Choosing a Baptism Date for Your Child
When is the right time to baptize your baby? Here are some things to consider when choosing this important date in your child's life.
When is the right time to baptize your baby? There is no concrete answer to this question. It’s a matter of choice and what is the best time for you and your child.
There are several things that may help you with your decision:
If you are a member of a church you could speak to your minister or church leader and discuss with him or her the recommendations of that particular faith.
You may wish to do some research on your own. There are many books and publications that deal with Baptism.
The accepted definition for the word ‘baptism’ is "........ a rite of washing with water as a sign of religious purification and consecration".
Why do you want to have your child baptized? Is it because you consider it a naming ceremony or an excuse for a party? A child is named when their birth is registered. A party is a celebration, and certainly the birth of your baby is worthy of a celebration and thankfulness for his or her safe arrival - however it is not necessary to have a baptism for this.
If you believe that your child should have a choice and take part in their baptism then you would wait until the child understands the act of commitment. To this end you may wish to have a Dedication ceremony where the baby is introduced to the ‘church family’, his or her name is announced, and then there is a party or gathering to celebrate the arrival of the baby. There is no age limit for baptisms nor is there a ‘best before date’ that must be adhered to.
If you have an understanding of the commitment needed for the baptism of your baby, the godparents willing to speak on the baby’s behalf, and the permission of your minister or church leader then you should go ahead with the ceremony.
If you are unsure of your commitment, or you feel strongly that the child should be a major part of that commitment, then you should wait until the child is old enough to take part in the decision making.
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