INFORMATION ON BAPTISM
Application Forms for BAPTISM are available in the Chuch Foyer (Entrance) and from the Parish Office
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is the Sacrament acknowledged by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), which welcomes new members into God’s Church.
- Baptism brings us to God in repentance to receive forgiveness of our sins.
- Baptism is the mark of belonging to the Christian faith.
- By Baptism we become the adopted sons and daughters of God.
- Baptism is the Sacrament by which we receive new life in the Holy Spirit.
WHY ARE BABIES BAPTISED?
Children of Christians are baptized because:
- God welcomes children into the Church (the Body of Christ) on the basis of their parents’ faith and their obedience to his commandments.
- Jesus welcomed and blessed the little children. (Mark 10: 13–16)
- Our salvation depends entirely on what God has done for us, not on our own merit.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARENTS?
- Parents must themselves be baptized members of God’s family.
- Parents are strongly encouraged to be members of the Parish Church for at least 3 months prior to the Baptism in order to uphold the integrity of the Sacrament by sharing in the Body of Christ.
- Parents must attend Baptism preparation classes, prior to their child’s Baptism, on dates set by the Parish.
- In the service of Baptism, parents are asked to renew their own commitment to Christ, and make the baptismal promises on behalf of their children.
- Parents are expected to pray for their children and encourage them to grow in their Christian faith, by the example of their own Christian lives.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GODPARENTS / SPONSORS?
- Godparents must themselves be baptized members of God’s family (any denomination), but it is preferable that at least one be Anglican.
- Godparents or sponsors must attend Baptism preparation classes, prior to the child’s Baptism, together with the child’s parents, on dates set by the Parish.
- Godparents or sponsors are expected to support those who are baptized by praying for them, and by the example of their own Christian lives.
WHAT MUST I DO IN ORDER TO HAVE A CHILD BAPTISED?
- Complete the Application Form on the reverse side and return it to the Parish Office at least 8 weeks prior to the date of the Baptism.
- Attend the series of Baptism preparation classes.
- We welcome adults who have not yet been baptized, to receive this Sacrament.
- Adult candidates usually have ‘sponsors’ as opposed to ‘godparents’ but their role remains the same. (See RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GODPARENTS / SPONSORS, above.)
- Please contact the Parish Office for more details regarding preparation for this Sacrament.
WHEN DO BAPTISMS TAKE PLACE?
- Baptisms take place during a normal Sunday service, on dates that are set in the Parish calendar. These dates are printed on the Application Form, and are also available from the Parish Office.
- Except in the case of an emergency, Baptisms may not take place outside the Church.
- ‘Private’ Baptisms are not allowed since Baptism is not a ‘private occasion’, but a public confession of a family’s faith and the acceptance of a child or adult into the Christian community.
WHAT COSTS ARE INVOLVED?
- There is no cost for the Sacraments of the Church.
- An OPTIONAL thank offering may be given to the church and/or the priest and/or the baptism preparation facilitator. This money is used to purchase vessels and vestments for the Church.