Holy Baptism or christening
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND GODPARENTS
When baptised, a person becomes a member of the Church, he or she becomes part of the family of God and finds there is a sense of belonging to a community of Christians which is worldwide and all embracing in which everyone is welcome and can find a home.
The Church is a community of people who are united together to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. They offer a close and supportive community in which your children and godchildren can grow up as part of Christ's living body.
Baptism is a beginning not an end. It marks the start of Christian life. Newborn babies need love, care and attention as they grow up. A newly-baptised person also needs nurture to grow into a mature Christian. This is why the role of parents and godparents is so important.
In the baptism service parents and godparents promise that the child will be brought up as a Christian to know and experience a living faith.
In the service parents and godparents make vows on behalf of the child, who later renews them at confrimation.
Adult Baptism is an important step for the believer as it shows that they are ready to make a strong personal commitment to their faith. The baptism is usually held as part of the Sunday service again to welcome the person into the Christian family. The person being baptised will often dress in white and will talk about how they came to be a Christian and what being a Christian means to them.
What does Baptism mean?
Death to the old life: Water suggests the washing away of sin. In a full immersion baptism, going down into the water represents the death of the old sinful way of living. Coming up out of the water suggests a new life in faith with a new way of living.
The gift of the Holy Spirit: Through his Spirit God comes to live with his people, after their baptism as the old self dies. A newly baptised Christian becomes a new person!
Entry into the church: Because they belong to Jesus. A Christian is a member of the Church (the body of Christ). A Chrisitan is part of the wider family of the while Christian church.
A new covenant (agreement) with God: In the old covenant the sign of the covenant was circumcision. In Baptism God makes a sign of the new covenant.
For more information on Baptism please contact the Revd Padraig Gallagher on 01792 583646.