In having children baptised, we follow Christ’s teaching and the ancient practice of the Church. Due to the importance of Baptism, parents should have their children baptised ‘within the first few weeks’ after their birth.
Baptism is a sacrament founded by Christ Himself. All sacraments are the action of Jesus Christ in His Church. They are the outward sign of inward grace, bringing us God’s spiritual help we need to live our lives as we ought.
- We are forgiven Original Sin. Baptism is the ordinary way of getting to heaven.
- We receive grace.
- We become members of the Church.
- We are born again as children of God.
At Baptism parents promise to raise their child in the practice of the faith. This means:
- Coming to Mass each Sunday.
- Teaching your child to pray.
- Teaching your child the beliefs of the Catholic faith and how to lead a good Christian life, principally through your own example.
Please speak to the parish priest to arrange a Baptism, which is normally celebrated in the parish where you live and/or attend Mass. There are a number of things you need to do before the Baptism:
- Come to Mass each Sunday – given you promise to raise your child as a Catholic.
- Attend the baptism preparation sessions. You can attend the session before the child is born, if you wish.
- Choose the child’s name(s). At least one of the names must be a ‘Christian’ name, i.e. the name of a saint.
- Choose at least one godparent, who must be a practising Catholic aged 16+.
Baptisms usually take place on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. The service lasts around 30 minutes. The priest will explain the various rites of the Baptism. You need to bring a white shawl. The church provides the baptismal candle. Your family and friends, whether Catholic or not, are very welcome to attend the Baptism. Covid-19 restrictions currently limit attendance to 30 people. There is no charge for Baptism. However, it is customary to make an offering to the Church. This can be given to the priest on the day of the Baptism.
The Baptism of Adults
See the page “Thinking of becoming a Catholic?”
HOLY GHOST & ST. STEPHEN
44 Ashchurch Grove
020 8743 5196