Congratulations and Thanks
Congratulations on the birth of your child! The Parish Community shares in your joy. Thank you for wanting to have your baby join the family of the Church through Baptism. By asking for your baby’s Baptism, you are publicly thanking God for His gift to you and making a commitment to bring up your child in the Christian faith. We will help you carry out your decision by giving you our wholehearted support.
Baptism is the first of the Sacraments and it is through our Baptism that we are made members of the Church – the faith community – God’s family – ‘The people of God’
Booking Your Child’s Baptism Ceremony
To allow for preparation for your child’s baptism;
Parent(s) must give one month’s notice to the parish secretary at the Parish Office – (061) 372 929 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening hours for the Parish Office are Monday to Wednesday 10.15 a.m.- 11.30 a.m.
Since Baptism is not merely a naming ceremony for your child, but rather a welcoming of each new Christian into our parish community, these are very much community celebrations.
- Parent(s) are required to attend a Baptismal information meeting before the Baptism takes place. Godparents are invited to attend if possible, but it is not required.
- This meeting will be held on the first Wednesday of every month in the sacristy of St. Joseph’s Church, Castleconnell from 8.00 p.m – 9.00 p.m. Tea/Coffee will be provided.
Our Baptismal team will help you to become familiar with the ceremony itself and with what is expected of you. They will explain the practicalities of the day, and answer any questions you might have.
You will also be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life. This is so you may provide the essential foundation for passing on the amazing gift of your Catholic faith to your beloved child.
Dates and Times for Baptism Ceremonies
Baptisms are held on the first and fourth weekend of each month.
St. Joseph’s Church, Castleconnell – Saturdays at 4pm and on Sundays at 12.30pm. (after 11.30 a.m. mass)
St. Patrick’s Church, Ahane – Saturdays at 4pm and on Sundays at 12.00p.m (after 11.00 a.m. mass)
Time for celebration and Joy!
Your baby’s baptism is a time for celebration and joy. And, naturally, you want the best for your baby. We want to help you plan and prepare for the baptism in the best possible way.
An important Question…An important Question…An important Question…
Why have you requested baptism for your child in the Church?
There may be many reasons…Seems to be the thing to do? Someone else in the family wants it? It’s on my “to do” list? I’m afraid something might happen my child? It’s a significant step that starts the faith journey?
Some people think of baptism simply as something else to “get done”. That’s very sad- because it is so much more! For baptism is a birth into the Christian community and is in every way as solemn and important as your child’s physical birth itself. It’s an event that needs to be prepared for.
Your Faith is Important
A most important preparation is to look at your own faith. Your child will be born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms. As he or she gets older your child will grow up, too, with your faith. That is why, when you approach the church about having your child baptised, you will be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life.
The very fact that you have asked to have your child baptised shows that you recognise the importance of God in your life. The church recognises the desire of Christian parents to share the life of Christ with their children. Jesus Christ, like you, wants the best for your child.
Growing in God’s Love
Your efforts will not only help your child to grow up in the love of God; they will also help you to grow. As you teach your child to pray and appreciate the Mass, your own faith will be enriched. Your child’s baptism is only the beginning of a new life in which you will grow closer to one another in the family and closer to God. The Church welcomes your child into God’s family with love and prayers for the peace and happiness of your own family in the years ahead.
Registration of Baptism
The parish records the baptism of your child in the Baptismal Register of the parish. This record includes the full names of the child, parents and godparents, the child’s date of birth, the date of the baptism and the name of the officiating priest or deacon. A Certificate of Baptism can be issued by the Parish Office as and when required.
Practical Tips as You Prepare for Your Child’s Baptism
- Contact the parish office to book the Baptism at least one month before the required Baptism.
- Our parish has a team to help prepare parents for the Baptism of their child. You are obliged to participate in this meeting.
- The Baptismal team will hold an information meeting on the first Wednesday of every month in the church sacristy at 8.00 p.m. for one hour.
