Baptism is a sacrament which effectively signifies and ritualizes one's initiation into the community call Church and manifest God's love (grace) for his people. Through God's unconditional love, the effect of original sin is reconciled and the newly baptized Christian is guided and strengthened in his/her promise of fidelity to Jesus Christ. The symbolic use of oil is an essential sign of the sealing and strengthening of this promise. The use of water is an essential symbol of the purification and new life in Christ which is effected at Baptism.
The baptism of a Christian into the faith is an occasion for celebration for the entire Church, and especially for the Parish community that welcomes a new member. Therefore, it is as much an occasion of grace and a sign for the community as it is for the person being baptized. The ceremony witnesses to the building up of the Body of Christ (the Church). It is a living and visible sign of God’s love for the community. Through the presence and pledge of the sponsor, the whole community called Church agrees to support the newly baptized and to share in the responsibility of his/her formation in the faith. Baptism is also an occasion for serious reflection upon one’s own commitment and responsibility to the church community.
A fuller awareness of the universality of God’s love can expand our understanding and appreciation of this sacrament. It can move our notion of Baptism from a posture of God saying YES to a relationship with a person to the posture of a person saying YES to a relationship with God. God already loves each person unconditionally and invites each into a relationship with God. In Baptism Christians say YES to this invitation to encounter God through the Church. At Baptism, the whole Church says YES to a stronger and fuller relationship with Jesus Christ because of the graced presence of the newly baptized in their community. (http://www.saintacc.org/saintanthony/baptism)
Why, exactly, do Catholics have the practice of baptizing infants?
What is the purpose of baptism and who can celebrate the sacrament of Baptism?
Do the godparents of our child need to be married to each other?
These are questions and more are answered in this edition of “Sacraments 101,” a web video series geared for those who’d like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.
Baptism is the beginning of the sacramental life of the Church. So, let’s begin…
Requirements For Baptism
Baptisms generally take place on Sunday after the 11:00 am Mass. In order to ensure that the communal, ecclesial nature of the Sacrament is evident, we will (whenever possible) schedule multiple families to celebrate the Sacrament. Parents should contact the Parish Office well in advance of the proposed baptism date to schedule and be interviewed by the parish deacon.
Parents will need to be registered at St. Lawrence under their own name. If you are not registered, you can fill out a registration form, and either put it in the collection basket during church, bring it to the Parish Office, or mail it to the Parish Office. If you are registered at another parish, then a letter from the pastor or deacon of that parish will need to be sent to St. Lawrence to confirm registration and attendance at Sunday Mass.
Parents who have not participated in a Baptism Prep Class within the last three years, must sign up for an upcoming class at St. Lawrence. Classes are offered per the schedule below at 7:00 pm and held in Deacon Hall. If you are from another parish, you may take the class at your own parish and have the person in charge of the class give you a letter or certificate that you have participated in the class and send that information to St. Lawrence.
Baptism Prep Class Dates:
October 12, 2017
November 30, 2017
Parents should show at least a minimal effort to live the Christian life including:
- a well founded belief of the parents’ intention and capacity to raise the child in the Catholic faith,
- acceptance of the doctrine of the Creed,
- regular participation in the worship of the Church, especially faithful, weekly attendance at Holy Mass,
- evidence of personal prayer life,
- a concern to show charity to others and
- a life-style influenced by belief in the Lord Jesus and a commitment to the way of life to which He invites us.
Qualifications For Godparents
The sponsor (godparent), together with the parents, presents an infant for Baptism and helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with Baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.
There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.
To take on the function of sponsor, a person must have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function and must have completed the sixteenth year of age.
The sponsor/godparent be a fully initiated Catholic (having received Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) who leads a life of faith, is not be bound by any canonical penalty, and is not the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness to the Baptism.