Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Church, and bringing children into the family of God through the Church requires parental consent, even if one of them is not themselves baptised.

The non-Catholic parent can have a part to play in the baptismal ceremony, and is free to choose the extent to which he or she is involved.
These are indicative of the questions asked of the parents during the ceremony:

  • What name have you given your child?
  • What do you ask of God's church for N.?

The priest then says: 'You have asked to have your child baptised. In doing so you are accepting responsibility for bringing her/him up in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring her/him up to follow Christ's teaching, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?’

You are invited to profess your faith. Sometimes, you do this with the whole community.

Following this, and immediately prior to the baptism of your child the priest asks you: ‘Is it your will that your child should be baptised in the faith of the Church, which we have all professed with you?’

Parents are invited to participate in the ceremony in other ways. For example, either one of you holds the child. You are invited to trace the sign of the cross on the child's forehead. Either you or a godparent puts a white garment on your child as a sign of being clothed with Christ and as a sign of Christian dignity. Either you or a godparent lights your child's baptismal candle from the Paschal Candle.

At the end of the ceremony the celebrant blesses individually the mother and the father of the child.

All of this you can discuss with the celebrant during the preparation for the baptism.

Acknowledgements
Baptism photo on Lightstock

Reviewed
14 October 2019

Back to top