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Family Faith Baptism 2010 series Contents Front Cover Session One New Life

Session Guide

New Life

Discussion Leaflet

Session Two Session 2 Contents Life and Light

Session Guide

Life and Light

Discussion Leaflet

Recipe for Chrism/perfumes

Hand-outs

Session Three Session 3 contents Walk Through

Session Guide

Booklets

Examples

Personalising Booklets Examples Session Four After Baptism Session 4 Contents Growth in Goodness

Session Guide

Growth in Goodness

Discussion Leaflet

Local material for ‘Parish Possibilities’ Back Cover


Family Faith

Baptism Programme

2010 series


2010 Session Guide

Baptism Session One

New Life

“God uses the sacrament of water to give his divine life to those who believe in him. Let us ask him to pour his gift of life from this font on this child he has chosen.�

Rite of Infant Baptism

I baptise you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 1


New Life!

Summary of the Session

Materials required for this Session A large glass bowl of water, ready for the little activity at the end of the session. There could also be a plant which has been well watered and looks healthy. For each person: One Discussion Leaflet; One ‘Choosing Goodness’ handout . (to be given out later in the session)

The 1st session is designed to help parents become active partners in the preparation for Baptism. Starting from their reflections on the wonder of their child’s birth, it leads to awareness that, in the waters of Baptism, their child is born again into the life of Christ. The session begins with the Discussion Leaflet. The 2nd part of each session considers the Sacramental Symbols in Baptism. Session One takes up the most obvious sign, WATER.

The leaflet

First side of the leaflet Emotions and memories of the child’s natural birth are used as a path to an appreciation of the sacrament. The comments come totally from the participants, not the leaders. Their recalling of a moment in time is not meant to be turned into a debate. Since they are only being asked for their own memories, there is no ‘right answer’ for them to give. Second side of the leaflet. This side of the leaflet reflects on the parallel between natural birth and the birth into New Life in Christ through the waters of Baptism.

The second part of the session

This is a time of prayerful reflection for the parents and for any family and friends who are present. Choosing Goodness, Rejecting Evil (handout) The words in the handout emphasise that the Baptismal Promise to reject evil requires, in practice, a choice of goodness. The Symbolism of Water Water is powerful and its action across the globe is beyond human control. At the same time, water is absolutely necessary for our survival in every aspect of daily life. It is therefore a wonderful symbol of God. Consideration of that reality leads to an awareness of the living presence of God in the waters of Baptism. A little ceremony of pouring water over each person’s hands is meant to lead everyone to consider the meaning of their own Baptism. Quiet music may help to create a reflective atmosphere in the room.

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Note Though the idea of purification is present in the religious symbolism of water, the stronger message is life. The following piece from St Paul’s letter to the Romans puts the life idea into words: When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; ... so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, so we too might live a new life. (Romans 6:2-4)


Discussion Leaflet, Session One

Introduction

Your baby has recently been born, and you will be totally absorbed in attending to this new life. Adapt the wording to suit the people taking part) Birth is a good place to start this session, for baptism and birth are both about new life. This leaflet takes us back to the birth event. Give out the leaflets

New Life! Can you think yourself back to the time of your baby’s birth? Encourage the whole group, not just the mothers, to talk about this experience. These few moments are meant to ease any tension and enable people to talk more easily.

Could you share a little of how you felt when you first held your new baby? What did you want to say to your baby? Were you too tired to say anything? These questions are meant to awaken deep personal feelings, evoking reflective responses.

What was the baby first wrapped in? This section is about practical details.. These comments prepare for a later discussion about the materials used in baptism: water, oil, light, white garment.

What was special about the baby’s first real clothes? The final section leads directly to the discussion of Baptism overleaf.

As you think about your child, what do you most wish for him or her now? Take some responses

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Among the many good things you desire for this baby, you have come here to ask for one special gift - Baptism.


Baptism is New Life in Christ Read the quote aloud.

“God uses the sacrament of water

to give his divine life

to those who believe in him. Let us ask him to pour his gift of life from this font on this child he has chosen.” Rite of Infant Baptism

By bringing your baby to be Christened, you are asking God for that gift of divine life for your child. Take a moment to sit quietly and think about this idea: In Baptism, God will come and live in my child. Is this what you really want for your child? Have you ever thought about talking to the baby about Baptism? What kind of things could you say? Give time for a little thoughtful discussion

Now, in your heart, tell your baby about that coming of God.

