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Baptism of Children
Information and guidelines for celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism at
The Parish of Christ the King
WELCOME, Deacon Robert Lemay coordinates this ministry, you are asked to schedule a baptism with him. You can reach him by calling 508 477-7700, ex 13 or you can begin the “conversation” via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
After you speak with the Deacon, you will receive a call from one of our parishioners who will offer to meet with you either at the parish complex or at your home. She will give you information about the baptism and, if needed, information about the Parish of Christ the King. This person will offer you materials to help you celebrate the baptism of your child as you prepare to raise your child in the practice of the faith. If this is not your first child to be baptized, the parishioner will arrange for you to receive the material before the date of the baptism.
Christ the King Parish celebrates baptisms after the 10:30 mass on Sunday on an “as needed” basis, usually once or twice a month. Depending on the number of children to be baptized, the ceremony lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Ordinarily, the parents of the child to be baptized are members of
Christ the King Parish. If you are not and live in the area, you are
invited to register and become active in our parish family. If you live
elsewhere and wish to have your child baptized here, all we need is a
letter of permission from your home parish.
If one of the parents is not Catholic, he or she is welcomed to
participate in the baptismal ceremony as much as they wish. For other
Christians, this often means full participation; for non-baptized
persons, they may choose not to do such things as make the sign of the
cross or certainly not to renew baptismal promises. We have a large Church and you are invited to invite family members and
friends to attend the 10:30 Mass and stay for the baptism which follows.
You will need to select at least one qualified godparent or sponsor. There are normally two godparents, one man and one woman.
Godparents need to be at least 16 years of age, confirmed and, if currently married, married according to the laws of the Church. Godparents need to obtain a “sponsor’s certificate” from the church they currently attend.
It is possible to have one “Catholic Sponsor” and one “Christian Witness”. A Christian witness is a person who is baptized in another Christian denomination. We commonly refer to both as godparents.
A close friend or family member who is not baptized does not qualify to be a godparent. This applies also for a Catholic who is not confirmed or one who is currently in a marriage not recognized by the Catholic Church.
There is no fee for a baptism. If you would like to make a donation to the Church, place it in an envelope with the child’s name on it and give it to the presider the day of the baptism.
The ceremony is a joyous occasion in which children are initiated into the Catholic faith. It begins with a welcoming rite in which the parents publicly name their child and, along with the priest or deacon, trace the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead. This is followed by a reading from scripture, a renunciation of sin and profession of faith by the parents and godparents, the blessing of the water and the actual baptism. The child is anointed with chrism and then clothed in a white garment. Someone from the family (such as parent or godparent) lights the child's candle from the Easter candle.
SIGNS & SYMBOLS
Sign of the Cross: The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians because Jesus Christ died on the cross. Parents and godparents trace it on the child’s forehead to show that the child belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.
Water: This is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, in adults of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the risen Christ is ours.
Oils: Oil of baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the child to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead. Oil of chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam and is rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The profession of Faith which you make on behalf of your child at baptism will later be confirmed personally by your child in the sacrament of confirmation when oil of chrism will be used again.
White Garment: This garment is a relic of the new clothes worn by Christians after baptism. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection.
Candles: These symbolize Christ - the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as sign of the risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life; and it’s flame symbolizes the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.
Certificate of Baptism: Your child’s baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in the form of a certificate issued on the basis of this registration. Your child’s Confirmation, Marriage or Ordination will also be noted alongside this entry in the register.