Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in his life in Jesus Christ and makes us his children. It is through this sacrament that we receive the Holy Spirit and become members of the People of God, of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Baptism becomes our commitment to grow in this new life and to strive to acquire spiritual maturity. By baptism, God purifies us from sin.
Baptism comes from the Greek word baptize in which means to ‘plunge’ or ‘immerse’. The plunge into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, through which he rises in resurrection with Christ, as “a new creature”. (see CCC 1214)
If an individual intends to convert from one’s religious beliefs to another, the candidate needs to undergo the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) programme conducted by the diocese at various centres in the Archdiocese as well our parish. The RCIA programme covers a period of one year. The candidate needs to first talk with any priests of the parish and then the priest will guide the candidate.
Baptism of Infants (Pre-Baptism Catechesis)
The pre-baptism team was set up to prepare new parents for the sacrament of their child’s baptism. It has been made mandatory, because of the high importance placed on building family faith. The preparatory course not only focuses on the religious significance of the sacrament, but also extends to imparting tools for parents to bring up their children firm in the catholic faith.
The four-module course talks about adapting to the changes that married life brings with it, faith formation within the family, the role of god-parenting and the rites of baptism. This course is conducted over 4 sessions on Saturday and Sunday. We advise that both parents attend this course during the early stages of pregnancy to avoid any inconvenience to the mothers-to-be. We also urge the god parents to attend 2nd weekend Sunday course (i.e. last session of the course).
Announcements regarding the course are made a month prior to the sessions. To register, please visit the parish office along with a copy of your Church Marriage Certificate.
POINTERS FOR CHOOSING A GODPARENT FOR YOUR CHILD
Should we make a relative or a friend or someone else? Should we make someone who is good looking or someone who is rich? Who should it be? The choices are plenty. Well, here’s something to think about. Remember, the focus is on someone who will help the parents in the holistic growth of the child.
The Criteria laid down by the church for godparents is
1. He / She should have received the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist & Confirmation.
2. The godparent should be at least 16 years of age.
3. The parents cannot become the godparents of their child.
This means that the godparent should be someone who
1. Is a practicing Catholic with a deep faith
2. Knows Catholic doctrines & understands the Sacrament of Baptism.
3. Can be trusted to maintain a long term relationship with the child.
4. Enjoys patience & can relate to a child.
5. Enjoys stability in his/her life.
6. Has a high moral character.
7. Would be an exemplary role model for the child.
The sacrament of Baptism is celebrated on every 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of the month after the 9.15 a.m. Mass and on the 2nd and 4th Saturday at 6pm in the Church. Those who wish to have their child baptized are required to attend the pre-baptism course prior to baptism. They would also need to ensure that the Godparents chosen for the Child are Catholic who have received Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. The God Parents too would have to attend the Pre-baptism course session on God Parents.
GUIDELINES FOR THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM IN OUR CHURCH
The Sanctifying Role of the Church Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in his life in Jesus Christ and makes us his children. It is through this sacrament that we receive the Holy Spirit and become members of the People of God, of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Baptism becomes our commitment to grow in this new life and to strive to acquire spiritual maturity. By baptism, God purifies us from sin. Baptism is the sacrament of faith which has the Risen Christ as its source, and it is the offer of salvation for all people. Intimately linked to Confirmation and to Eucharist, Baptism is, with these two sacraments, Christian Initiation. The child is baptized in the faith of his/her parents, of his/her godparents and of the Church.
PRACTICE IN THE PARISH PREPARATION FOR THE PRE-BAPTISM COURSE
The catechesis is conducted in four sessions.
Enrol for the pre-baptism course in the Church office on a weekday.
The pre-baptismal course is arranged by our parish in the months of January, April, July and October.
The parents (both husband and wife) have to attend the course. Couples can attend this programme from the fourth month of pregnancy onwards.
Godparents to attend third session. PREPARATION FOR THE DAY OF BAPTISM
Baptisms are administered on 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of the month after the 9.15am Mass and on the 2nd and 4th Saturday at 6pm in the Church. Register in the Church office with the Certificate received on completion of the prebaptism course.
Carry along your Marriage Certificate (IMP).
Ensure to be present 15 minutes before the Mass begins.
Do not Dress the child in the Baptismal robe of Christ. Wear a simple light dress on your baby.
Carry along a candle for Baptism.
Ensure that the parents and God parents are not involved in the photography for the ceremony of Baptism. After the Baptism Mass do not keep your baby on the Altar as it is the sacrificial table. We, as parents, will not want to sacrifice our child; so kindly avoid.