Pause for this quiet reflection then move on to the

Do you remember what you said, earlier, about the baby’s first clothes? The clothes you chose to put on your baby after birth were an outward sign that the baby belonged to your loving family. New clothes come into the Baptismal Ceremony too. Your newly Christened child will be anointed with perfumed oil and then wrapped in a white shawl brought especially for this moment. The shawl shows that your baby now belongs to the Christian Family. Here is what the Rite says: You have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment

the outward sign of your Christian dignity.

Rite of Infant Baptism

Now we are going to look at some of the personal qualities by which we choose to express that Christian dignity. 4

Encourage participants to take home their leaflets to share with others.


Baptismal Promises: Choosing Goodness Before a child is Baptised, the parents and godparents are asked to state if, in their personal lives, they reject evil and choose goodness. That is a huge question! We usually want to make the right choices in our lives but we all know how often we fail. Baptism is a great opportunity for a new start. The words of the Baptismal Promises come from an earlier time. They have a very positive meaning but they sound negative because of a pattern of writing that was common long ago. In a similar style, most of the Ten Commandments do not tell us directly what is the right thing to do. Instead, they tell us the wrong that we must avoid. The First Commandment begins: Thou shalt not worship false gods. What positive thing is it saying we should do?

When the participants are comfortable with the idea that this commandment is about worshiping God, the discussion moves on to applying this reasoning to the Baptismal promises.

So the Baptismal Promises begin: Do you reject satan? We are really being asked: Do you choose goodness? We are going to try and answer that question now. Give out leaflets.

Look at these ways in which Goodness might be shown in our lives. Ask yourself, do I really prefer: Love to Hatred? Peace and Justice to Violence? Sharing to Greed? Caring to Selfishness? If so, let’s say that together. I choose: Love in my life, rather than hate; Peace and justice, rather than violence. Sharing rather than greed; Caring for others, rather than selfishness. At your baby’s Christening, it is only after this choice of goodness is made and belief in God is stated in the Creed, that the Baptism can begin.

Note. The statementof belief will be examined in another session.

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So, having now made our Choice of Goodness, let’s finish today by looking at that part of the Baptismal Ceremony that is best known, the pouring of water, and consider the message that water is meant to give us.


The Message in Water Have you ever forgotten to water a plant? Did it die? Or did water save it? Take comments

2 qualities of water are being evoked in this whole discussion: Power; Life-giving. If there is a current water-event which illustrates one or both of these properties, the message can quickly become clear.

Have you ever seen a spring of water bubbling up - in real life, or on TV? Did you ever wonder where the water started from under the ground? How was it able to push its way through the rocks and earth? Allow time for comments

We are used to the idea of water covering much of the world.

What about people who lack drinking water? What happens to them? Take comments

When we think about water two things become obvious: the power of the water itself; its effect on everything around it!

Water is powerful stuff and necessary for life. That makes water a great symbol for life itself - not only a symbol of human life but also of Divine Life.

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In the waters of Baptism, the Spirit of God comes to live in us, bringing power to live out the goodness that we all long to achieve.


Water in Action From that image of powerful, active water, move on to the water that is poured out in Baptism.

The movement of the Baptismal water emphasises the active presence of the Spirit of God and the breathtaking result in us - we become alive in Christ and active for good! In Christ’s own words:

‘The water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside you, Welling up to eternal life.’

John 4:14

Let us accept again that new life we received in Baptism and renew our commitment to be active for good.

Ceremony To help us begin again, we will now feel the touch of living water on our hands. The ceremony is demonstrated. Participants hold out their hands over the glass bowl, the Celebrant pours water and says:

‘By water and the Holy Spirit you received the gift of new life from God who is love.’

The Celebrant then asks the person to look up and looking directly at him/her, takes their clasped hands and continues:

‘May that fountain of living water remain as a spring inside you welling up to eternal life.’

When the water ceremony is over:

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We have renewed the Baptism that made us members of the church and gave us the right to say the Our Father. Let’s say it now: Our Father who art in heaven....


Family Preparation for Baptism: Discussion Leaflet, Session One

New Life! Can you think yourself back to the time of your baby’s birth? Could you share a little of how you felt when you first held your new baby? What did you want to say to your baby? Were you too tired to say anything?

What was the baby first wrapped in? What was special about the baby’s first real clothes?

As you think about your child, what do you most wish for him or her now? Among the many good things you desire for this baby, you have come here to ask for one special gift - Baptism.


