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Baptism Times / Dates

BAPTISM TIMES & DATES

BAPTISM POLICY: Baptisms are held every weekend, on Saturday (the second Sat.) and three Sundays in the month (check with parish office for actual dates). Parents are required to give three weeks notice and are invited to attend a short information meeting our Baptism teamon the Wednesday prior to baptism, at Carrowbeg House, at 8.30 p.m. We strongly encourage parents to avail of the new Baptismal Teams who will make contact with you and visit you in your home if you wish. We wish God’s blessing on all children who will be baptised this year and welcome you into the Christian and Parish Community.

Westport Parish

Contact the Parish Office @ 098-28871 

All bookings for Baptism should be made to Margaret at the Parish Office.  Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of the priests or the Baptism Team.

About Baptism

Baptism is the Sacrament of welcome into the Catholic Church, indeed throughout the Christian denominations into the family of Christ.  In Baptism we are reborn in Christ and begin our Christian journey.  It is by right of Baptism that all the other Sacraments of the Church are conveyed.  The decision whether or not to have your child baptised is an important one.  Should you choose to have your child baptised you are taking on the responsibility of training them and bringing them up in the practice of the faith and all that this entails.

In choosing godparents for your child the Church asks that these be people (ordinarily one female and one male) who take on the responsibility of ensuring that your child grows to be a mature Christian and this should be taken into consideration when godparents are being selected.

The ceremony itself is rich in meaning and symbolism.  First of all the child is received and welcomed officially at the door of the church, or at the foot of the sanctuary and signed with the sign of the cross by the priest, their parents and godparents.

The liturgy of the word then takes place, which includes the readings, prayer of the faithful and the invocation of the saints.  In the Catholic tradition the saints are invoked at all important ceremonies in the life of the Church, this illustrates the long line of which the candidate for the sacrament is becoming part of and asks the strength of the saints prayers in carrying out their responsibilities as Christian.

The traditional prayer of preparation for baptism asks that the child be protected from all harm and danger and then they are anointed with the oil of catechumen, a symbol of preparation for the important sacrament which is about to take place.

The blessing of the holy water which will be used in Baptism then takes place.  Water is the great symbol of life, and the water is used to bring the new life of baptism to the child.

The Baptismal Promises are made on behalf of the child.  These are the tenets of our faith and should be considered closely.  This is the faith into which the child is being baptised.

Following the promises the parents are asked if they wish to have their child baptised into the faith just professed, and if they do they proceed to the font where the Baptism takes place.

When the baptism is complete the child is anointed on the crown of the head with the oil of chrism, a symbol of God’s seal on what has just taken place.

The baby is then clothed in the christening shawl, which is normally white and symbolises both the new beginning and the child being wrapped in the warmth and love of the Christian family.

The christening candle is lit from the Easter candle, the great symbol of resurrection.  In baptism we begin the journey through life to God in heaven, in accepting the light of Christ we promise to follow the light of Christ and strive to keep the flame of faith burning brightly in our hearts until the day Christ calls us home.

The blessing of ‘Ephaphata’ and Aramaic word which means ‘be opened’ is essentially a prayer over the senses that our ears may be open to receiving the word of God and our mouth be opened to proclaim His faith.

The final blessing is in a number of parts, first of all a blessing on the mother, then on the father and finally on everyone present.

What’s needed?

Each family needs to fill out the Baptismal form.

Each family needs to bring along the christening shawl and candle.

Each family needs to be available to meet the Baptismal Team who will call to your home to discuss the Baptism.

 

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