WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is becoming a Christian
Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist and as he left this earthly life he said to his disciples, ‘Go 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.’
Therefore, since the beginning, the Christian Church has performed the Sacrament of Baptism, following Jesus’ commands. By this Sacrament, the person baptised becomes a child of God and a member of his Church.
So, if you think you would like to have your baby baptised, that means that you want to bring that child to God to be made a Christian and to bring that child into the family of the Church.
How do I prepare for this?
Why not start by bringing your child along to the main service in church, each week. At Holy Trinity Tarleton this is 10.45 a.m. The service is called a Eucharist and fulfils another command of Jesus to ‘do this in remembrance of me.’
How many commands are there?
Not as many as you might think. There are, of course the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament, but Jesus basically only gave three commands:
i) to be baptised
ii) to receive the Holy Communion in remembrance of him
iii) to love one another, as he loved us.
I thought baptism was about being ‘christened’.
Indeed, baptism is about being made a child of Christ – hence the term christened, ‘made one of Christ’s’.
But isn’t it giving baby a name?
No, babies are named when you register them. Some people are not baptised until they are adults, but they still have a name.
Why do we need godparents?
When the church baptises infants, it recognises that they cannot take the important promises to God themselves, so godparents are there to take those vows for the child.
What vows do we have to take?
These are the promises. The priest says:
Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy. Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith. Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ? Your reply: With the help of God, we will.
Priest: In baptism these children begin their journey in faith. You speak for them today. Will you care for them, and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church? Your reply: With the help of God, we will.
So the promise is to pray for the child and to bring him, or her, with you to Church, as part of the family of God.
You are then asked to make the following statements of faith
Q. Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God? A. I reject them. Q. Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil? A. I renounce them. Q. Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and
neighbour? A. I repent of them. Q. Do you turn to Christ as Saviour? A. I turn to Christ. Q. Do you submit to Christ as Lord? A. I submit to Christ. Q. Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life? A. I come to Christ.
Wow – not sure I am ready for all that!
Why not come along to church and see what it is all about.
Or ask to speak to the parish priest: Fr Nicholas, 01772 812614
Or maybe it is not baptism that you want, but a service of thanksgiving for the safe arrival of your child and a party afterwards!