Baptism is New Life in Christ “God uses the sacrament of water

to give his divine life

to those who believe in him. Let us ask him to pour his gift of life from this font on this child he has chosen.” Rite of Infant Baptism

By bringing your baby to be Christened, you are asking God for that gift of divine life for your child. Take a moment to sit quietly and think about this idea: In Baptism, God will come and live in my child. Is this what you really want for your child? Have you ever thought about talking to the baby about Baptism? What kind of things could you say? Now, in your heart, tell your baby about that coming of God. Do you remember what you said, earlier, about the baby’s first clothes? The clothes you chose to put on your baby after birth were an outward sign that the baby is a member of your loving family. New clothes come into the Baptismal Ceremony too. Your newly Christened child will be anointed with perfumed oil and then wrapped in a white shawl brought especially for this moment. The shawl shows that your baby is a member of the Christian Family. This is what the Rite says about it: You have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment

the outward sign of your Christian dignity.

Rite of Infant Baptism

Now, we are going to look at the ideals by which we choose to express that Christian dignity in our lives.


2 Baptism Session

Life and Light Session Guide Discussion Leaflet Recipe for Chrism/ perfume chart (hand-outs)

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2010 Session Guide

Baptism Session Two

Life and Light

God now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet and King, So may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life. Rite of Infant Baptism

Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. Your child is to walk always as a child of the light. Rite of Infant Baptism

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Chrism andCandle

Summary of the Session

Materials required for this Session For making a chrism-like mixture: selection of easily obtained perfumed oils; small amount (one teaspoonful) of olive oil; small dish/container to hold the mixture.

Containers of the three Holy Oils. The Paschal Candle, or a large candle to represent it.

For each person: One Discussion Leaflet; One leaflet about the perfumed oils. (Suggested selection). One small candle.

The leaflet First side of the leaflet The child's natural growth is the starting point. This gives the setting for discussion on growth in Faith and in practice. Second side of the leaflet The prayer of anointing with chrism shows that the baptised has become part of the Christian Community. Active membership of this community might provide the child with an understanding and supportive setting within which Christian values could develop naturally. Noting the meaning of the words Christ and Chrism leads to an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of this child. A practical experience of chrism follows. Finally, there is an introduction of the Light theme. This will be picked up again in the After-Baptism session.

The practical part of the session

People rarely have an opportunity to learn anything about the Holy Oils, yet they have an important place in Catholic practice. In the rest of this session we will look at the message contained in Chrism, the principal oil used in Baptism. Chrism signifies God’s choice of the person and their call to holiness/goodness. We take time to make an oil mixture similar to this Holy Oil and look at the symbolism of the perfume that is added to olive oil to make Chrism. The focus on chrism ends with a blessing of the adults, using the newly made oil, 3


Discussion Leaflet, Life and Light

First side

Life and Light A baby's new life shines through everything that happens in your home. Watching your child evolve is like watching a light grow quietly and steadily. Here are some quotes about that development from a hospital baby-manual. Read them and tell us what you think. 3-4 months The baby knows what to expect from certain routines & shows excitement.

5-6 months your baby chuckles and laughs, shows anger, tries to attract attention.

1-2 months Your baby feeds and sleeps at unpredictable times.

6-7 months You can see a real little person developing who can show likes and dislikes.

The Baby Manual suggests that the identity of your child shines out more clearly with each passing day. What signs of your child’s personality are showing now? What kind of things can you do and say to help that little personality grow and develop? How important is it for you to bring out the best in your child? What place has faith in this development? You have already taken an important step in faith by arranging to have your child Baptised. We talked last time about the great moment when the water will be poured on the baby's head. But there is more the child will also be anointed with Chrism. The words Christ and Chrism both mean anointed and chosen. So when your child is anointed, he/she is chosen by the Holy Spirit of God chosen for goodness.

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We are going to take time now to look at the Oil of Chrism that touches your child in a special little ceremony. It symbolises the Holy Spirit’s choice of your child.


The Holy Oils

Three different Holy Oils are used in sacraments and prayer: Oil of the Sick; Oil of Catechumens -for adults preparing for Baptism Oil of Chrism. These oils are made with olive oil, a natural plant oil, and consecrated by the bishop in special service on Maundy Thursday.

Our special interest is the Oil of Chrism.

