WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is the sacrament by which we become Christians. It frees us from Original Sin, makes us children of God and members of the Church.
Why is Baptism important?
Baptism is of the greatest importance for us because it is the ordinary way of salvation for every human being (ccc. 1257). It is the gateway to the other sacraments and the whole Christian life:
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Mt 28:19-20
- Please complete the form online, or download the attached form and return it to us either as printed version or as a PDF.
- Attend the Preparation for Baptism course* held at the Parish Centre in St. Joseph’s Church (see dates below). We encourage both parents to attend the session, and any god parents if they are in the area! Children are also welcome. Please email [email protected] with your child’s name and the session you will be attending. If none of the dates suit you, please contact her so she can try and rearrange another time for you.
- Whilst you await your course, please meet a parish priest – Fr Ephraim (St Joseph’s) or Fr Liam after Sunday morning or Saturday evening mass at St Joseph’s (mass times here), or contact them for an appointment. You can use this opportunity to discuss next steps.
*Courses are usually on Tuesdays from 1900h to no later than 2100h, except in August
Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfil faithfully the obligations inherent in it.
Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.
Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
- be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
- have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
- be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
- not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
- not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
Can. 874 §2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.
Dear Parents & Godparents
The parish is aware and delighted that you are having your child/children baptised. This is great news for all of us.
The church wants parents to take their child’s (children’s) baptism seriously, and to approach the day of their child’s baptism fully aware of the commitment they will be undertaking to bring up their child in the practice of the Christian faith.
For this reason, you are invited to attend a course in Preparation for Baptism on one of the dates in the attachment at the Parish Centre in St. Joseph’s Church Maidenhead.
Attached is a letter detailing what baptism is about and giving the dates for the course.
Please reply and indicate if you can attend. We truly encourage both parents, where possible to come along. Children are also welcome, and indeed, if there are any god parents in the area! if none of the dates suit you, let Norma know and she will try and rearrange another time for you.
Please email Norma (coordinator) on: [email protected] (She is also copied into this email, letting her know your child’s name and which day you will be attending).
The course also helps parents enjoy the day of their child’s baptism more fully, because they know what to expect and have had a chance to reflect on the meaning behind the ceremonies of baptism.
Fr. Liam and Fr. Ephraim & Fr. Noah
What happens to us through Baptism?
The water of Baptism symbolises both washing and new life. The effects of Baptism are: the washing away of all sins, especially the guilt of Original Sin inherited from our first parents; a new and supernatural life as children of God and members of the Church.
“You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
How do we prepare for Baptism?
An adult prepares for Baptism by becoming a catechumen, that is, someone who is being catechised (educated) in the Christian Faith. The formal process and rite for this is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
How does Baptism take place?
Anyone who believes and has not already been baptised can receive Baptism. Following early Church practice, the Church also baptises the children of Christian parents who make an act of faith and commitment on their child’s behalf. New born babies should be baptised as soon as possible. A sacred minister normally baptises. In cases of necessity any person can baptise if they intend to do what the Church does in Baptism. They must use water and the Trinitarian formula.
Baptism is conferred by immersion in water or by pouring water over the head, together with the proper form of words: “[The person’s name] I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
This article is originally from ‘CREDO: The Catholic Faith explained’ by CTS.