BAPTISM 

BAPTISM 

Dates for Baptism in The Church of the Holy Child 

Baptisms take place at 1.30p.m. on the second and fourth Sunday in every month in the Church of the Holy Child. 
 
To book a Baptism please contact Anne in the Parish Office in the Church of the Holy Child. A copy of your baby's Birth Certificate is required. Should you live outside the Parish a letter of permission from the Parish Priest in your Parish of residence is required. 
 
Parish Office: 01 837 5274 
In general, Baptism is usually celebrated on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. A Baptism Form should be completed in the Parish Office four weeks before the date of Baptism. Please bring a copy of your baby's Birth Certificate with when coming to arrange for Baptism. 
NOTE 
All baptisms are at 1.30pm. Preparation Meetings are at 7.30pm. 

Dates for Baptism in Chapel of Blessed Margaret Ball 

Baptisms take place in The Chapel of Blessed Margaret Ball at 12 noon on the first and third Saturday in every month. 
 
To book a Baptism in the Chapel of Blessed Margaret Ball please contact Anne in the Parish Office in the Church of the Holy Child. A copy of your baby's birth certificate is required. Should you live outside the Parish a letter of permission from the Parish Priest in your Parish of residence is required. 
 
Parish Office: 01 837 5274 
In Santry, Baptism is usually celebrated on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. A Baptism Form should be completed in the Parish Office four weeks before the date of Baptism. Please bring a copy of your baby's Birth Certificate with you when coming to arrange for Baptism. 
NOTE 
All baptisms are at 12 Noon. Preparation Meetings are at 7.30pm. 
Attendance at a Baptism Meeting by parents is expected. Godparents or any other family members or friends are also welcome to the meeting. Please see Parish Weekly Newsletter for details of dates and times of Baptisms and Baptism Meetings. 

Adults and Infants 

First of all, let us draw a distinction between adults and infants. The following information applies to infant baptism only. Children aged 7 and under qualify for infant baptism. Anyone 8 years of age and older must go through an adult baptism programme. Details can be obtained by contacting the parish priest. 
 
At the present time, the majority of people baptised are infants. But that is not always the case. Baptism is primarily a sacrament for adults. Baptism is only administered to infants on the understanding that their parents will bring them up in 'the living out of the faith'. 
The meeting is to help parents and godparents to prepare for the important event that Baptism is and to understand what will happen during the ceremony. 

Booking a Baptism 

To book your child's baptism to take place at any of the above times, please call to either church and fill out a form before the relevant closing date given above. Office hours in Holy Child are from 10am - 2pm Mon.- Fri. The sacristy is also open whenever there is Mass in the church. Blessed Margaret Ball is only open at Mass time on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Wednesday morning. No more than six babies are baptised on any one day, so it's important to return the form as soon as you have decided on a date you would like. When you have reserved a baptism date for your child, one of the baptism team will call to confirm when the meeting will take place. 

Birth Certificates 

To avoid problems in years to come, we must ensure that the entry for the child in the Baptism Register is the same as that in the Civil Register of Births. We therefore ask parents of all children to bring the child's Civil Birth Certificate either to the meeting or to the Baptism Ceremony so that this can be verified. 

What do we need? 

You need one or two Godparents, a baptism candle and a white shawl to wrap around the baby after they have been baptised. 

Age of Sponsors 

Sponsors (or Godparents) must be at least 16 years of age and must be confirmed. You can have one or two, and where there are two, one male and one female is required. The ideal is that the Godparents should be people who practise their faith so that the child can look to them for example in years to come. 

Do you realise what you are undertaking? 

This is one of the questions asked of parents during the Baptism Ceremony. Bringing a child to the church for baptism is about making a commitment, a commitment to bring up the child in the faith, "to train them in the living out of the faith", as the Rite of Baptism puts it. 
 
It seems to me, there are three elements to this commitment: 
1. To provide a loving home for your child 
2. To teach your child to pray 
3. To bring your child to weekly Sunday Mass. 
Sometimes I hear it said that "You don't have to go to Mass to be a good Christian." I think this is untrue. Many good people do not go to Mass, but good Christians do go to Mass. 

Being a Christian 

A Christian is a follower of Jesus; someone who believes that Jesus is God's son, and that he died and rose again to save us. A Christian cherishes the words of Jesus, lives by them, and gives them a special place in their lives. A Christian is someone who wants to receive the bread of life, who wants to be nourished by the spiritual food that Jesus gave us. 

'Do this in memory of me.' 

These are words Jesus spoke at his last meal with his friends. At that meal, he instituted the Mass, and he asked his disciples to celebrate Mass in his memory. How can we call ourselves his followers if we don't want to remember him in the way he asked. Jesus gave his life for us, and he gave us the Mass to remember that event. That is why we are called to go to Mass each Sunday. 

We need you! 

And you know, there's another important reason to go to Mass. 
 
When any member of the Christian Community in a parish doesn't go to Mass, we all lose out. Each member of the community is precious, each member is called to play his or her part, to bring his or her gifts and his or her personality to the assembly so that the Body of Christ can be complete. 
The story of Baptism falls into three periods in history. In the early period, it was mainly adults who were baptised. They prepared for Baptism over a long period, celebrated it in the midst of the gathered community at the Easter Vigil, and then would meet with the Bishop each day of the following week to reflect further on the precious gift of Baptism. The model of the Sacrament then, was one that involved preparation, celebration, and reflection. In the middle period, there was a shift towards baptising infants. Many of the very meaningful elements of preparation and celebration disappeared. Above all, baptism and the community drifted apart and Baptism came to be looked upon as something private. In the present period since the second Vatican Council, there has been a move to try to recover some of the richness of the early period, especially the idea that a Sacrament is something which needs to be prepared for beforehand, celebrated meaningfully and then reflected upon afterwards. 
 
Baptism is a beautiful Sacrament. However, some of its beauty and joy can be missed if it is a rushed affair with little preparation put into it. As members of the Baptism Team we are there to help parents prepare for their child’s Baptism. This ministry is all about welcoming people and making them feel at home, at home in the Church. It is about smiles, hospitality and friendship. The birth of a baby is a time of great happiness. Soon after the birth, parents make a decision about Baptism, where their child will be welcomed into the Christian Community. Our role is to represent the Christian Community, that is the Parish, at the Baptism and to help parents and godparents to prepare for the task they have undertaken when asking for Baptism. To help them prepare for and fulfill their Baptismal role, parents attend a Baptism preparation meeting with the team. The Baptism preparation meeting provides both the parents and godparents with a greater understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism, as well as ensuring that, the ceremony of Baptism is a more meaningful celebration for all concerned. In Baptism, signs and symbols are used, many of which are ordinary everyday things that take on a special meaning during the celebration of the Sacrament. 
Some may not be as obvious as others. The significance of all the various signs, symbols, wording and movement is explained at the meeting. Today’s Baptism ceremony does not confine itself to just one part of the Church building. There are four stopping places – the Door, Listening to the Word of God, the Baptismal Font, and Gathering around the Altar. These four stopping places are linked to one another by means of movement and as Baptism is only the start of the Christian journey, this journey is symbolised through that movement. The Baptismal ceremony normally starts at the door of the Church. It is not just the entrance into the Church building, it stands for entrance into the Church community. Between our Church here in Whitehall and in Blessed Margaret’s approximately fifteen children are baptised each month and welcomed into our Church community.