Chrism is used in Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination. It has perfumed oils added to the olive oil. This Holy oil of Chrism represents the holiness of God. Being rubbed (or anointed) with oil gives a healing and strengthening message. Chrism has a long history. Thousands of years ago, Moses was given a recipe for chrism. We know, from the Bible, the names of the oils that Moses put into it. He was to use it on people who had been chosen by God to be holy. You can read thar recipe in the Bible. Exodus 30 22-30 God spoke to Moses and said: Take the choicest spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels, half this weight of fragrant cinnamon - that is, two hundred and fifty shekels and of scented cane, two hundred and fifty shekels; of cassia, five hundred shekels; and four litres of olive oil. These you are to compound into a holy chrism, such a blend as the perfumer might make. It is to be a holy chrism. 5


The Bible text goes on to list the people and things that are to be anointed with chrism, stating: These you are to consecrate. Thus they will excel in holiness, and whatever touches them will be holy. So, when your child is anointed with chrism, he/she is being called and chosen to: ‘excel in holiness’. The Holy Oil of Chrism gives us a way of exploring this idea of goodness. We are going to make our own Chrism Recipe and put in it the oils which express what we see as goodness, - The goodness you want in your own life and in the life of your child. Any natural perfumes may be used in this special oil. We have (four) oils that could be used to invent a Chrism Recipe. - though it will not be the Blessed Chrism of the Sacraments. Display the variety of oils available. (A minimum of three.)

Here are some thoughts about these oils that might start your discussion. Give out leaflets about the oils.

Read the leaflet and talk about the perfumes that represent some of your values. Give a few moments for reading and discussion. Different voices might read out each section.

Now add your chosen perfumes to the olive oil. To obtain a balanced blend of the perfumes, one drop is enough - or two, if a particular perfume represents something especially important to you. The leader has a small dish of olive oil ready (about one teaspoonful) As each oil is chosen, a drop is added.

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Now that we have made our chrism, could we share with each other the good qualities that our oils represents? Give time for people to retspond, then move on to he sacramental symbolism of the perfume in chrism.


Cotton buds dipped in our chrism and wafted in the air will release this blended perfume into the room. Allow a few minutes for this activity

By creating chrism we have filled the room with perfume.That perfume is invisible

yet, at the same time, it is active and powerful.

Take a moment to think of the meaning you have put into your chrism. The oils that make up the perfume that is around us now were chosen because they represent goodness. Is that goodness itself visible? Is it not, like perfume, invisible yet active and powerful?

So perfume is a great image of goodness.

But perfume is more than that. It is a wonderful image of the source of all goodness - the Holy Spirit.

Perfume is used in Chrism to signify a special coming of the Spirit, a coming of God who is unseen, yet dynamic in our lives. To remind us of our own call to holiness, we are going to use our newly-made oil in a blessing for ourselves. Whether you have been baptised or not, you are welcome to take part.

Blessing The words that will be said as you are anointed are:

‘May you always be open to the unseen power of the Holy Spirit’

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Discussion Leaflet 2, Life and Light

Second side

Developing as a Child of the Light In the Baptismal Ceremony, after the child has been baptised and anointed, a lighted candle, representing Christ, is given to a parent (or godparent).

In accepting this light, the parents commit themselves to hand on their faith - and so keep alive in their child the Light of Christ. Here is what the Baptismal Rite says:

Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. Your child is to walk always as a child of the light.

Rite of Infant Baptism

You have chosen to have your child baptised and be brought up as a Christian. During the baptism you will commit yourself to develop your child’s faith so that he/she may always be filled with the light that is Christ. What little practices could you introduce now to start developing your child’s faith? What about the Sign of the Cross? Do you make a cross on the baby’s forehead at night? Would this be a first step towards night prayers? Is there anything else you could do in these early years?

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Now we are going to take a little time to think about the Belief that we have - and will hand on to our children.


Belief What are my Christian Beliefs? Take a moment to think about that. Belief is a delicate issue. It is not the same as church-going. If there is a discussion on belief, the following quotation might be helpful. It comes from Mark’s story of a conversation between Christ and a father who wanted his son cured. Christ: ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have.’

Mark 9:23-24.

At Baptism you will be asked to agree to the basic Christian beliefs in words that come from the earliest ages of the Church. It is known to us as the Apostles Creed. As we go through that Creed, consider if you can say ‘YES’ to what it says about God the Father, Son and Spirit. The Creed is read aloud in three sections.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth? (Yes) Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? (Yes) Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? (Yes) That is the faith of the church. That is the faith in which your child is about to be baptised. That is the faith that you are committing yourself to develop in your child. 9


Family Preparation for Baptism: Discussion Leaflet, Life and Light

Life and Light A baby's new life shines through everything that happens in your home. Watching your child evolve is like watching a light grow quietly and steadily. Here are some quotes about that development from a hospital baby-manual. Read them and tell us what you think. 3-4 months The baby knows what to expect from certain routines & shows excitement.

