Congratulations on the birth of your child! The Parish Community shares in your joy. Thank you for choosing to raise your child as a Catholic – your family’s joy is a blessing for the whole faith community. The vast majority of those who request the Sacrament of Baptism in Ireland are parents’ of infants. If you are an adult interested in Baptism, or you would like to speak about Baptism for an older child; please contact contact us directly. Thank you.
For Christians, Baptism is a welcoming of a new Christian into our faith community. Thus, even when a Baptism is celebrated quietly, it is a blessing for the whole community and a chance for us all to reflect on our own faith.
Our priest and/or the parish Baptism team will help you to prepare for the Baptism itself in advance by walking you through the ceremony itself, discussing the practicalities and beauty of the sacrament and and answering any questions that might arise. The information below is offered so that you can read it at a time that suits you in advance of your child’s Baptism.
Dates for Baptism Ceremonies
The Sacrament of Baptism is normally celebrated on Saturdays or on Sundays at about 1 p.m (After 12 noon Sunday Mass is over). To allow for preparation, parents are asked to give at least one month’s notice to the Parish Office.
A 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.
Much to do:
The birth of a new baby is one of the most wonderful times of any parents’ life. It is also one of the busiest times! So its easy to see how making time to prepare well for your child’s Baptism might seem challenging in the face of all else that must be done. However, Baptism is a birth into the Christian community and is in every way as solemn and important as birth itself. We believe it’s an event that needs to be prepared for, and the start of a Christian journey.
To support you in this busy, joyful time: we offer the following information for you to read at a time of your convenience, in advance of your child’s Baptism.
Your faith is important:
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, learning from, and 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 days 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.
Growing in God’s Love:
Your efforts will not only help your baby to grow up in the love of God: they will also help you to grow. As you teach your child to pray, you yourself will deepen your prayer; as you teach you child to appreciate the Mass your own faith will be enriched. Don’t worry that you don’t have all the answers right now: parents learn with their children, and this parish will be with you, to support your family too.
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 ahead.
The signs and symbolism of Baptism
Every ritual has symbols (like a birthday cake and candles), songs (Happy Birthday!), events(blowing out of candles), etc that make sense to those who know whats happening. The more we know, the more we can participate and enjoy what is happening. Here is an introduction to the symbols we encounter at Baptism.
Sign of the Cross:
A sign, or mark, on something shows its origins or ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark that Christians wear to say ‘we belong to Jesus Christ’. At Baptism, parents and god-parents are invited to trace the sign of the Cross on the child’s forehead at the start of the ceremony to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to this child.
Water is necessary for life, and is a symbol of life & good health. It is also a symbol of cleansing, healing and blessing. The word Baptism comes from the Greek word ‘Baptizdo’ – a verb describing water pouring into a ship to the point of flooding. The boat was baptizdo, immersed, in water. God isn’t asking to dribble grace on our lives. God wants to immerse us in love and joy and a future full of hope. This is the life of Christ that we invite your child into in Baptism.
We use two blessed oils in the Sacrament of Baptism. Each has olive oil as its base. Oil is a warm rich element used to warm, to tone muscle, to add beauty, to anoint. The oils used across the diocese are blessed each year by the Bishop on Holy Thursday. The first oil is the Oil of Catechumen’s. The child is anointed on the chest as one who prepares, who begins the Christian journey. After Baptism the child is anointed on the head with the Oil of Chrism. This is a blessed mix of olive oil and balsam (an expensive perfume). It reminds us of King David’s anointing & of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet. Your child, newly baptised, will be anointed with the Oil of Chrism, as a precious child of God.
Chrism is also 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 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!
These symbolise Christ – the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal Candle (a large candle which stands near the altar, and which was blessed 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.
Registration of Baptism
Your baby’s baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in the form of a certificate issued on the basis of this registration. Your child’s confirmation, marriage or ordination will also be noted alongside this entry in the register.