Baptism

Baptisms in Athenry & Newcastle 

Baptisms in Athenry takes place on the 1st Saturday & 3rd Sunday of each month at 12 noon, except during April, May and December.

Baptisms in Newcastle are agreed depending on the availability of the baptising priest.

To arrange a baptism call in person to the Parish Office.

Bring along the following documents:

  1. The Child's Birth Certificate
  2. Parental photographic identification 
  3. Proof of address.

We do not accept bookings without the required documents.

  • There is a minimum of one months notice. 
  • Early booking advisable as dates fill up quickly.
  • No telephone bookings are accepted.

 

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Baptism Information

 

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 bring along a christening shawl and candle

The Baptismal Team will call to discuss the Baptism.

 

The Parish Baptism team have been trained to assist

in the preparation for Baptism in the Parish.

 

Once a family has contacted the Parish Office, the office will forward details to the Baptism Team who will make contact with the family who are preparing for Baptism.  Two members of the team are available each month.

The Baptism Team will

  • Visit your home in the days leading up to the Baptism to talk you through the ceremony and answer any questions you may have.
  • Be present at the ceremony to welcome you and help in the preparation of the reading.
  • Assist the priest with the various aspects of the ceremony.
 

CI Readings