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Congratulations on your new baby

Baby baptismCongratulations on the birth of your child! The Parish Community shares in your joy. We are delighted that you want to have your baby join the family of the Church through Baptism.

To allow for preparation for your child’s baptism, parents are asked to give a few weeks notice to the priest and fill out a short form with the relevant details. 

The normal times for baptisms are Sunday at 12 o clock or on Saturday at 2.30pm. Other times can be arranged it with the priest.

A Mother's loveWith hugs and kisses, bottles and nappies, smiles and tender words, you convey to your child your love and how lovable your baby really is. We now know how tremendously important these little signs of love are if your child is to grow into a mature and loving adult. To be denied this love has disastrous consequences.

Your heavenly Father shows his love for us in the same way as you do - by signs and gestures. And the ceremony of baptism is full of them. The most important of these signs is the pouring of the water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
By this sign your child is adopted and made a child of God, sharing all the privileges and dignity that comes with that exalted title and also given the right one day to share in the great inheritance won for us by Christ.

In becoming a child of God, your child also gains many brothers and sisters, and this larger family we call the Church. Baptism not only draws us into the life of God, but also into the life of the church.

The committments of parents.

Supposing you had a very rich uncle who agreed that your child would inherit all his property on his death. I am sure that you would make a big effort to see that your child developed a close relationship with that uncle.

Well in baptism God adopts your child, conferring a dignity on your child that even the angels do not have, and confers also on you child the right to inherit the kingdom  of heaven.
All that is expected of you his natural parents is that you help and encourage your child to grow in a relationship of love with his or her Father in heaven.

Baptism Preparation

Your most important preparation is to look at your own faith. Your baby will be born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms. As he or she gets older your child will grow up, too, with your faith. That is why, when you approach the church about having your child baptised, you will be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life.
The very fact that you have asked to have your baby baptised shows that you recognise the importance of God in your life.

CrossGrowing in God’s Love

You will be delighted if you are there the day your child takes his or her first step.
You should be certainly there when you child takes their first steps in the journey of faith. It should be at their mother's knee that a child is taught to make the sign of the cross. It should be on their mothers lap that a child first comes to know and love the lovely name of Jesus.  It should be from your lips that the child learns their first prayer. 

The signs and symbolism of Baptism

Sign of the Cross

A sign on something shows its origins or ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians for Jesus Christ died on the cross. Parents and god-parents trace it on the child’s forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.


Water is an extraordinary element in a multitude of ways and is crucial for life on our planet. Scientists almost equate water with life. This is the symbol God has chosen to confer on us the life of the risen Christ in baptism. Water is also a wonderful cleansing agent and the waterfall of baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, in the case of adults, every sin committed prior to baptism is washed away.


Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves with oil to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead and sunbathers use oil to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun, we use this to ask that God's enveloping love will protect the baby.
Oil of Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Traditionally they were priests, prophets, and kings were anointed because they were considered as being special servants of God. 
The anointing with Chrism is an acknowledgement that your child is a priest with a right to offer prayer and praise to God, a prophet, called to live in the world as witness to the goodness of God, and lastly your child is a royalty, belonging to the royal House of God.
The oils are blessed by the bishop around the time of Holy Thursday.

White Garment

In the early Church, baptism was by immersion and coming out from baptism, the newly baptised  put on a new white robe symbolising that they were a new creation. This garment (usually a white shawl)  is often passed from generation to generation, a beautiful symbol of the passing on of the faith.


These symbolise Christ – the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as a sign of the risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life; and its flame symbolises the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.

The readings for Baptism.

The Sacrament of baptism has deep roots in the scriptures. The best way to understand baptism is to read the scriptures.  There are a number of stories in the Old Testament where water is central to the story, these stories have a lot to tell us about baptism. The first story is about Noah and the Ark, how God destroys a sinful world with the waters of the flood but saves Noah and his family by telling them to build an Ark.  Ask your self what does the Ark represent? There is also the big story of how God saves his people by leading them through the waters of the sea of Reeds. It was a pivotal moment for the Jewish people, escaping from slavery to become a free people. Baptism is a pivotal moment for us for the same reasons. There is another story of Moses striking the rock and water coming out of the rock to save the people.  Think about the spring of water on Calvary which flowed from the side of Christ.  See all the connections.  Read the story of Jesus being baptised in the Jordan, this explains perfectly how wonderful a moment baptism is for your child.

In the rite of baptism you will be asked to have readers to read readings chosen by you, one from the old and one from the new Testament. It would be lovely to have some song during a baptism.

Baptismal Register

Your baby’s baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in 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.