Page 20 - Water of Life Infant Baptism
P. 20

  Step by step on the big day
I have called you by name, you are mine Isaiah 43:1
When a person is welcomed into your home, it usually begins at the front door. The baptism ceremony begins with a formal welcome to your child, and this usually takes place at the entrance of the church.
The physical movement of bringing your child into the church building is symbolic. Your child is entering the family of faith that worships in this sacred place.
The celebrant asks the parents two questions:
1. What name do you give your child?
The parents state the child’s name: N.
2. What do you ask of God’s Church for N.?
The parents reply: Baptism.
The celebrant reminds the parents of their duty to raise their child according to God’s commandments of love as taught by Christ: to love God and to love their neighbour.
The parents are asked: Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? They reply: We do.
The godparents are asked if they are ready to help the parents in this undertaking. They reply: We are.
The celebrant then welcomes your child by tracing the sign of the cross on your child’s head and invites parents and godparents (and perhaps other family members) to do the same.
Then all process into the church to hear the Word of God.
 The ceremony described in this booklet refers to a baptism taking place outside the context of a Mass.
Often times baptisms take place during a Sunday Mass. This is a wonderful setting as it accentuates the role of the community in which the child is baptised.
Whether due to the Mass setting or for other good reasons, some variations to the steps described here may occur in your particular ceremony. For example, the reception of the child might take place in the body of the church instead of at the door; certain non- essential prayers may be omitted. These details can be discussed at your preparation meeting.
While it is good to be well prepared for the ceremony, there is no need to be anxious about it. The liturgy has its own in-built rhythm which will carry you along, and the celebrant will guide you through it, step by step.
The most important thing is to focus on your love for your child (and your spouse, your family), to savour the beauty of being part of the great Christian tradition, and to be conscientious in your own faith commitment and responsibilities.

   18   19   20   21   22