Baptism is a joyful ceremony, both a symbolic and a literal welcoming of a child or adult into the church. There is no ‘right’ age for baptism. Parents and godparents can take responsibility for a child who is too young to make his or her own promises.
Baptisms are held during St Columba’s Sunday 10am service, amongst the congregation which offers lifelong love and support to the baptismal family. This is a service of rejoicing – through singing and symbols – and solemnity – with prayer, promises, and the awesome presence of God.
What happens at a Baptism?
The person to be baptised, the parents and godparents gather around the font. The priest pours water over the candidate’s forehead, and declares: “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Pouring the water is a reminder of the ancient baptisms in the river Jordan, and gives the sacrament* its name of baptism from the Greek word for ‘submerging in water’. This symbolises the cleansing inspiration of new life in God, and the mystical union with Christ through his death and resurrection.
The Priest then makes the sign of the Cross on the person’s forehead to show a bodily connection with Jesus. A lit candle is presented as a symbol that ‘Christ is the light of the world’, and that all those baptised will reflect that light in their lives.
*A sacrament is the visible expression of a spiritual reality, an outward action which symbolises the working of God’s grace. The other principal sacrament is Holy Communion.
How much does a Baptism cost?
The sacrament of baptism is free but a donation to the church of $100 is requested for certificates, candles and administration of the baptism.
Service of Thanksgiving
Parents who do not wish to make the full baptismal promises of Church membership on behalf of their child may prefer a Naming Service or ‘thanksgiving for the birth of a child’. These leave open the option of baptism at a later date.
What do we do next?
If you would like to talk further about holding a baptism at St Columba, please phone our Office Administrator on 09-376 9119, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to make an appointment with our vicar who will be happy to answer any questions and provide further details about the service.