Page 19 - Water of Life Infant Baptism
P. 19

  5. The baptism ceremony
What actually happens during the baptism ceremony? This page offers a summary of the ritual steps. The steps are explained further over the page.
Reception of Child
Questions put to parents and godparents Signing of cross on child’s forehead
Celebration of God’s Word
Readings from scripture; homily
Prayer of the faithful; litany of the saints
Prayer of healing and anointing (on chest) before baptism
Celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism
Prayer over baptismal font
Renewal of baptismal promises
Baptism (pouring of water and words of baptism) Anointing with chrism (on head)
Clothing with white garment
Lighting of candle
Prayer over ears and mouth
The Lord’s Prayer (‘Our Father’)
Blessing of the mother, father, and all gathered
In the baptism ceremony the parents agree to raise their child in the faith of the Church. The role of the godparent is to support the parents in this commitment.
The Church requires that at least one godparent be a Catholic who has been fully initiated; i.e., received the sacraments
of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. An Orthodox Christian may be a godparent along with
a Catholic godparent. A baptised person from another Christian Church or Community may act as a witness together with the Catholic godparent.
Godparents are usually to be at least sixteen years of age. They need to be living a life in harmony with the Gospel and the role they are about to undertake.
Sometimes parents choose a godparent with additional agendas in mind; e.g. as guardian of their child should anything happen to them. Guardianship is a crucial issue for families, however it is not specific to being a godparent. It is something which can be stipulated in a legal will.
What the Catholic Church seeks
in a godparent is a commitment to the community of faith—its relationships, its cherished beliefs, its way of life. Will the godparents support the parents in their commitment to raise the child
as a Catholic? This is the central question in choosing a godparent.
See “Godparenting Tips”, p.24.

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