Parents wants the best for their children and the best includes looking after your child's spiritual needs as well as their physical, emotional and psychological requirements. Baptism is a celebration by the Church of the child's arrival in the world, confirms the child as God's special person and is a commitment on the part of the parents to bring their child up as a member of the community of faith.
Here are some of the frequently posed questions about baptism:
Who can be baptised at St Bede's?
Any child who has at least one parent who is a practising Catholic and lives in the parish of St Bede.
What if I don't live in St Bede's parish?
If you worship regularly at St Bede's, or there is a strong family connection, or there is some other good reason (and the parish priest is the only person who can judge what is a good reason) then baptism here is possible if you have the consent of the parish priest where you live.
What if I only come to church now and again, or even not at all?
Then the answer is to start coming. You will be very welcome.
At the beginning of the baptismal ceremony the parents are asked if they are going to bring their child up “in the practice of the faith”, clearly they cannot make such a commitment if they are not themselves practising the faith.
How long do I need to come before I can arrange the baptism?
Having a child baptised is not preceded by an obstacle race, or getting the right number of ticks on a report card. It is to do with faith being lived out both by trying to live a good life and by being part of the community of faith. When there is evidence of commitment, the Church will respond.
What do I have to do to arrange a baptism?
See Fr John, and he will give you a registration form to fill in. He will also arrange a date for the baptism with you. Before the baptism of your first child there is a short instruction to explain the meaning of baptism and go through the service with you. Fr John will give details of this.
What is a godparent?
A Godparent is someone who will befriend the child as they grow up and give a good example to child in Christian living. At the beginning of the ceremony the godparents are asked: “Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?” that sums up the role.
How many godparents can we have?
Two is the norm but more people can be involved – but there is limited space in the register to put the names.
Do the godparents have to attend church regularly?
One godparent at least must be a practising Catholic.
Does the godmother hold the child at the ceremony?
These days mum or dad usually holds the baby during the ceremony and, as far as possible, both parents and the godparents support the child while the baptism is taking place at the font.
What does it cost?
There is no charge but parents may want to make a donation to the church or to Father.
What about baptism for grown-ups?
There is usually a course of instruction for older people (over sixteen) each year. This is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults – RCIA, or sometimes “Journey in Faith”. It begins in the Autumn and continues until after Easter. Baptism (or reception into the Church if the candidate has been baptised already into another Christian denomination) takes place at the Easter Vigil (the ceremony on Holy Saturday evening).
Before beginning this course it is important that people have a feel for the worship of the Church by attending Sunday Mass on a regular basis.
Information about the course will appear in the weekly bulletin.