How do I get my child Baptized?
Baptism is the gateway to Christian life and all the other Sacraments. It is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ where he pours his unconditional love and divine grace down upon the recipient. Like the Jews of the Old Testament passing through the Red Sea, the recipient passes through the waters of sin and death and is reborn to a new life in Christ. “Through baptism men and women are freed from sin, are reborn as children of God, and, configured to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church” (Canon #849) which is the body of Christ.
So, how do I get my child Baptized?
The first thing you should do is talk with your parish priest or parish secretary and request baptism for your child. In most cases, the following will need to get done.
- The required forms will need to be filled out. Your parish has these forms and can help you with them.
- It is important to know the purpose of the sacrament and the responsibilities for the parents and sponsors. Towards this end, your parish will provide some instruction. These may be formal or informal meetings depending upon your parish.
- You will need to select sponsors. One must be Catholic. The other can be from another Christian tradition, in which case they are called a Christian witness. The parish many also require a form for the approval of the sponsors.
What do I do if I do not have a parish?
Church law says that the baptism must occur within a church or oratory. The child should be baptized in the church of one or both of the parents. If you are not members of a parish, you should consider joining one since baptism implies the responsibility of raising your child within the Catholic Church. Canon #868 says, “there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion.” To find a parish near you, click here.