t welcomes them into the faith community of the Church that is founded on Christ’s love for us all. It is with great joy that all are invited into the family of God through the celebration of baptism.
We are fortunate that baptisms take place in the parish on a monthly basis whether it be in the Cathedral, Nazareth House or at Villa Maria. We are delighted with the opportunity this provides to meet with the families concerned and we work hard to ensure that the ceremony itself will be both relaxed and memorable for all.
On the day of Baptism, as a courtesy to the minister of the Sacrament, be it the Archbishop, the priest or deacon and the other families please aim to arrive at least fifteen minutes before the start of the celebration.
Congratulations on the birth of your child! The Cathedral Parish Community shares in your joy and thank you for wanting to have your baby join the family of the Church through Baptism.
To allow for preparation for your child’s baptism, parents are asked to give us one month’s notice to the Parish Office.
An important point worth mentioning is that 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 and not private affairs.
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.
It is likely that at the moment you are concerned about the birth of your child. Either it is an event you are waiting for; or you are still recovering from it. Before the baby arrives there is so much to think about; where will the baby sleep, baby’s clothes, will the baby be completely healthy, perhaps even the prospect of twins?
Then, all of a sudden, there is chaos. The baby finally arrives and there is no time to think. There is so much to get done. Some people think of baptism simply as something else to “get done”. They speak of baptism as having the baby “done”. That is very sad because baptism is a birth into the Christian community and is in every way as solemn and important as the birth itself. It is an event that needs to be prepared for.
Your most important preparation is to look at your own faith. Your baby 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 baby baptised shows that you recognise the importance of God in your life. From the earliest day’s children too young to answer for themselves have been baptised, usually as they accompanied their parents into the Church. 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.
Your efforts will not only help your baby to grow up in the love of God but they will also help you to grow. As you teach your child to pray, you yourself will deepen your prayer; as you teach your child to appreciate the Mass, your own faith will be enriched.
Your baby’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 its midst with love and prayers for the future peace and happiness of your family in the years that lie ahead.
A sign on something shows its origins or ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark of all Christians. We, who bare the name of Christ, acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our salvation. Parents and godparents trace it on the child’s forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now in turn offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.
This is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, in the instance of baptism of adults, of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the Risen Christ is ours.
There are two oils used in the celebration of the Sacrament. The first is the Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves with oil to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead. The second is the Oil of Chrism, which is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The profession of faith which you make on behalf of your child at baptism will later be confirmed personally by your child in the Sacrament of Confirmation when Oil of Chrism will be used again. The oils are blessed by the Archbishop and the Clergy of the Archdiocese on Maundy Thursday.
This garment (usually a white shawl) is a relic of the new clothes worn by Christians after baptism in the first centuries. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection.
These symbolise Christ – the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as a sign of the Risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life; and its flame symbolises the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.
Your child’s baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in form of a Baptismal Certificate issued on the basis of this registration. Your child’s confirmation, marriage or ordination will also be noted alongside this entry in the Baptismal Register.