Baptisms and Thanksgivings at St Marys
Which are held within our Sunday morning service.
In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Church of England it is common to baptise young children; this is sometimes known as christening. Baptism is a ‘sacrament’ (an outward act that shows there is an inward change in our lives) in the Christian tradition that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptized in the river Jordan.
How it works
As part of an ordinary Sunday service the baptism candidate is symbolically washed with water. This signifies that their old life is washed away and they start a new life with Jesus Christ. Baptism also signifies membership in the Church.
Before this symbolic washing happens there are some prayers and promises that the baptism candidate or their parents and godparents have to make. Again this happens as part of the normal worship of the Church. As well as those who normally come to church, baptism candidates are encouraged to invite family and friends to come and be part of the special occasion and celebration.
It is important that you understand exactly what baptism is and its meaning. Therefore baptism candidates and/or their parents are invited to join us as we talk through the service and consider some of the words that are said in the service. This usually happens on an evening before the baptism service, at your convenience. It is also important for you to come along to a normal Sunday service some time before the baptism to get a feel for the church, and what a service looks like.
Godparents have a special role. It’s about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of the local church. Godparents attend the child’s baptism, where they will make promises to help to bring the child up in the Christian faith. It’s a role that will develop over time, as the godchild grows up and develops their own faith.
Godparents must be baptised themselves. If you want a godparent who is not baptised, then they can be baptised before, or on the same day as the godchild!
When will the baptism happen?
At St Mary’s, we usually hold baptisms on the second Sunday of every month during an all-age family service. The date of a baptism is by arrangement with vicar or associate and the family concerned. Before the baptism takes place we arrange preparation for baptism candidates, parents, and godparents. (Exceptions to the second Sunday are in November due to Remembrance and December due to Christmas services such as ‘Christingle.’
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey where those who have been baptised as children make a firm commitment to Christian discipleship.
Through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop, the Church also asks God to give those being confirmed power, through the Holy Spirit, to live the life of discipleship.
For more information:
t: 0114 272 4987