Sacrament of Baptism
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”
~Catechism of the Catholic Church
The role of Godparents
The Godparent assists the parents with the Catholic upbringing of the baptised child.
1. Be sufficiently mature to undertake the responsibility.
2. Be a member of the Catholic Church.
3. Have received Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
It is expected that Godparents be practicing Catholics as they have the duty to be true example of Catholic life for the growing child.
A baptised and believing Christian from a separated church or community may act as a Christian Witness along with a Catholic Godparent.
Such a person would offer to help the child grow in the faith of Christ in whatever way he/she could.
Christian name given at Baptism
The name given to the child at Baptism is the name the child bears in the Church.
It can be the name of a saint or it can express a Christian mystery of virtue. However, it should not be a name foreign to Christian sentiment.
Who must be present at the Baptism?
Both parents if they are Catholics must be present unless extreme circumstances prevent one of them from attending.
Godparent/s must be present, unless they have approved a proxy to be present in their stead.
Family members (immediate and extended) are encouraged to be present at the ceremony.
In the celebration of Baptism, the father and mother have special parts to play. They listen to the words addressed to them by the celebrant, they join in prayer along with the congregation, and they exercise a special function when:
1. They publicly ask that their child be baptised.
2. They sign their child with the sign of the cross after the celebrant.
3. They renounce Satan and make their profession of faith.
4. They carry the child to the font.
5. They hold the lighted candle.
6. They are blessed with the special prayers for mothers and fathers.
At least one parent and one Godparent need to be of the Catholic faith and must provide a copy of their Baptismal Certificate for our records.
What you need to bring to the Baptism
A White Garment and Baptismal Candle are required.
The White Garment may be an entire garment in white, or simply a pure white cloth to wrap the child with after Baptism.
The Baptismal Candle may just be a plain white candle or it may be decorated with the symbols of Baptism – such as a dove or water being poured from a shell, including the name of your son/daughter. You can decorate your own Baptismal Candles by purchasing special pens that write on candles. Baptismal Candles are available from the Piety Stall or the Parish Office.
Baptisms take place on Sunday of each month at 11.15am (after the 10am Mass)
The ceremony takes approximately 30 minutes. Children from more than one family may be baptised at the same time. Please contact the Parish Office to confirm availability.
Baptism of children from outside the Parish – You will need to supply the Parish Office with a letter from your local parish priest indicating his permission for the baptism of your child to take place at St Michael’s, Hurstville.
For more information please contact the Parish Office.