why baptism for your child?

We were never asked “do you want to be born and live”. We are being asked “do you want to be born anew into eternal life”. Baptism makes this possible, by God’s Love for us.

By baptism, we become part of God’s own household, true sons and daughters by adoption. We are a “new creation”, seemingly the same on the outside, but inside, we are given an indelible mark and an unbreakable promise from God (a covenant) that He will always guide and protect us. 

Our response is to love Him, and love our neighbour as ourselves. One powerful way to love Him is to do His will, which is another way of saying “do what is truly best for me and my loved ones”, and live in a child-like trust. 

Baptism is not a lovely day, but a new creation in Love (even if your baby sleeps or cries through it all!)

The Role of Parents
Parents are the primary carers and educators of their own children. They know their own children best and are best placed to provide for their needs. Similarly, children look first to their own parents as they seek role models to copy. This is especially true when it comes to faith practice and participation. When parents ask to have their child baptised they are committing themselves to being models of faith to inspire their child. But they do not do this alone. Grandparents, Godparents, relations and the entire Christian community, made visible in the parish community, all play a part in witnessing to the Christian faith by what they say and do. In addition to being a model of faith for your child, during the Baptism ceremony parents are formally asked if they are willing to teach the faith to their own child so that they can grow in their understanding of it. To be specific, they are asked if they will bring up their children to follow God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and loving our neighbour.
This is a serious undertaking and brings with it the responsibility to participate in the life of the church in the local parish. For some parents having their child baptised can be a moment of reintroduction to the faith for themselves. As you desire the best for your child, it’s only natural that you would wish to be able to realise that desire and provide the best of all aspects of yourself, including your own faith. Don’t worry if you feel a bit rusty about your own faith: God helps all who seek Him! The parish priest is always willing to support and assist you in this regard. Due to the over-busy pace of life, I am asking that we look collectively at one simple reality that can be addressed to make life easier on us, and allow our faith life to grow more naturally. Keeping Sunday special.

Sunday is the Lords day, and we are told to take rest so that it is set apart. It is so important that it has been made one of the ten commandments! Due to our complex modern society, there are essential services that require people to work hard on a Sunday for the common good. Doctors, nurses, essential service technicians (and priests too) along with a very long list ensure that life can continue in its essential aspects on Sundays.  Unfortunately, Sunday has become another market day, and this adds to the over-activity and stress so many people are talking about. To “keep holy the Sabbath day” allows us time to reflect, pray, play, relax, and unwind with family and friends. Above all, it should be a day of “giving thanks” for all the good things we have received. The Sunday mass is the high point in giving thanks to God for the gift of life, even if life can be a challenging gift at times. Parents who bring their children for baptism are called to be faithful in this 35-45 minutes per week to give thanks as a family, with the wider community, at the mass. During weekdays too, times of prayer, reflection and good reading at home are all valuable additions to the spiritual life and building peace.

Why is Baptism important?
It is good for us to “dip into” our catechism on a regular basis, a rich source of wisdom and still very relevant (but which needs to be explained in everyday language)…
Catechism of the Catholic Church – paragraph 1223: All the Old Covenant prefiguration’s find their fulfilment in Christ Jesus. He begins his public life after having himself baptized by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan. After his resurrection Christ gives this mission to his apostles: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
What this says is that all of history, all of our hope, leads to and springs from Jesus the Son of God. He led by example, plunging into the waters of the Jordan, and called us to baptise all nations. We are following his call when we bring our children to the baptismal font, as our parents brought us, and our grandparents brought our parents…and we do so because baptism offers us the gift of all gifts, eternal life. This life is fulfilled in heaven, but it begins here and now, amid all the hustle and bustle of our lives. This is because God is always to be found in the present.
All gifts have responsibilities attached, we now look at the roles of certain key people of the child to be baptised.