5-6 months your baby chuckles and laughs, shows anger, tries to attract attention.

1-2 months Your baby feeds and sleeps at unpredictable times.

6-7 months You can see a real little person developing who can show likes and dislikes.

The Baby Manual suggests that the identity of your child shines out more clearly with each passing day. What signs of your child’s personality are showing now? What kind of things can you do and say to help that little personality grow and develop? How important is it for you to bring out the best in your child? What place has faith in this development? You have already taken an important step in faith by arranging to have your child Baptised. We talked last time about the great moment when the water will be poured on the baby's head. But there is more the child will also be anointed with Chrism. The words Christ and Chrism both mean anointed and chosen. So when your child is anointed, he/she is chosen by the Holy Spirit of God chosen for goodness.

We are going to take time now to look at the Oil of Chrism that touches your child in a special little ceremony. It symbolises the Holy Spirit’s choice of your child.


Developing as a Child of the Light In the Baptismal Ceremony, after the child has been baptised and anointed, a lighted candle, representing Christ, is given to a parent (or godparent).

In accepting this light, the parents commit themselves to hand on their faith - and so keep alive in their child the Light of Christ. Here is what the Baptismal Rite says:

Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. Your child is to walk always as a child of the light. Rite of Infant Baptism

You have chosen to have your child baptised and be brought up as a Christian. During the baptism you commit yourself to develop your child’s faith so that he/she may always be filled with the light that is Christ. What little practices could you introduce now to start developing your child’s faith? What about the Sign of the Cross? Do you make a cross on the baby’s forehead at night? Would this be a first step towards night prayers? Is there anything else you could do in these early years? Now we are going to take a little time to think about the Belief that we have - and will hand on to our children.


Some Perfumes for Chrism Frankincense

It is relaxing and rejuvenating perfume which helps people to enter into meditation. Frankincense has been used in worship and religious rituals from early times and is still used today in incense. Its name is well known to us because it was brought by the Magi to the baby Jesus.

‘They shall bring gold and frankincence, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord’ Isaiah 60 v6

Any number and range of perfumed oils may be offered. But, to encourage thoughtful choice, the number of oils provided should be different from the number chosen for the Recipe.

Myrrh

This sharp smelling perfume has an uplifting effect on the mind and heart. So Moses used it in the first Chrism to help his people become aware of the presence of God. For the same reasons, it is still used in incense. It has some very human uses too. It was widely used for beauty, for healing and for burial. In the Old Testament, when Esther was chosen to be the queen, she was massaged with oil of myrrh for six months to bring her skin to perfection! It is best known to us from the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus.

Lavender

A calming, refreshing and relaxing perfume which has been used since Roman times. Lavender is produced from small purple/ blue flowers which are grown commercially in large quantities in this country. The colour makes these fields quite distinctive. People often use little bags of lavender in wardrobes and drawers to keep clothes fresh.

Lavender is a good reminder of care and thoughtfulness in the home.

'Opening their treasures they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.' Matthew 2 v11

Geranium

A refreshing and relaxing perfume with a wonderful aroma which helps people feel composed and poised.

Sandalwood A tree that has a hard, light-coloured heartwood that yeilds a powerful aromatic perfume.

Red, pink and white geraniums make a great splash of colour in gardens and also in plantpots in people’s homes.

It has been used throughout the world since ancient times.

Geranium easily represent ourselves trying to brighten up everyday life .

Sandalwood suggests confidence and strength. It is popular in aftershave and other toiletries.

Rosemary

A strongly aromatic, invigorating and refreshing perfume, which promotes well-being. Rosemary grows in local gardens where its bushes of dark leaves often hide the tiny blue flowers. Rosemary represents both love and constancy.

‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance’

Ophelia, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.


