Protocols for Baptisms
Congratulations on the birth of your new son or daughter! And thank you for inquiring about a baptism. Here are some practical questions and answers about the baptism of babies and younger children. Remember that baptism is not just a ceremony, but an initiation into the lifestyle of a religious faith community!
Where can we celebrate the baptism of our child? At the parish where you attend Mass each Sunday! Where else? This is the faith community in which your child will be raised in the Catholic faith through religious education classes or a parochial school, because it is your parish community, your spiritual home.
What if we do not go to church? Please start! Fulfill the promises of your own Baptism and Confirmation by coming back to church, and attending Sunday Mass each week. Please check out CatholicsComeHome.org for information about rejoining the Church as a practicing Catholic. Welcome back!
What if we don’t belong to any parish? Please join one! If you go to MassTimes.org, you will be able to find the nearest Catholic Church, with its Mass schedule, and even directions as to how to get there. Please check it out! Not a good fit? Then try another one. Your ideal parish is waiting for you!
Are there requirements for baptism? Of course! Each parish has their own baptismal preparation program for their parishioners. Please sign up today! But the most important requirement for celebrating a baptism is that there is a “well-founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith” after the baptism.
What if we live far away from our family? Most parishes have some kind of a grandparent rule for baptisms. It works like this: fulfill your parish’s requirements for baptism, and then ask the parish to send a letter to the parish of the grandparents. We honor these kinds of requests for baptisms all the time.
What if we are not married in the Catholic Church? Although not a requirement for the baptism of your child as such, the priest will offer you assistance on either how to get married or how to have your marriage blessed in the Catholic Church. Please check out ForYourMarriage.org for more information.
What if one parent is not Catholic? By baptizing your child in a Catholic Church, you are agreeing to raise your child as a Catholic Christian. After all, the most important requirement for baptism is that there is “a well-founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith” after the baptism is over.
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