You have asked for faith for your children, the faith that will be bestowed in Baptism. Faith: this means a life of faith, because faith is lived; walking on the path of faith and giving testimony of faith. Faith is not reciting the “Creed” on Sunday, when we go to Mass; it is not only this. Faith is believing what is the Truth: God the Father who sent his Son and the Spirit that enlivens us. But faith is also entrusting oneself to God, and this you must teach them, with your example, with your life.
And, faith is light: in the ceremony of Baptism you will be given a lighted candle, as in the early days of the Church. For this reason Baptism, in those days, was called ‘illumination’ because faith illuminates the heart; it shows things in a different light.
You have asked for faith: the Church gives faith to your children with Baptism, and you have the task of making it grow, safeguarding it, so that it may become testimony for all others. This is the meaning of this ceremony. I would like to tell you only this: safeguard the faith; make it grow, so it may be testimony for others.
Then … the concert has begun! [babies cry]. It is because the babies are in a place they don’t know; they have gotten up earlier than usual. One starts, gives the note and then the others “mimic”…. Some cry simply because the other has cried…. Do you know that Jesus did the same? I like thinking that Jesus’ first sermon in the stable was a cry, the first…. Then, since the ceremony is rather long, some cry out of hunger. If this is the case, you mothers, feel free to nurse them, without worry, completely as usual. As Our Lady nursed Jesus….
Don’t forget: you have asked for faith; it is your task to safeguard the faith, make it grow, so it may be testimony for all of us, for all of us: even for us clergymen, priests, bishops, everyone. Thank you.
I am sure you feel honoured to be chosen as godparents. The parents have put their trust in your friendship with them which has obviously been a very special one. You witnessed the joyful day of their marriage and shared in their blessing of becoming parents of a beautiful child. I believe that they treasure your friendship so much that they are willing to entrust their child’s spiritual well being to you.
When I preside over the ceremony of Baptism I feel as if I share with you, godparents, the honour of becoming a part of the child’s family. With this privilege comes the responsibility of sharing a living, vivid and enthusiastic faith with the family who have chosen us to be part of this most sacred occasion.
So as we wait for the occasion let us pray together for all families and in particular for our family. May the anticipation of the day of Baptism be for us a journey of faith too.
I look forward to meeting you on the day.
Before you decide to have your child baptised
- As a parent or godparent you should ask yourself:
- Are you prepared to the best of your ability to give your child a Christian upbringing within the family of the Catholic Church?
- Will you help your child by being regular in public worship and private prayer, not only by your teaching but also by your example and your prayers?
- Will you encourage your child in due time to come to Communion and prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation?
- You will need to choose two godparents.
+Godparents should be baptised and confirmed.
- Your child should be baptised at your parish church or the church you normally attend with the blessing of your parish priest.
- To register your child for baptism please collect a form from the parish office.
Father Patrick Ryan