Last updated on 8 November 2023
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament all Christians receive. Through baptism we become children of God and are embraced into the family of the Church. Baptism removes the guilt and effects of the wound of sin and incorporates the baptised into the Church.
This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptise (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse.” The “plunge” into the water symbolises the candidate’s burial into Christ’s death, from which they rise up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.” Baptism is performed by immersing the child in water in or by pouring water over the child’s forehead as the priest recites ‘I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.
Water is the central symbol of baptism. Because water is essential to all life, the water of baptism symbolises the life-giving grace that sustains those who have become children of God.
Oil is used twice in the ceremony. Before the baptism, the child’s breast is smeared with the Oil of Catechumens as a sign of preparation and strengthening for whatever life might throw at them. Afterwards the crown of the head is anointed with perfumed Chrism as a symbol of joy and commissioning.
The white garment with which the newly baptised is then clothed in symbolises their new life in Jesus Christ. It also shows that the newly baptised is now a Christian and with the help of family and friends will grow up to be like Jesus. It is also “the outward sign of Christian dignity.”
A baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle beside the font and presented to the new member as a sign that they are to carry the light of Christ into the world.
Finally, the ears and mouth of the candidate are signed with the cross – as they are commissioned to be formed by the word of God and then to share the word with others.
Baptisms @ St John’s
How to receive baptism
There are four elements to the application process – please complete each step in turn. Each step is compulsory.1. First complete the Enquiry form below (at least 2 months before) to choose your preferred date of baptism.
2. Then complete the online Belonging Course.
3. Book in for and attend a Baptism Preparation Meeting (see below for dates)
4. Then you can complete the second form, the actual Application for Baptism – at least 3 weeks before the scheduled baptism.
The Belonging Course
Every parish has to adequately prepare families to receive the sacraments. One of the many challenges is finding a preparation program that fits in with the busy schedules of parents. We are delighted that a new online preparation program will be undertaken by all parents presenting a child for baptism in our parish. The course, called Belonging, is led by the very dynamic and gifted Fr Mike Schmitz. He provides beautiful examples and illustrations across the 7 short sessions that comprise the course.
- What’s in a name?
- Real Relationship
- Liar, Lunatic, or Lord
- Child of God
- Real Change
- Your Family
- Rite of Baptism
Once you purchase (for US$9.95) and complete the Belonging program and attend the Baptism Preparation Meeting, you will receive a certificate, which will then allow you to apply for Baptism within the parish.
- After completing the Belonging Course and receiving your certificate, you can then complete the Baptism Application form.