Planning a baptism or service of thanksgiving for your child
Baptism is a ‘sacrament’: a visible sign of God’s love. At baptism (also known as christening) you promise to raise your child to know God loves them and to help them to follow Jesus as a member of the church.
In baptism, you as parents are thanking God for his gift of life, and publicly acknowledging his love. You are also deciding to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church’s support.
Jesus himself was baptized as a sign of a new beginning. You can read the story at the start of Mark’s Gospel in the New Testament. Jesus told his followers to baptize others as a sign that they had turned away from their old life and begun a new life as his followers. Now they were members of Christ’s Body (the Church) and could be certain of God’s forgiveness.
Baptisms usually take place in the church’s main service, because they are a public declaration that your child has become part of the church family.
When you bring your child for baptism, you will be asked to declare publicly on behalf of your child that you believe in God and that you will bring your child up to follow Jesus. You will be asked to answer on your child’s behalf, that you have decided to turn away from everything which is evil or sinful and to turn instead towards Christ.
The declarations made by you and the child’s godparents will be made in front of the church congregation. The Christian community will promise to support you and pray for you and your child.
There is no church fee for a Baptism.
Service of Thanksgiving
If you don’t feel ready, or able, to make the promises that are part of the service of Baptism, you may feel that a service of Thanksgiving is more appropriate for your child.
In this service, you thank God for the gift of your child and the child is blessed. You do not make the same promises as in the Baptism service.
If you choose to have a Thanksgiving, you may also have a Baptism service for your child at a later date.
Our Parish Priest would be happy to discuss arranging either a Baptism or a service of Thanksgiving and to explain more about each. Contact him online…