... parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you
to be kept burning brightly.
This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ ...
to live always as a child of the light ...


A Reason to Rejoice!

The birth of a new baby is a great event for you as parents and for your whole family. The Church wants to rejoice with you at the arrival of a new unique person created in the image and likeness of God.

As parents you have the great privelage - and responsibility - of bringing up your child and helping that child to grow to become a mature and independent person.


Why Baptism?

As parents, you will be concerned that you do everything that is best for your child. You will have spent a long time thinking and talking about the best way to bring that child up, and all that you want to share.

One of the most important things you will want to share share with your child will be your faith; your own relationship with the loving God who has shown us love in Jesus Christ.

We believe that in Baptism a child is brought into a special relationship with that loving God by becoming Christ-ened, becoming like Christ.

Baptism makes a child a member of the church, someone who belongs to God, and who God nourishes and supports through the graces given through the Church. Baptism is the beginning of that life with God that continues on through all our earthly life and beyond.


A Time for Preperation

All the important events in life need preparation, so that we make sure that everything is clear and everything goes as we hope. As the beginning of your child's life with God, Baptism too will need careful preparation.

As parents, and god parents, you will make certain promises in the celebration of baptism. It is important that before you take on such solemn promises you have been helped to think it all through. During the ceremony you are asked to profess your own faith in God, the faith that your child will be baptised into. That is something you need to have time to reflect on.


Godparents

It is common to ask all sorts of friends and relatives to be Godparent to your child, and there are all sorts of reasons for this. The Godparents however, are really there to represent the whole Church community into which your child is being baptised. They make promises on their own behalf as part of the Church, that they will take seriously their responsibility to help your child grow in the knowledge and love of God. This is an important promise. It makes sense therefore to insist that at least one of your chosen Godparents should be a practising Catholic.


The Ceremony

As baptism is about becoming part of the whole Church, and especially the local Catholic community, some parents ask to have their children baptised during the main Sunday Mass. This can be a great time of celebration, especially when the family are well known in the parish, and the whole parish family can join in the celebration.

At other times when perhaps many of the family and friends are not involved in the Catholic Church, baptism is celebrated separately on a Sunday afternoon.

The priest or deacon in the parish will help you think about which of these might be best. There is also a parish baptism preparation team who will be in touch with you to talk about baptism and what it means. They will help you to appreciate the importance of baptism, help prepare for the baptism and plan the ceremony. They will also set you thinking about readings and help make sure that everything goes smoothly and that everyone feels welcome and involved.

The ceremony itself is full of symbolism. Beginning at the church door, to show entry into the Church. After the actual baptism with water, the child is clothed in a white garment as a sign of putting on Christ, and there is the giving and receiving a candle as a sign as passing on the light of Christ.

It is most important that you should be able to experience your child's baptism as what it is - God's act of saving love celebrated in the Church which rejoices with you!


Charges

The church makes no charge for celebrating the sacraments - they are God's gifts of grace to his people. However, it is customary to give a personal offering to the priest or deacon. If you are not a regular churchgoer at St. Augustine's, you might also consider an offering towards the upkeep of the church.