Baptism is a ceremony by which a person becomes part of the Christian community. It involves commitment to Christ and recognising that we are made by God and belong to him. If children are too young to answer for themselves, their parents and godparents can promise to bring them up as Christians and help them to grow in their faith by example and by teaching them what it means to be a Christian. If you live in the parish of Ascension then you can ask the Vicar about Baptism. In order for the baptism to be meaningful you need to be part of the Christian family yourself - so come to church any Sunday at 11:00am and meet others who are also learning about God and growing in the Christian faith. As a first step we ask you to bring your baby for a Thanksgiving. It is included in the main church service and involves a welcome by the Vicar to you and your family, and prayers for your child.
Symbols and actions used during the service
A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself:
The sign of the cross - the vicar will make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead. This is an invisible sign to show that Christians are united with Jesus.
Water - the vicar will pour water on your child's head. Water is a sign of washing and cleansing. In baptism it is a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with God.
Anointing - after baptism in water the vicar may anoint him or her with oil. This is a sign of the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit.
The welcome - the church congregation will welcome you and your child into the Church family.
Candles - Jesus is the Light of the World. We will give you a lighted candle as a reminder of Jesus the light of the world.
The role of godparents
Godparents promise to pray and support your child and to help you to bring up your child to know, to love and to serve Jesus. This is an important role. 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.