Baptism in the Church of Ireland
How do I go about arranging a Baptism?
The first point of contact is the Rector, Rev. Philip Heak (01) 8323019. He will discuss with you the details of the service and what is entailed.
What is entailed?
Baptism is more than just naming your child. Baptism is a sacrament of welcome and inclusion. Just as your child has been welcomed into your family so in Baptism the child is welcomed into the Body of Christ, the family of the Church.
Parents and Godparents for their part are asked to provide an environment within which their child is being brought up is one in which the values of the Gospel are upheld; that they will encourage their child to enter into the life of the Church.
When is a Baptism normally held?
Because Baptism is about welcoming your child into the family of the Church it is far better if the family of the Church is present. For this reason, in the Parish of Howth, Baptism is normally celebrated in the context of our principal Sunday Service.
What age should my child be?
That is entirely a matter for the family and will vary with family circumstances. I have baptised a child less than a month old and I have baptised a man who was 67!
"Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God’s love. For all involved, particularly the candidates but also parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring the faith.
The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress made on that journey, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.
The service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way. There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith in the Christian journey, which reminds us of Christ’s death for us. Our ‘drowning’ in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ’s dying and rising, a picture that can be brought home vividly by the way the baptism is administered. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit. This reminds us of Jesus’ baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there may be a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil. Everyone who is baptized walks in that light for the rest of their lives. As you pray for the candidates, picture them with yourself and the whole Church throughout the ages, journeying into the fullness of God’s love." Pastoral Introduction to the Service of Baptism in BCP 2004