Your child's Baptism is a time of joy and celebration and we are pleased that you are allowing us to share in your joy. In the Sacrament of Baptism your child will be welcomed as a beloved child of God and into God’s Church. This is an important day in the life of your child. It’s an important day for the people of Parish of Bay d’Espoir and the congregations of Christ Church and Ascension Church too. We delight in welcoming children and take the spiritual nurture and care of your child very seriously.
What is Baptism about ?.... It begins with the belief that God is the creator of all things, and through the care and nurture of children , He gives parents a share in the work and joy of creation. Baptism is a symbol of our personal response to God, through the invitation of Jesus Christ. Godparents ( Sponsors )Children who are too young to profess the Christian faith on their own, are baptized on the understanding that they will be brought up to trust and follow Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord within the family of the church. As they grow up they need encouragement, teaching and help, so that they may learn to put their faith in God, to worship and serve him, and to take their place in the life of the Church. All this depends on the help and encouragement they receive from their parents and sponsors (godparents). As you bring your child for baptism, it is important that you be able to show your own devotion to Christ, trust him as your Saviour and obey him as your Lord, and that you choose sponsors for your child who can do the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have questions about having their child baptized. Here are some of the more common ones:
Q. Do I have to attend church to have my child baptized? A. Baptism is more than just giving a child a name. It is a religious and spiritual experience of God's grace in our lives. In the baptism ceremony, the parents and sponsors( godparents) are asked to take a series of vows. One of these vows specifically states that the parents and sponsors will nurture the child in the faith and life of the Christian community, which simply put, includes modelling regular church attendance to your child as they grow and begin to understand more about their faith.
Q. When will the Baptismal service take place? A. Baptisms usually take place at the11:00am service on Sunday mornings so that the Christian community at Christ Church and Ascension Church may take their part in welcoming your child into the family of God. Ideally, Baptisms are held on one of the Church's festival days (such as Easter and Pentecost).Baptisms are not normally held during the seasons of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) or Lent (the six weeks before Easter.) Having said that, you need to know that the rector wants to work with you to pick a Sunday that works for you and your family.
Q. What if I (or the child's other parent) am not baptized? A. In the case of young children or infantsbeing baptized, at least one parent should be baptized.
Q. How do we choose godparents? A. First and foremost, godparents must themselves be baptized. The role of the godparents is to support the parents in raising the child in the Christian faith - for this reason they must be Christian themselves. Godparents are usually chosen from friends or relatives of the parents. When choosing godparents it is important to consider the spiritual life of the person, their ability to relate well to children and their ability to honour the vows that they will take during the baptism. Choose someone whom you believe will take an active and interested role in your child's life. From time to time we receive requests that there be a godparent or sponsor by proxy ( that is someone who could not be at the Baptism) This is acceptable but there cannot be more than one godparent by proxy. This godparent must contact the rector and notify him/her that this is okay.
In our Parish we try to help you at each step along the way. Parents and Sponsors (Godparents) are required to take part in baptismal preparation. Your entire family is welcome to attend. The Baptism preparation programme deals with these issues: The true meaning of baptism , Basics of The Christian faith, The Christian family and life in our parish. If you are a member of another church (of any denomination), but would like to have your child baptized in our parish we will contact your rector to inform him/her of your intentions. We do this because baptism is the sacrament of entry into the church, and it is important that your local church be involved even when the baptism is not taking place there.
Some Important Things to know about the Baptism of your Child. Baptism is about a Warm Welcome! Baptism is first, and foremost an act of Commitment. Through promises shared between yourself, sponsors/godparents, the Church and Jesus Himself, your child becomes a member of the body of Christ, and an inheritor of everlasting life. In Baptism God gives the gift of Grace to help us live a strong and meaningful Christian Life. Your Child also becomes a member of the family of the local Church. Your promises indicate that you too will be an active member of God’s Church wherever you live. There will be a time of preparation for the Baptism to help you find deeper meaning in this special event. We welcome you as a member of the family of Christ!
After Baptism Baptism should not be thought of as an event complete in itself. We should see it as the beginning of a new life. In it we share "the new life" of the risen Jesus. His life must be allowed to express itself through the life of every baptized person, in the worship of God and in loving service to the world in the fellowship of His Church. This cannot be done unless there is active involvement by the family in the life of the wider family of God. Your example as parents will do much to encourage - or discourage - your child in giving expression to the life of Christ received in Baptism. Consider, therefore, what a great responsibility you undertake in bringing him or her to receive Holy Baptism.