Baptism

Preparing to baptise your child

Baptism courses are for parent wanting/expecting to baptise their child(ren) at St Edmund’s, or for parents who are part of this parish wishing to complete the course here for the baptism in another parish.

Parents must attend two 1.5hr sessions in the Baptism Formation Program (during pregnancy or after birth) – dates and times are announced in the Parish Newsletter during the year. These courses are held several times a year (roughly every 6 weeks).

If the next course is not advertised in our Events listing, please contact the Parish Office to register your interest.

Due to pandemic – the course will be on line. Please, read our Newsletter from 4 October 2020 for details.


Upcoming baptism course dates

Next course will be on Wednesday, 21st October at 7pm on Zoom. Both parents have to be present. If you are interested in doing the course, please, drop an email to millwall @rcdow.org.uk to give us your email (that is essential to receive an invitation to join the course). You also have to come to the office to pick up the Baptismal Pack and to pay a fee of £10 payable on receiving the pack.

 

Further information about baptisms in our parish

At present – baptisms taking place only on Saturdays, outside mass.

 

Baptisms take place during Parish Masses

Baptisms that take place here in the parish of St Edmund’s will be during Parish Masses, at Saturday 6pm, Sunday 9am, 11am.  We recognize, that families need to plan ahead, when they have friends and family attending the baptism, so you can book the time and date of the baptism through Katherine in the Parish Office.

Any booking is conditional on the completion of the baptism course, and godparent references being completed before the actual baptism.  The date and which Mass can be booked with Katherine (Parish Office) but must be confirmed in writing.

Godparents

Canon Law (Church Law) requires that each child must have godparent; should there be a second godparent, one has to be male and the other female. A godparent is defined as a confirmed, practising Catholic.

Should the godparent not be a member of this parish (St Edmund) we require a reference from his / her parish that they meet the requirement – that he/she is attending Mass regularly.

Although the maximum number of godparents is set at two, families could have additional people whose standing is that of ‘witness to the baptism’.  During the baptism, we don’t distinguish between godparents and witnesses, but only the names of the godparents will be inserted in the baptismal register and in the baptism certificate.

Equally, baptised Christians from other denominations may participate as witnesses to the baptism, but they cannot participate as godparents.  Members of other faiths (or none) cannot serve as either godparents or as witnesses to the baptism.

On the day of the baptism

Both parents and godparents, as part of the baptism, must make a declaration of faith. Prior to the baptism, we ask you to go through the declaration of faith and ascertain that you both can honestly make it.

In all probability, if anyone one has a problem with any part of it, the problem lies in understanding what is meant rather than with the article of faith itself – do, please, contact me to discuss it well before the baptism. The unpleasant thing you could do is start your child’s relationships with God by affirming in His presence to something you don’t believe.

Since all baptisms are during Mass, the other choice you are faced with is whether to clothe your child with a white garment: this is something additional to whatever your child is wearing at the time of the actual baptism, which is white and added a minute or so after the baptism.  Traditionally, the garment would be a white shawl, but it could be a simple as a length of white ribbon going around the neck.  It recalls the practice in the early Church of baptism by total immersion; as the newly baptised person came out of the water he/she would be dried and clothed in new white garments. You need to let Katherine know well in advance of your decision prior to your child’s baptism.

We don’t charge for baptism but we ask for families to make a contribution to defray the cost by offering a donation in the range of £50 to 100; some give more.  It doesn’t mean you have to subject yourselves to unnecessary financial stress, but give what you think you can afford.