Example of A5 Recipe Outline

Our Recipe for Chrism

Our Recipe for Chrism

To 5mls of olive oil (one teaspoonful)

To 5mls of olive oil (one teaspoonful)

add seven drops of Essential Oil Perfume

add seven drops of Essential Oil Perfume

in the following proportions:

in the following proportions:

Name of Essential Oil

No. of Drops

Seven

Name of Essential Oil

Total

No. of Drops

Seven

Total


3 Baptism Session

'Walk Through' the Ceremony A Practical Preparation in church

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Session Guide Booklets (examples) Personalising Booklets (examples)


2010 Guide

Baptism A Practical Preparation in church

‘Walk Through’ the Ceremony

1.Greeting at the door

2. Scripture

3. Ceremonies at the Font

4. Receiving the Light 5. At the Altar 2


‘Walk Through’ the Baptismal Ceremony Materials required

Summary of the Session

At the Paschal Candle One presentation Baptismal Candle (for demonstration) One small ordinary candle per family, for rehearsal.

At the Lectern Lectionary At the Font The shell for pouring water; The Holy Oils used in Baptism; Something to represent the white shawl.

Photographs are from an actual Baptism. Children do not need to be present at this rehearsal.

For each person One Baptism Booklet This comes in separate ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ versions and can be run off easily on a photocopier. The booklet can be personalised by the parentstt for use at their child’s Baptism. There it is meant to be a souvenir and so a reminder of preparation and commitment. See back page of this booklet.

At this meeting in the church, participants have the chance to become familiar with the details in practice; as well as sharing the meaning of each step.

1. The church door Greeting

2. The Lectern Listen to Scripture

4. The Paschal Candle Care for the Light of Faith

3. The Font Promises Baptism with water Anointing with chrism Declaration of Faith

5. The Altar Promise of Eucharist Blessing of Parents

This walk is, as a whole, an easily understood symbol of the journey of Faith. It is also an opportuniy for participants to consider quietly the significance of the Sacrament in their own lives. Before the session begins

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The presenters need to take time together, in church, to note practical arrangements such as: the number of people likely to be present; where they will stand or sit so that they can participate easily; where the materials need to be placed. At the session choices of Readings, Prayers, names for the Litany etc. should be recorded by one of the Team.


Introduction

The families gather near the back of the church. Each person is given a Baptism Booklet to allow them to take part at every step.

We are going to walk through the main parts of the Baptismal Ceremony. You will find that it really is a walk! It does not all happen at the font.

When you bring your baby for Baptism, you are bringing him/her into into the community of the church. As a new member of that church, the child is welcomed at the door. In this part of the ceremony you are asked for the child’s name, and then about your commitment to the Christian upbringing of this child. We will go to the door now for the welcome.

1. Welcome at the Door Celebrant

What name have you given your child?

................

Parents Celebrant

What do you ask of God’s church for N.........?

Parents

Celebrant

Baptism.

You have asked to have your child baptised. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

Parents:

We do.

The Celebrant now addresses the godparents. Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents? Godparents:

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We are.


The Sign of the Cross The priest then makes the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead, so welcoming him/her in the name of the whole Christian community.

Celebrant ...... , the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead and invite your parents (and godparents/others) to do the same.

Everyone, starting with the parents, then makes the sign of the cross on the child’s head.

This rehearsal does not involve the child who is to be Baptised. The presenter, therefore, might invite those present to have their own little Ceremony of the Cross here. Saying, for example:

As a preparation for welcoming the baby, please welcome someone near you by making the sign of the cross on their forehead.

Give a few minutes for people to greet each other in this way.

Presenter

You are now invited to come right into the church.

Participants process to the front of the church and sit near the lectern.

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2. The Word of God Presenter

In this next part of the ceremony God speaks to us in the words of Scripture. Here it may be useful to invite the person who will be reading at the Baptism to go up to the lectern. Presenter

For Baptism, the church offers us a choice of Bible readings. At this practice session we will hear the words that the apostle Peter wrote to those who were about to be baptised. Peter points out that, by Baptism, we are chosen: to come into God’s presence; to belong to God’s people; to have a claim on God’s mercy. Let’s listen as God speaks to us, personally, in this reading: Reader

A reading from the First Letter of St. Peter, Chapter 2: verses 9 and 10. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people at all and now you are the People of God; once you were outside mercy and now you have been given mercy. This is the Word of the Lord.

Bidding Prayers Presenter

The Bidding prayers are our chance to say to God what is in our hearts and minds. Before your baby is Baptised, these prayers need to be planned. Take a moment, now, to think about what you really want to ask God for your child. Pause

Would you like to voice some of your thoughts now?

This might be the moment to make practical points about the format and typing of these prayers. .

