The Nature of the Sacrament of Baptism
The Nature of the Sacrament of Baptism
The great gift of the Sacrament of Baptism is described by the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.”…
Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: “Therefore … we are members one of another.” Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.”…
Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to “obey and submit” to the Church’s leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.
By asking for this Sacrament for their children, parents are working “hand in glove” with God in the faith journey of their children. During the ceremony parents and godparents, through the Baptismal promises, proclaim their faith in all that the Church has received through Revelation for two thousand years; they profess to hold fast to the present discipline of the Church and confirm their intention to live the faith. In accepting what has been handed down from one Catholic generation to the next, they promise that their children will be brought up in the same faith and discipline.
Time of Celebration
Baptism is ordinarily celebrated on Sundays during the 10am Mass. However, there may be rare occasions when another celebration at Mass will not allow for Baptism, e.g., Confirmations, weddings, etc.
Parents and godparents must have attended the pre-Baptismal class at Presentation BVM Church before the actual Baptism.
One of the parents of the individual to be baptized must be a registered, practicing Catholic living in our parish or another Catholic Parish according to the expectations of the Roman Catholic Church. If the parents live in another parish, they must have a letter from their pastor allowing the Baptism to take place here at St. Joseph Parish.
Two godparents, one man and one woman, should both be practicing Catholics. However, if this is not possible, there must always be at least one practicing Catholic godparent. Non-Catholics may stand as Christian witnesses to the Baptism. Non-Christians may never stand as godparents or witnesses.
To be eligible to be a godparent at Baptism, the individual:
- must have already celebrated their sixteenth birthday at the time of Baptism;
- must have already received Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist and must be regularly participating in the Sunday liturgy in their parish community;
- must be presently living in conformity with Catholic doctrine and discipline and in harmony with the expectations of the role to be undertaken;
- must receive a certificate from the pastor of their home parish, where they are practicing the faith, indicating their eligibility according to church standards to be a godparent;
- must not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.
- an interview with the parents and
- a pre-Baptismal class for both parents and godparents.
Arrangements for Baptism
Baptismal Instructions at Presentation BVM Rectory: 2nd Monday of each month at 7pm for parents and godparents. Please contact Father Harrison at Presentation B.V.M. rectory at 215-379-1364.