Preparations for Infant Baptism at
Saints Mary & Joseph Cathedral Armidale
Congratulations on the birth of your child and thank you for your enquiry about baptism at our Catholic Cathedral. Please read through the following guidelines as you prepare for the first step in your child’s Christian Initiation:
Parents of infants or children to be baptised must meet with a priest of the parish to discuss the planned baptism and to prepare for the Liturgy of the Sacrament. The baptism of your child brings with it certain duties, responsibilities, and a commitment. Please bring with you the completed Registration Forms (attached) with your child’s Birth Certificate. Also, we ask for an offering of $50 to the Church at the Preparation Session. Preparation Sessions are held on Saturday mornings 10.30am and take about one hour. Please book in with the Parish Secretary Ph: 02 67 72 2218. The Preparation Session and the documentation should be completed at least two weeks before the planned baptism. This allows for office processing, and the preparation of your child’s Baptism Certificate.
Selecting Godparents: The Catholic Church requires at least ONE fully initiated Catholic…. (a Catholic: baptised, confirmed, and having made their first Holy Communion). A Godparent in the Catholic Church MUST HAVE A SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILD THROUGH SHARED BAPTISM.
You may also have members of other Christian Churches as a Christian Witness. They are different to Godparents who have the responsibility of helping to raise your child in the Catholic faith. However, they must share valid Baptism with your child. The following Churches in Australia accept each other’s baptism as valid: the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of Australia, the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia, The Lutheran Church of Australia, The Presbyterian Church of Australia, the Uniting Church of Australia.
Choosing a Name for your child’s Baptism: Parents and Godparents are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment and belief.
At the Baptism Preparation with the priest, the Liturgy of the Baptism will be explained. Parents are asked to secure a suitable candle (large enough to last over time for significant occasions), and also to make a simple white baptismal robe (a rectangular piece of white cloth with a hole big enough to fit over the child’s head (!) – it falls front and back like a little poncho. Photographs are encouraged at the ceremony. Please ensure you have a competent photographer among your guests.
Baptism is a very important time for the Catholic Community, as we welcome a new member into the Body of Christ. Parents must publicly undertake to raise their child in the practice of the Catholic Faith, with the assistance of the child’s Godparents. On the Sunday (the Lord’s Day) following your child’s baptism – the whole community of the faithful attending the Masses will pray for you and your child by name. We trust that the celebration of your child’s baptism will be a wonderful occasion for you and for your friends and families. We look forward to meeting you at our Saturday baptism preparation session.