When a mother learns that she is with child, a family often begins to plan showers and to prepare a nursery, all of which are worthy practices. But in preparing for a child’s birth, we should never forget to prepare for a child’s rebirth into the Body of Christ through that initial sacrament of Baptism. In Baptism, an indelible (albeit invisible) mark is placed upon us that sets us aside. We are forever claimed as a son or daughter of God as well as a soldier of Christ, members of the Church Militant. As such, we are also called to be future saints with God’s great grace. Spiritual preparation is essential, then, not only in getting the ceremony and sacrament completed, but also in preparing another soul to be raised up in a godly and Christian way.
There are some things which parents who are preparing for their child’s Baptism are asked to do. They should be registered here at OLM at least six months, regularly attending Mass, and regularly giving to the offertory, all of which is to ensure that they are practicing Catholics who take their faith seriously. They should attend a Baptism Preparation class and prayerfully select the child’s godparents. When choosing godparents, we need to choose faithful, practicing Catholics who will be dutiful in their task to keep your child, and thus your family, practicing Catholics. Godparents should be confirmed, and if they are married Catholics, they should be married in the Church. A good godparent is someone who will scold a parent if they stop going to Mass, and correct a parent if they stop going to regular confession. A serious godparent will make sure the parents are doing all they can to raise up Catholic children. Prayer should be an important part of their daily life. Talking with God everyday helps one to know and love the One who knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us more than we can comprehend. Choose a godparent who actually prays! These qualities mean that it is essential to find a conscientious, practicing Catholic who is serious about living out his or her own Catholic life.
So, in preparing for your child’s Baptism, please, do the following: 1) contact Scott Curran, our parish DRE, or Graciela Turner, our Hispanic Coordinator, to begin the process of preparing for your child’s Baptism; 2) choose a sincerely Catholic godparent or two for your child, conscious that whomever you choose may need a “Catholic in Good Standing” letter from his/her parish; and 3) begin to spiritually prepare for this great gift God has given to you and that, in a sense, you are preparing to give back to God.
Other things one may want to do in preparation for a child’s Baptism are: 1) find a white christening gown or baptismal garment for your child, and 2) although the parish will provide a candle, you might find a more noble option is for you to buy your own beautiful white candle that you can use as your child’s Baptismal candle, and burn it every year on his or her name day, or birthday, or the anniversary of their Baptism, to remind them of this great sacrament. If you bring that candle to the Baptism ceremony, it will be used in the ritual and become a blessed sacramental for your child.
Please see the links below for the documentation necessary for the Baptism of your child, and once you’ve filled it out, contact the DRE to begin this important preparation for the blessing of this new Christian child.