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Baptism

Congratulations!  You may be awaiting the birth of your child, have a newborn, or have a child who is several months old.  No matter the stage of parenting you are currently in, you have been entrusted with a great gift from God.  In your role as parent, you will serve as the first and most influencial teacher of your child's faith (among other things).  Holy Family seeks to help you in this role through weekly celebration of the Mass and offering the Sacrament of Baptism. 

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” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213].  The liturgy of Baptism invites you to think about the hopes and dreams you have for your child and the values you want to communicate to him or her in everday life.  These hopes, dreams, and values are expressed in the choices you make as a parent, the traditions you foster in your family, and the habits and interests you cultivate in your child.  This rite, or set of ritual actions, celebrates the beginning of your child's life as a child of God and member of the Church.  It affirms your own commitment to the faith and your promise to be your child's first catechist, being the first to hand on the faith to him or her by your Christian example.  It also affirms the church's commitment to offer you and your child support in each of your roles. 

Holy Family offers a preparation process to all families planning a baptism here in order to help you better understand the sacrament and rite of Baptism and your parent role in the faith life of your child.  The preparation includes a session, usually on Thursday nights and a resource called Your Baby's Baptims.  Some parents are also scheduled to have a session with the pastor. 

We celebrate the Liturgy of Baptism during regular weekend Masses or at a communal service which is offered at 1:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon on alternating months.  Only one baptism per weekend Mass will be scheduled and up to three baptisms can be scheduled for a communal service.  Baptisms performed by visiting priests or deacons can be arranged; please contact the parish office for more information.

Parents who have a child(ren) between the ages of seven to seventeen who are not baptized are encouraged to learn more about the process of RICA Adapted for Children.  Adults interested in baptism should see the process of RCIA for Adults.

Parents with children ages 0 to 6 can continue reading to learn more about scheduling a Baptism.

About the Sacrament of Baptism

Requirements for Baptism

Eligibility for Baptism at Holy Family

Parents must be registered parishioners at Holy Family Catholic Community for a minimum of three months and attend Mass regularly or must be registered at another Catholic Church and have family members registered here at Holy Family. 

Families who are not yet registered are encouraged to join the parish.  Once registered we can look to schedule a Baptism at least three months out.  The pastor reserves the right to delay a Baptism even further if there is a lack of Mass participation on the part of the family during the time between joining and the celebration of Baptism. 

Preparation

  • If this is your first child, a meeting with the pastor will be scheduled.
  • If this is your first baptism at Holy Family or you have not had a Baptism here in the last 3-5 years, a Baptism prep class is required.  Classes are scheduled every other month on a Thursday evening or a home visit can be requested.  Information about the Sacrament of Baptism, including the symbols of Baptism and the rite/ceremony will be discussed.
  • If you are registered at another parish, prep classes can take place at your home parish or at Holy Family.  Evidence of participation will need to be provided if preparation is held elsewhere (i.e. letter from parish on letterhead indicating that prep class was attended.)

Forms

  • A Baptism Registration form must be completed and submitted to the parish office preferably at least 3 months prior to the baptism request date.
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate must be provided at least one week before the baptism.
  • Godparent/Sponsor forms (and Christian Witness forms if applicable) must be completed and returned at least four weeks before the baptism. Information on selecting godparents and roles of the godparent will be provided after the Baptism registration form has been received.
  • If you are registered at another parish, we will need a letter of permission from that parish allowing us to perform the baptism here. 

Godparent Information

Godparents play a vital role in the faith of a child.  A godparent is a fully initiated Catholic who is in good standing with the church and is over the age of 16.  The godparent(s) represents the Catholic Church at Baptism and serves as a role model throughout the child’s life by living a fully Christian life.   For more information about selecting a godparent and/or the roles of godparents, please see the following links/articles:

There are usually two godparents, but only one is required.  As per Canon Law, only one godparent can be male and one female. If the second person is not a Catholic, they can serve as a Christian witness.  They must have been baptized in another denomination - they cannot be a baptized Catholic who is not practicing the Catholic faith. While this person is referred to as a Christian Witness, his/her role in the rite of Baptism is the same as the Catholic godparent. Godparents/witnesses must complete and return the appropriate form, either sponsor or Christian Witness, at least three weeks before the baptism.  Without this form we will not be able to allow the desired person to serve in either of these roles.

Information for Day of Baptism

Baptism during Mass

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the baptism.
  • Seating will be reserved for your family and guests.
  • Godparents will be asked to bring up the gifts at the offertory although other family members are invited to do this if preferred.
  • A baptism candle and white baptismal bib will be provided by Holy Family for the Sacrament although you are welcome to use your own.
  • Parents, siblings of the child to be baptized, and godparents will be invited to the Baptismal font for the Sacrament. 
  • Flash photography is not allowed at any time during the Mass or Baptism.
  • Please remind family and friends who are planning on taking pictures or video recording to be respectful of the Mass and the congregation.
  • If family members are not practicing Catholics, they are not able to receive Communion but are invited to approach the priest with their arms folded across their chest for a blessing.

Communal Baptism

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the baptism.
  • A baptism candle and white baptismal bib will be provided by Holy Family for the Sacrament.
  • Parents, siblings of the child to be baptized, and godparents will be invited to the Baptismal font for the Sacrament.