Baptism - continued

The Catholic Church practices infant baptism.

The infant is baptised at the font. The font is a stand containing a small amount of water which is then sprinkled on the child’s head.

A baptismal font, where water is poured over a baby's head

During the infant baptism ceremony:

  • the baby, parents and the godparents are welcomed
  • there are readings from the Bible
  • the priest asks for the child’s name
  • the responsibilities, including spiritual responsibilities, of the parents and godparents are outlined
  • the parents and godparents take vows, renounce Satan and evil and profess their faith and the faith they want the baby to be brought up in
  • the Apostles’ Creed might be said as a statement of faith
  • water is poured over the baby’s head as the minister says, “ I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
  • godparents are sometimes given a lighted candle to represent the light of Jesus that has come into the baby’s life
  • for the ceremony, parents may dress their baby in a special white garment

Christians believe that as well as welcoming the child into the Church, baptism also removes from the baby original sin that was brought into the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.

The baptism ceremony also allows parents and godparents to make a promise before God to bring the baby up within the faith of Christianity.