My husband and I were privileged to be present at the baptism of our grandson last Sunday. It was a wonderful, joyful, relaxed experience which involved all who were present. It did not detract from the solemnity of the occasion but indeed added to it. We offer our sincere thanks.
The Miracle and Fullness of Life
If you are exploring the idea of having your child baptised here at Holy Name, welcome!
Bringing new life into the world – surely, one of the greatest miracles? – brings with it many joys and blessings. In the Church we believe that a parent’s love for a child is a sharing in God’s love for us. Just as you want the very best for your baby – love, happiness, security and peace – so God desires the same for us and this, we believe, is why God has placed this wonderful new life into your care.
Jesus teaches that the best that God wants for us is to be found through a relationship with Him in His Church. The Sacrament of Baptism is the door through which we pass to become members of Christ’s Church where we meet Him in the Eucharist and the other Sacraments.
Baptism is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation into the Church, which also include Confirmation and the Eucharist.
By requesting Baptism, you are pledging to raise your child in the practice of the Catholic faith. To help you to understand what you are undertaking and to provide you with practical advice and help with the ceremony, you are required to take part in a Baptism Preparation Course. The Course at Holy Name is led by Mrs Eileen Waddell, a parishioner who is a parent and an experienced catechist. The Godparents are not required to take part but they are very welcome to do so. On completion of the Preparation Course, you may then arrange with the parish priest a date for the Baptism.
Who can be baptised?
A Catholic priest may only baptise a child one of whose parents is Catholic. Catholic parents make a commitment in the baptism ceremony to bring up their child “in the practice of the faith”. Therefore, a Catholic parent has to show some sign of genuine commitment to doing this, the minimum being that he/she takes part regularly in Sunday Mass at Holy Name. (Since parents who are not Catholic cannot promise to do this, we cannot baptise their child.) As a rule, a child should be baptised in the parish church where the Catholic parent takes part in Sunday Mass.
When are Baptisms celebrated?
A minimum of three months’ notice is required. After the Baptism Preparation Course has been completed, baptisms are arranged by prior appointment with the priest and are celebrated at Holy Name on Sundays at 11.30am, following the Sunday morning Mass.
How do I choose Godparents?
A Sponsor or Godparent must be at least 16 years old, be a Catholic who has been Confirmed, made his/her First Holy Communion and is a practising Catholic i.e. regularly takes part in Sunday Mass in this parish or elsewhere. The person(s) you choose must be committed to supporting you in bringing up your child in the Catholic faith. In addition, you may choose a Godparent who is not a Catholic if he/she is a baptised member of another Christian Church. A Catholic godparent unable to be present for the ceremony may be represented by another person who ‘stands in’ for him/her during the Service.
How many Godparents should there be?
Church Law says: “One sponsor [that is, godparent], male or female, is sufficient, but there may be two, one of each sex” (Canon 873).
What is the Church’s tradition about choosing a name?
It is the tradition in the Church to name a child after a Christian saint. Although parents are not obliged to do so, they are encouraged to give their child a name which reflects their Christian faith.
What are the fees for a Baptism?
For parents who are members of the Holy Name Church ie who regularly take part in Sunday Mass here, it is expected that they make an offering to Church funds according to their means. For parents who are not members of the Holy Name ie who do not take part regularly in Sunday Mass here, a fee of £100 is payable to the Church.
The Hindley Catholic Churches in Liverpool offer the following guidance to their parishioners. You may find this helpful.
…… there is no fixed “charge”. But we do expect that you will wish to make a worthy offering to the Church in thanksgiving for the gift of Baptism to your child. Give what you can afford. But be honest with yourself – if you’re spending loads on a party, a bouncy castle and a posh frock, please don’t try to palm the Church off with a few coppers! Let your offering be a true reflection of your gratitude to God. And, if you are a taxpayer, please consider Gift-Aiding your offering to the church by using the enclosed Gift Aid Envelope and completing the details on it.
Application for Baptism
Please download, complete and return the Baptism Application Form to the Parish Priest at the Holy Name Presbytery, 7 North Jesmond Avenue, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 3JX.