the commitments involved in the sacrament

Commitments involved in bringing your child forward for baptism

Most parents want this most special sacrament for their children, but it is not just a one-off day. What are the commitments of the parents of the child to be baptised?

The parents are called to accept the responsibility of bringing up their child in the practice of the faith, principally by the command of love: loving God and loving our neighbour. We have a decent grasp of loving our neighbour in parish, though we must welcome too the neighbour who does not look nor sound like our other neighbours. Our family in the faith is global, or more exactly, universal (catholic means universal). What does loving God mean? It can be expressed in many ways, some examples are… respecting the dignity of human life (created in God’s image and likeness), keeping holy the Sabbath day (weekly mass and “keeping Sunday special” as a rooted family tradition), forgiving our brother & sister (so we too may be forgiven), keeping God’s name holy (never swearing when angry or frustrated), remembering the poor (“insofar as you did this to one of the least of mine, you did it to Me”), daily prayer (a family that prays together stays together) and many more examples. 

Remember, your parish is here to help you, encourage you, make you feel welcome, and hopes that you will will respond with regular commitment, so that our community of faith may grow stronger in love. 

It is my belief, as a priest-scientist, that the greatest education that can be given to children is education in love. How can we really know what love is unless we experience it first: at home, in school and in parish too. Only God can make true love possible, because He loved us first, and sent His only Son to die on the cross for us. We will reflect on this saving act again, as its at the heart of the grace of Baptism. 

What if the parents of the child are lapsed Catholics?

The diocese of Galway has given guidelines as follows; “If the parish priest is unsure of the parents own faith background, he may require them to provide baptismal certificates. Where parents are lapsed Catholics, or have insufficient faith to make the promises, or have shown in the past that they do not, in fact, bring up their children as Christians, some delay in baptising may be necessary”.

Please click on Bap 3 for reflection material on the rite of Baptism and the role of Godparents.