Baptism is not simply a “naming ceremony” or even just a blessing for a new baby. It is the beginning of the Christian life and the gateway to eternal life. Because of this, the sacrament of Baptism is taken very seriously in the Church.
We believe that Baptism is a sacrament, an action of Jesus Christ in his Church. A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, instituted by Jesus Christ. By the carrying out of the sacramental rite, grace is given to the soul of the person who received the sacrament.
In this sacrament, Jesus Christ
Forgives original sin and opens the gates of heaven for us.
Welcomes us into his Church.
Makes us the sons and daughters of God.
The ceremony of Baptism assumes a well-founded hope that you will bring your child up in the practice of the faith. This means
- You teach your child to pray.
- You teach your child to lead a good Christian life.
- You come to Mass on Sundays.
- You teach your child the Catholic faith.
Baptisms in St. Joseph’s are normally carried out after the 11.00am Mass on Sunday. If you are coming to that Mass, please stay behind afterwards for the Baptism. If you are going to a different Mass that weekend, please be at the Church at 12.00am. The Baptism will take place once people have left the Church.
During the Baptism there are various ceremonies that the priest will explain. If you have a white shawl, this will be used as a part of the ceremonies. A candle is also given as a sign of the resurrection of Jesus. The Church will provide this.
Everyone is welcome to the Mass and the Baptism. If you have non-Catholic friends or family who may not wish to be there for the whole Mass, they can come after Mass for the Baptism.
It is usual to make a donation to the running costs of the Church and a donation for the Priest who presides at the celebrations at the parent’s discretion
How to arrange a Baptism
at St. Joseph’s
If you would like your child to be baptised, please contact Father Stephen in person. You are welcome to arrange the celebration of Baptism during a Sunday Mass or at any other convenient time. Children should be baptised within the first weeks of birth.
We now run a Baptism Preparation Course for parents who are planning to have their child baptised. The course is generally held in an evening for groups of parents and includes the following:
- ‘Why bother with Baptism?’: DVD and discussion
- The Baptism service
- ‘Beyond the Baptism’: nurturing your child’s faith.
The course lasts around 1 hour 30 mins. If you are planning to have your child baptised in the near future, please contact Father Stephen for details of the next course.