Frequently Asked Baptism Questions
- What is the Sacrament of Baptism?
- When should Baptism take place?
- What about the Godparents?
Baptism is necessary for salvation. The grace of baptism allows us to share in the very life of God. Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door to the other sacraments of the Church.
The sacrament is called Baptism from the Greek baptizein, to baptize or to “plunge” or “immerse.” Baptism in the Catholic Church is done by immersion or pouring of water. (At Little Flower Church the latter method is typically used for adults and infants). Baptism symbolizes our burial into Christ’s death, from which we arise, born again with him as “new creations.” We are freed from original sin and personal sins, are made children of God, members of the Body of Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit. This is the meaning behind the symbols and actions seen in the rite of Baptism: the anointing with sacred oils, the pouring of the holy water in Baptism, the clothing in a white garment, the lighting of the baptismal candle, and the blessing of the parents, godparents, and all the baptized.
Baptisms at the Church of the Little Flower usually take place after the Noon Mass on Sundays. Because of its importance, parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized as soon as possible after birth. For that reason it is not necessary to wait for the child’s birth to begin planning the Baptism.
When you begin to have a date in mind, please contact the parish Rectory to determine the next Baptismal class, typically offered every three months. This class will help you to learn more about (or refresh your knowledge of) the Sacrament, the Rite of Baptism, and to understand the responsibilities that you and the godparents will be undertaking. We also encourage you to spend time at home praying, studying, and reflecting on the meaning of Baptism.
There must be at least one godparent. He or she must be a fully initiated Catholic (having received Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion) who is actively practicing his or her faith. If there are two godparents, they must be a man and a woman. There cannot be three or more godparents. The second person may be a baptized non-Catholic, who will be listed in the record as a Christian Witness. Godparents must be at least 16 years of age and cannot be the parents of the child.