THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
Thank You, O God, for Holy Baptism
Which engrafted me into Your family,
A gift great beyond all thought or expression
Which transforms my soul (37).
– St Faustina
DIVINE MERCY SHRINE BAPTISMAL PROGRAMME
To begin with, congratulations on the birth of your child. Our parish community also welcomes this new born child. In this way, parents are the first teachers of their children. Preparation for Baptism helps them fulfil this role. The Baptism of your child will be a very special moment for you and your family. As we welcome your child into the Christian community, it will also be a special moment for our parish.
The Divine Mercy Shrine Baptismal Programme begins during pregnancy when the expectant parents are invited for a blessing for themselves and their unborn child. A prayer will be given to the parents after this blessing, which they can use during the pregnancy. A celebration morning tea will be held before the baptism ceremony to introduce the newborn to our Parish community after Sunday Mass.
The Baptismal Service
- The Baptism celebration begins with the welcome of the child into the church. The Sign of the Cross is traced on the child’s forehead to show that he/she belongs to Christ.
- We listen to the Word of God
- We pray for the child and his/her family.
- The child is anointed with the Oil of Cathechumens to give strength.
- The water of Baptism is blessed. Water is for cleansing. Water is also necessary for life.
- We renew our Baptismal promises.
- The child is Baptised by the pouring of water three times over the child’s head: [name of the child……….…..] I Baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
- The child is anointed with the Oil of Chrism to give strength to live as a friend of Jesus, and bring others to Jesus.
- The White Garment is a sign of Christian dignity.
- The Candle symbolises Christ as the light of the world.
- The child’s mouth and ears are blessed.
- We conclude our celebration of Baptism by looking forward to the next Sacrament the child will celebrate – First Communion and Confirmation.
- We then process to Our Lady’s Chapel where the child is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and we pray the Our Father – the prayer that unites all Christians.
- The Final Blessing of the child’s parents, child and the whole community who have gathered to celebrate the Baptism, is given.
- The Dismissal – we are all sent out to bring God’s peace to our world.
Things to Note
Parents provide a Baptismal Candle which is blessed by the Priest. It is lit during the ceremony from the Paschal (Easter) Candle. The candle may be used later in preparation services for First Communion and Confirmation within the family.
- Parents are to bring a separate White Garment.
- The name that you give your child is important.
- Godparents must be Catholic and be at least 16 years of age. They must be fully initiated into the Church, that is, having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
- The extended family members are all welcome to participate in the Baptism ceremony.
- A Blessing Sunday is arranged each year. This is for babies baptised during the previous 12 months, and we hope that you will be able to attend.
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