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Litany of the Saints

By Baptism we have been chosen to be members of God's family - active members! We are called to be saints! So we now ask our favourite saints to pray for the baby and for all of us present. We will only use a few names now:

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us. St John the Baptist, Pray for us. St Joseph, Pray for us. St Peter and St Paul, Pray for us. St (Parish Patron), Pray for us.

Now, if you like to call out the baby’s patron saint, we will all join you in asking him/her to pray for us.

St........

Pray for us!

Take a moment to think about grandparents, parents, relations or friends who have died. They too care about this Baptism so, in your heart, invite them to be with us. Like the saints we have named, they are part of a great cloud of witnesses who watch over you now. If you would like to say their names aloud, we will respond: Pray for us! Most of the people you have called out have their own patron saints who could be added to the litany at the Baptism. Is someone ready to write them down if they are said now? A Parish team member gathers the additional names. This might be a suitable time to confirm whether the priest or a family member is to read the Litany at the Baptism,

Exorcism and Anointing before Baptism Note This ceremony is sometimes omitted at infant baptism.

(Adaptions by Conferences of Bishops 50 & 87)

Celebrant ...... We pray for this child: set him/her free from Original Sin, make him/her a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell in him/her. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All Amen

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Celebrant anoints the child with the Oil of Catechumens We anoint you with the Oil of Salvation in the name of Christ Our Saviour; may he strengthen you with his power, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen All


3. At the Font Everyone stands in a circle so that all can see the water in the font and the shell that will be used in Baptism. Give time for comments and questions.

Presenter

Before the solemn moment of Baptism, we pause to reflect on the responsibility that the adults are taking on for this child. There are three parts to this reflection:

Gratitude for the Gift of Baptism; Renunciation of sin; Statement of Christian belief. We begin with short prayers about the goodness that is in our lives through God’s gift of baptism. We will say only the first of these prayers now. The response is: Blessed be God.

Gratitude for the Gift of Baptism Celebrant Father, God of mercy, through these waters of Baptism you have filled us with new life as your very own children. All Blessed be God. Presenter

We talked in the first session about rejecting evil and choosing goodness. Here are the actual questions from the ceremony. Only the parents and godparents answer these questions aloud.

Renunciation of Sin Celebrant Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children? I do. Parents and Godparents Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? I do. Parents and Godparents Do you reject Satan, the father of sin and the prince of darkness? I do. Parents and Godparents Presenter

In the third session we considered the light of faith, as summed up in the Creed. Now parents and godparents are asked to state aloud their belief in God the Father, Son and Spirit.

Profession of Faith Celebrant Do you believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Parents and Godparents

8

Do you believe........

I do.


The Baptism Where a number of families are sharing this session, one family could demonstrate: where parents and godparents will stand; how the baby will be held over the font.

The Celebrant leads everyone through the Baptismal ceremony.

Celebrant Is it your will that your child should be baptised in the faith of the church, which we have all professed with you? It is!

Celebrant

I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 9


Anointing with Chrism After the Baptism, the baby will be anointed with Chrism on the head. The Presenter reminds the families of what the Holy Oil of Chrism signifies for the child.

Chrism is a sacred perfumed oil. It is used as a sign that the child is now one of God's Chosen People and is consecrated as priest, prophet and king.

Chrism

Celebrant God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,..... ....welcomes you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life.

The White Garment Presenter ( showing a white shawl or scarf )

The Christening shawl or scarf, which has been kept separate, is used at this point as a sign of the new life which Baptism brings to your child. Here is a little part of the prayer that will be said:

Celebrant (Child’s name) You have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity ....... Presenter

The baby is now wrapped in the shawl. 10


The Lighted Candle

Everyone now gathers round the Paschal Candle

Presenter

Christ lives within each newly Baptised child like a wonderful light.

To heighten our awareness of this image, there follows a ceremony in which a parent, or godparent, holds a lighted Baptismal Candle for the child. Because this is only a rehearsal, an ordinary small candle will be used.

The candle is a reminder to parents and godparents of their responsibility to keep the flame of faith burning brightly.

At the Paschal Candle the Celebrant says:

Receive the Light of Christ!

Each child’s candle is lit and held by parent or godparent. Celebrant Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. The child is to walk always as a child of the light, keeping the flame of faith alive in his/her heart. When the Lord comes, may he/she go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.

Carrying the Baptismal Candles, all now go up to the altar to show that Baptism leads to Eucharist.

