Thinking about having your child baptised but don’t know how to go about it or what might be expected of you and/or of your child? We hope the following may help…
Things first, congratulations on the birth, whether of your baby or your grandchild, the birth of a new baby is a precious gift from God, to be treasured and celebrated, we join with you in celebrating that birth.
You think you might like to have the child baptised but don’t know who to contact, what that actually means, what it might require of you, and is there a charge?
We would love to help you explore your options and make an informed choice as to what you consider is the best for you and your child.
So What are the options?
- You can choose to go ahead with a Church of England Baptism (see below for further information)
- You might choose a Thanksgiving or Naming Ceremony (see below for further information)
- You might choose, having read all the options to delay doing anything or to choose not to do anything at all
You need to consider carefully which might be the best for you and your child
Church of England Baptisms
In the main, a baptism will take place in a church and is conducted by a member of the clergy. The baptism service is a short liturgy which entails the parents and Godparents making vows and promises on behalf of the child. Don’t worry, these vows and promises will be explained fully in simple terms, when you meet with the clergy member prior to the baptism. Water is poured, the sign of the cross made and often a lighted candle given.
There is no formal charge for a baptism but there may well be a collection plate available should you wish to make a thanksgiving offering.
It is expected that at least one of the parents be baptised themselves and in the case of a single parent, that the parent seeking baptism would be baptised or might consider being baptised before or at the same time (see adult baptism below). The parent/s and Godparents, promise to bring up the child to know God and love God, predominantly in the loving and serving of others.
You will also need at least two Godparents, one male and one female, over the age of 16 and it is preferred that at least half the Godparents be baptised themselves, so they understand what they are promising and the full commitment they are making. The choice of Godparent could be discussed at the pre baptism visit if you want more clarification or are concerned about this.
At the pre baptism visit the vicar will go through the service with you, what will happen and when, why and what it means and answer any questions you may have.
Baptism isn’t just for a child; you can get baptised at any age at all. An adult baptism is for any one not previously baptised who wishes to know God and love God and make a commitment to follow him and serve him, in the loving and serving of others. The Vicar or other cleric, would arrange to meet with you and talk through the service (as above) and the vows and promises would be made by the adult themselves and supported by two sponsors who would act almost like Godparents but instead of teaching and leading by example as a parent, in the case of an adult, ultimately they would support the decision of the adult and the commitment they are making.
Thanksgiving or Naming Ceremonies
If you think you aren’t quite ready to make that commitment for your child/yourself you may opt to have either a ‘Thanksgiving or Naming Ceremony’ which can be either separate or together and basically the first is some prayers of ‘thanksgiving’ for the safe delivery of the child, for the mother, other members of the family and for the life they will share and the second is some special prayers for the name you have given your child and the hopes for them for the future. Feel free to discuss either or both of these with us.
So having looked at the options, if we decide to proceed what do I do?
Well, the first thing is to contact us, either ring or e mail the Rector, 01691 590025 or 07944504330, email email@example.com or the Benefice Office 01691 676383, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Speak to us about possible dates and we will post a form to complete with the details of the child’s name, date of birth, contact details of parents, other children and names of God Parents. When complete post it back to us and we will arrange a pre baptism visit.
We look forward to hearing from you soon…
To look at some photographs of recent Baptisms at our churches; click here