Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation.
In the Catholic tradition, infants (and young children) receive the sacrament of baptism to celebrate their entrance into the faith community. Parents vow to take on the responsibility of raising their children in the Catholic Faith. Parents and godparents gather with family and the Catholic Community to formalize their acceptance of this long-term commitment.
Who do you choose as a godparent?
- Catholic Christian relatives or friends who serve as a Christian role model for your child.
- Someone who gives witness to God in their everyday lives.
- Someone who is willing to maintain a long-term relationship with your child.
- Someone who you would entrust with the raising of your child in the faith
What are the requirements of Canon Law?
- One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex.
- The sponsor must be a Catholic who has received all three sacraments of Christian Initiation, at least 16 years of age, and must moreover live 'a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken'.
What do the Baptism symbols mean?
Water is a symbol of both life and death. Its use in Baptism is central to the sacrament representing taking on a new life in Christ. Baptismal water is sprinkled over the forehead three times, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
The baptismal candle is a symbol of the light of Christ which is coming into the child's life. The Paschal (Easter) Candle is always lit and present near the altar during mass and baptism ceremonies. The Paschal Candle represents the light of Christ. The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal candle after the water baptism. The lit candle is presented to the baptized, held by the father or godparent during the remainder of the ceremony. The presentation of light represents how the newly baptized will become a son or daughter of "the light".
White is a symbol of transition and change; purity and cleansing. Its use in the baptism is a visible sign of putting on Christ, of taking on a new way of life.
Oil is a symbol used in many sacraments representing power and strength which comes from the Lord. It also has healing properties. Chrism means to "anoint". This baptism oil, chrism, is olive oil with a special perfume which is blessed by the bishop in a ceremony once a year. In the baptismal ceremony, it is used to anoint the forehead of the newly baptized. This oil is used to anoint a baptized Christian in the sacraments of Confirmation and Ordination. The anointing of the heads of the newly baptized with chrism is accompanied by a declaration which shows that Baptism is the foundation of Christian life: God has freed you from sin and willed that you be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, uniting you with his people, he himself consecrates you with the chrism of salvation so that as part of Christ, priest, king, and prophet you may be members of his body for life everlasting. With Baptism the whole of our existence is called to become a living witness.
The right to receive each sacrament is balanced by the responsibility of being properly prepared to receive it.
Baptisms are celebrated on Sunday directly following the 10:00 a.m. mass.
Parents are required to attend one preparatory session either before or after the child's birth. Please contact the parish office at 570-383-3244 to register.