Babies and Christening

baptism

The birth of a child is a time of great excitement, and the church delights to celebrate this event by giving thanks to God for the gift of life.

Many people today are unsure about what they believe, but still feel a strong desire to give thanks for the birth of their child.

In recognition of this, the Church offers a Service of Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child.  This provides an opportunity for parents to express their sense of gratitude for their child, and to recognise that there is a spiritual side of life, which they want their child to experience and understand as it grows into maturity, it will include a blessing on the baby using oil to make the sign of the cross instead of water, you may still have Godparents. But the service does not mean the child becomes a member of the church.

The traditional service of Baptism, not only marks the entry of a child into the world, but also into the family of God.  As Baptists we believe in believers baptism (Check out the Video) and that this can only take place when a person is old enough to make the decision for themselves. Water is a sign of life, but also a symbol of death. When we are baptised our old life is buried in the waters (like drowning) and we are raised to new life with Christ.

If you are old enough to make the decision, we suggest you make an appointment with the pastor to discus what should be your next step. A baptism course is available no matter what age you are.

 What happens during the service?

Your child’s thanksgiving service will normally take place on a Sunday. However if you would like this to be a more private event this can be discussed with Pastor Linda.

The Pastor will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for the whole congregation to join, some will be for you and your chosen God parents

For the thanksgiving/blessing itself, parents and godparents will be asked by the Pastor to gather at the front of the church.

A number of important symbols will be used during the service itself:

The sign of the cross — the Pastor will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is like an invisible badge to show that Christians are united with Christ and must not be ashamed to stand up for their faith in him.

The Pastor may invite you and the godparents to sign the cross on the child's forehead after he or she has done so.

The Pastor will then bless your child praying that they may daily be renewed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory.

Candles - Jesus is called the light of the world. A large candle may be lit in the church and you may be given a lighted candle at the end of the service as a reminder of the light which has come into your child's life. It is up to you, the child's godparents and the church community to help your child reject the world of darkness and follow a way of life that reflects goodness and light and shares this light with others.

The role of godparents

Godparents make the same promises on behalf of the child as the parents. Godparents promise to pray and support the child and to help the parents to bring up the child in the Christian faith. It is an important and responsible role.

You should have at least three godparents: two of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite sex. Godparents can be family members or friends. However, it is important that you choose people who will take an interest in your child's spiritual welfare and who will pray for you and your child.  




© Cornerstone Baptist Church 2011