Your child’s baptism will be a special moment for you and your family and most importantly for your child. We hope to help you make it a real welcome into God’s family. Preparation and planning for the baptism of children at St Therese of Lisieux are focused upon the importance of your role as parents and the celebration and welcome we offer to your child and your family in our community.
In preparation for your child to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, we ask you to come to one of our Baptism Preparation Courses. These consist of 3 meetings which take place weekly, the dates for the next course should be on the Newsletter and website. This preparation ensures that you and those you have invited to be Godparents, have an opportunity to consider the promises and the responsibilities that you are each committing yourselves to on behalf of your child.
Your preparation also ensures that your family and our community celebrate and recognise the importance of this moment in your child’s life.
Preparation also allows for the different circumstances and situations within families to be acknowledged and respected. It is important that everyone attending the Baptism feels comfortable and included in the celebration.
For many people there are a couple of concerns:
Not practising as a Catholic? If you haven’t practised as a Catholic in recent years there’s no need to feel self-conscious. The baptism of your child can offer a new beginning for both your baby and for you. The months and years ahead, in which you try to give the best to your child, will also bring the best out of you.
A parent who is not a Catholic? Both parents of every child are welcomed and encouraged to share this important time in your child’s life. If one parent is not a Catholic it is important for you to know that the Church respects the views and beliefs of every parent and therefore doesn’t insist that you should take part in anything with which you are uncomfortable. If, at any time, there is a particular point you would like to discuss please feel free to do so.
We do not make any charge for baptising your child however it is customary to make an offering to the church.
What does it mean when my child is baptised?
By asking for Baptism for your child, you are asking for more than a simple ‘naming ceremony’. You are asking that your child be received into the family faith life of God’s people — the Church. And in being part of the family life of God we are called to live in ways that reflect the Gospel of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. How will your child learn about the love of God and how to live a life of faith day by day? At your baby’s baptism, you will promise to do all within your power to bring your child up in the Christian faith. In the early years, you will be your child’s teacher and guide. What your child learns and experiences in your home, in your presence, will be the ways in which he or she will learn about what it means to be a Christian and truly human. By sharing your beliefs, your values and your priorities, you will pass on your faith to your child.
How do I choose my Godparents?
The choice of Godparents for your baby is important. The role of the Godparent dates back to the earliest days of the Church when the fledgeling Christian community welcomed mostly adults into Baptism. Such adults would not have had any Christian relatives and so a Godparent was the one who walked beside the newly baptised Christian as a source of encouragement and support. Today, a Godparent’s role is to assist and support the parents of an infant in their role of nurturing the faith and development of the child. That’s why, at your baby’s Baptism, the Godparents will be asked if they are willing to help you in your duty as Christian parents. They will then stand with you as together you renew your own Baptismal vows and profess your faith. What is the right kind of person for this role in your child’s life?
It is usual to have two Godparents and these should be over 16 years of age and be Roman Catholics who have been Confirmed and received Holy Communion. Parents or guardians cannot be Godparents to their child. Often in a family, there is an important friend or relation who is an obvious choice as Godparent except that they are not a Catholic and therefore would not be able to make the undertakings asked of Godparents at Baptism. In such instances it is worth considering asking that person to take part in some way in the Baptism celebration; talk to Canon Alan about what options are possible.
Upcoming Baptism Course