Baptism

Birth of a childGod's
Promises

When the love of man and woman results in the birth of a child they are sharing in God’s perpetual act of creation. This new life with its mystery is God’s gift

Christian parents bring their children to be baptised with water as a sign of the new life in Christ and to be made members of God’s family the Church. The water is a sign of the promised gift of new life in the Holy Spirit.

In Baptism we declare that God’s love and grace are offered to all and we claim those promises for our children.

Like the parents who brought their children to Jesus, we bring our children knowing that the Church will welcome them in Christ’s name.

There is nothing magical about Baptism and the baby can only come to know the love of God through others, through the love of the parents and the Church. So in the service of Baptism the members of the Church and the parents make their promises.

The Parents’ promises

The Minister:

    Will you love these your children, committing yourselves to care for them in body, mind and spirit?

Parents:

    With God’s help we will

The Minister:

    Will you, therefore, ensure that they are nurtured in the faith and life of the Christian community?

Parents:

    With God’s help we will

The Minister:

Will you set before them a Christian example, that through your prayers, words and deeds, they may learn the way of Christ?

Parents:

With God’s help we will

The Church’s promise 

Members of the body of Christ, we rejoice that this our sister/brother has been baptised.

Will you so maintain the Church’s life of worship and service that she/he and all the children amongst us may grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord?

The People:

With God’s help we will


A Promising child?

In the fairy stories the Fairy Godmothers come to the christening and wave their magic wands over the baby and so long as the wicked fairies keep out of the way the baby grows up to be a handsome prince or beautiful princess.

It is not as easy as that in real life. Bringing up children means sacrifice for the parents in all sorts of ways. We have even to guard against being selfish for our own children and wanting them to have more than others.

Naturally we want to share with our children the things that we enjoy and if we are Christians we want to share our faith with them.

When we sprinkle the water on the baby’s forehead we are not trying to brain-wash them into becoming good little Christians, but we want them to come to know God’s love and to reach a point when they will decide for themselves that they want to be a follower of Christ.

This is the meaning of Confirmation, the time when a child acknowledges their own faith, makes their own promises and becomes a full member of the Church.

A Promising TimeA prayer for your child

(based on the words of Richard of Chichester c1197-1253)

God bless …………….

May he/she know you more clearly,

Love you more dearly,

Follow you more nearly,

Day by day. Amen.