The Baptism Service
The Baptism Service
In the Baptism service we use three main symbols; the cross, water and a lighted candle. All three are used to symbolise that the child is now a member of God’s church and is intending to follow a Christian life, with the help and support of their Parents and Godparents, and with the prayers and encouragement of the existing church community. This is why we try to encourage Baptisms on Sunday mornings; so the church family are there to welcome you and your child; but we realise this isn't always possible and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
The Cross is a sign of Christ’s death and resurrection for each one of us. We make the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead to show that they belong to Christ and are a member of the Christian Church. At this point in the service the congregation prays that the child will follow and remain faithful to Christ until the end of their life. The sign of the cross lasts a lifetime - God never gives up on us!
Without water there would be no life at all - it is essential to our very existence. In Baptism a little water, (that has been specially blessed,) is poured over the child’s head three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This signifies that they are re-born into a new life with Christ. We wash away the past and promise to follow a new life with God at the centre. The water cleanses, refreshes and makes us new to follow God. It sustains us on our journey of faith, and through it, God blesses us and leads us into fullness of life.
Towards the end of the Baptism service your child is given a lighted candle (a Godparent can hold it for them!), to remind us all that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Our task as Christians is to show that light in the world and in our own lives. Our prayer for all newly baptised people is that they will shine as lights in the world, lighting the dark places and giving hope to others.
We also suggest that parents keep the anniversary of their child’s baptism, as a ‘second birthday’. On this day you can light the candle and tell your child of their Baptism and remind them of the celebration and joy that you share as a family, but also that the whole church and God share in that joy too.