Baptizing Your Child In The Roman Catholic Church
Baptism is the sacrament by which your child will be cleansed of original sin, infused with sanctifying grace, and formally enter the community of theC Church. If you are a Roman Catholic, you are obligated to seek baptism for your children. Traditionally, your child should be baptized as an infant - within the first few months of life. Because baptism is the sacrament by which your baby begins his or her new life in the Church, most parishes have requirements for the parents and godparents to fulfill in order to ensure that the child is brought up in the Catholic faith and will receive in due time the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. This how to will guide you through the process of having your child baptized in the Roman Catholic Church.
In most cases, one or both of the parents of the baby to be baptized must be Catholic. Further, one or both of the parents usually has to be registered at the parish where they wish the baptism to be performed. If you have not already done so, register at your parish of choice by calling the church office.
Choose a godparent, or godparents, for your baby. At least one godparent must be a practicing Catholic. If the godparents you choose are unable to attend the baptism for some reason (for example, if you pick godparents who live far away), you can have someone else stand in their place during the baptism as proxies.
Find out whether baptismal preparation classes are required for the parents at your parish. Most parishes require that the parents of a baby being baptized must take a Baptism Preparation Class, which usually educate the parents about the sacrament of Baptism and instructs them on their responsibilities in raising the child in the Catholic faith.
If your godparent(s) attend a parish other than your own, find out whether your godparent(s) need to take baptismal preparation classes, or whether they need a certificate from their home parish stating that they are Catholics in good standing. Some parishes offer baptismal preparation classes specifically for godparents.
Schedule the baptism, and inform friends and family members of the event. Since you are welcoming a baby into the Catholic community of the faithful, guests are welcome at any baptism.
If desired, purchase a white christening gown or outfit for your baby. This is by no means required, though.
After the baptism, it is traditional (although not required) to make a small donation to the parish or to the priest who performed the baptism.
Remember to obtain the baptismal certificate from the parish office. You will need a copy of this certificate in order for your child to make their first Holy Communion.
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