- At least one parent must attend a meeting to prepare for the Sacrament and ideally the godparents also.
- Choose godparents who will be a real and long-lasting help on your child’s Christian journey. It would be helpful if they could participate in the Baptism preparation with you.
- You might write a “Parent(s) Prayer” or “Parent(s) Wish” that includes your hopes and dreams for this new child.
- Make the ceremony a community event. Invite relatives, friends and neighbours to participate in the Baptism liturgy. Some could serve as Scripture readers.
- Keep the white garment, the candle, the prayers, photos and other symbols of the baptismal ceremony to share with your child in future years. These keepsakes can be brought out on the child’s anniversary of Baptism or birthday and serve as powerful reminders of the ongoing importance of the event.
Requirements for the day of the Baptism
Picture taking is allowed throughout the Baptism ceremony. We just ask that you take the pictures discreetly and not impose on the Sacrament.
- Parents must provide their own candle for the child.
- The child must wear something white- a baptismal gown, white shirt etc. and parents must bring a white shawl for the child.
- Remember to bring the Baptismal Ceremony Booklet with your chosen readings marked for the priest.
After the Baptism Ceremony
As your child grows it is important to pray with them, share some bible stories (maybe purchase a Children’s Bible), visit the Church to light a candle for someone who is sick, attend Mass…etc.
We pray God’s Blessing upon you in the challenge ahead of bringing up your child in the faith….
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to attend a Baptismal information meeting if I have previously attended the meeting for my other children?
It is optional but not compulsory. If you wish to come again we would be delighted to welcome you and your new arrival. The meeting offers parents time to reflect and renew their commitment to the initiation of their newest family member into the community and family of Jesus Christ. It also offers an opportunity to meet other new parents.
What are the requirements for Godparents?
The Godparents must be fully initiated that is having been Baptised, made their First Holy Communion and received Confirmation. Godparents must also be examples of Faith for the child to follow.
If I am not living within the parish, can I have my child Baptised in the parish?
Yes of course. You would be expected to attend our Baptismal information meeting.
The Symbols Used in the Baptism Ceremony
The Sign of the Cross:
A stamp or imprint on something is a sign of its origin or ownership. The sign of the cross which we make at the beginning of the ceremony on the child’s forehead, claims him/her for Christ.
In the Celebration of Baptism TWO different oils are used;
- The Oil of catechumens – The child is anointed on the chest with this oil as a sign that the Lord is giving them strength for the Christian journey they are beginning.
- The Oil of Chrism – A very sacred oil, which the child is anointed with on the top of the head. Oil is used to anoint kings and monarchs, it sets people aside for a mission. We are set aside for the Christian mission on the day we are baptised.
Profession of Faith:
YOU have requested baptism for your child. In doing this YOU ARE MAKING A COMMITMENT to bringing up your child in the faith. – We promise to live by Christian values and pass on those values to our child. We promise to bring our child to Mass and the Sacraments, for this is what it means to belong to the Christian family. Therefore we profess the faith that we promise, before the community gathered, to pass onto our child. We pray for the grace to live as good Christian witnesses before our child.
Water is essential for life! In Baptism, water symbolises the new life we receive in Christ. Just as we nurture and care for a plant or shrub, in order for it to live a healthy life, we too must nurture and care for our faith in order for it to grow healthy and strong.
The White Robe is a symbol of Christ. After they were baptised, the early Christians used to clothe themselves in white garments to show that they had “put on Christ”. In the same way, the child, during the baptism ceremony, is clothed in the white shawl to show that they are “clothed in Christ” or “wrapped up” in the love of Christ!
The Baptism Candle:
The large Easter Candle (or Pascal Candle) is lit for the Baptism ceremony. This light symbolises Christ, the Risen Lord, who overcame the cross and rose to new life. It is a symbol of hope! A smaller Baptism Candle is lit from the Easter Candle. This light, love and hope of Jesus is being passed on to the new Christian through YOU the parents.