of God. As king we share in Jesus’ resurrection.
God gave us the gift of the sacrament of Baptism. We are wise to know it.We are wise to use it.
When you come to the Church for the Baptism here is what you do:
1.Arrive for mass about 10 minutes early. Tell the priest you are here and why.
2. You and the Godparents will be in the entrance procession with the priest and altar servers.
3. The priest will ask you a few questions about baptism. “What is the name you give your child?”“What do you ask of the Church?”(Baptism.) To the Godparents, “Are you ready to help the parents of this child?”
4. After the homily, the priest will invite you to go the baptism fount.He will ask you questions about our faith. You can answer “I do” or “yes”. He will pour water over your child’s head. The water is heated.
5.After the baptism, return to your pew in the front of Church.
6. The priest will invite you to walk out with him at the end of mass.This is so you can be at the back of the Church and people can congratulate you as they leave Church.
If a Godparent asks you, “why did you choose me?” What will you say?You can say, “Because you love God and the Church.Because I think you will hold me to my promise to teach my child about God and the Church.”Godparents are people who you think have a strong faith in God. One of the two must be a practicing Confirmed Catholic. They are people that you think will help your child to believe in God. If you are not doing your job of teaching your child about God and the Church, they will come up to you and say, “Hey, remember what you promised when you had your child baptized. Are you keeping your promise?”
Do people give the Church and the priest any money for the Baptism? Yes they do. They give a gift if they desire. They often give $35 to the Church and $10 to the priest.
Baptisms are scheduled during Mass and on the 2nd & 4th weekends of the month.