11


4. At the Altar Presenter

When we are baptised ‘by water and the Spirit’ John 3:5. we become members of Christ’s body - the church, (1Cor. 12:27)

and have the right to call God our father. (Rom. 8 :14)

So the child’s baptism and reception into the Christian community come to a climax when all the baptised say together the prayer that is said at every Mass before Holy Communion the Our Father. This is how that prayer is introduced in the Baptismal Rite: Celebrant As new members of the church, the children have a right to take part in the Eucharist, and, when old enough, they will receive Holy Communion from the altar, God’s table. As a sign of this future event, we will all say the Our Father on behalf of the children. Our Father......

Blessing of the Parents Presenter

When the child’s baptism is completed, the parents are blessed. Different prayers may be used for mother and for father. We have combined them here for the rehearsal. Parents step forward from the group.

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Celebrant God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May God bless the parents of this child. They will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they also be the best teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do. May Almighty God bless you, And send peace on all who are here present. Amen.


Personalising Booklets for a Baptism Baptism

The parents may want to personalise the general booklet for their family. At the simplest level, they could write, in each copy, the Child’s Name on the lines that are provided at all the required places.

of

If families want to put more material into their booklets for the Ceremony, they might be given details of a local printer who already understood what was required for this booklet; or they could be given a CD copy of the basic booklet to make their own version.

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To the basic text they might choose to add items such as: Their own Bidding Prayers; Names for the Litany; Photographs which could include the child, the family, the church, the parents themselves at the final blessing.

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Baptism of

Welcome

into the community of the church on Souvenir Booklet for the Baptism of a Boy

at


Welcome

Everyone gathers near the entrance. Celebrant What name have you given your child? Parents: What do you ask of God’s church for Parents: Baptism.

?

Celebrant You have asked to have baptised. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? Parents: We do.

Blessing of the Parents

The Celebrant now addresses the godparents. Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents? Godparents: We are.

Celebrant God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May God bless the parents of

The Sign of the Cross The priest then makes the sign of the cross on the child's forehead, so welcoming him in the name of the whole Christian community.

They will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they also be the best teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do.

Celebrant

2

May Almighty God bless you, And send peace on all who are here present. Amen.

the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead and invite your parents, godparents and others to do the same. Those who wish make the sign of the cross on the child's head. 11


At the Altar

The Word of God Carrying the Baptismal Candle, the group now goes up to the altar to show that Baptism leads to Eucharist.

Participants process to the front of the church and sit near the lectern to listen to the words of Scripture..

Reader A reading from the First Letter of St. Peter Chapter 2: verses 9 and 10. Celebrant As a new member of the church, has a right to take part in the Eucharist and, when old enough, he will receive Holy Communion from the altar, God’s table.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

As a sign of this future event, we will all say the Our Father on his behalf.

Once you were not a people at all and now you are the People of God; once you were outside mercy and now you have been given mercy.

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us, And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

10

This is the Word of the Lord.

Bidding Prayers The response to each prayer is: Lord graciously hear us.

3

Litany of the Saints


Prayer and Anointing before Baptism

The Lighted Candle The Celebrant draws attention to the Paschal Candle and says:

Receive the Light of Christ!

Celebrant Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue all from the kingdom of darkness and bring us into the splendour of your kingdom of light.

The child's candle is lit by his father or godparent.

We pray for Set him free from Original Sin, make him a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell in him. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Celebrant anoints the child on the chest with the Oil of Catechumens. Celebrant Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ.

We anoint you with the Oil of Salvation in the name of Christ Our Saviour; may he strengthen you with his power, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen All:

He is to walk always as a child of the light, keeping the flame of faith alive in his heart. When the Lord comes, may he go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.

4

9


Anointing with Chrism

At the Font

The child's head will be anointed with Chrism, a sacred perfumed oil.

Celebrant

Celebrant God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life.

Chrism

Father, God of mercy, through these waters of Baptism you: have filled us with new life as your very own children. All Blessed be God. You have called your child to this cleansing water that he may share in the faith of your church and have eternal life. By the mystery of this consecrated water lead him to a new and spiritual birth, through Christ our Lord.

The White Garment Celebrant: (holding the Christening Shawl)

you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven. All: Amen The baby is wrapped in the shawl. 8

Renunciation of Sin The celebrant reminds the parents and godparents of the step they are about to take and asks if they are ready to accept the responsibility. Celebrant

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children? I do. Parents and Godparents: Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? I do. Parents and Godparents: Do you reject satan, the father of sin and the prince of darkness? I do. Parents and Godparents: 5


The Baptism

Profession of Faith Celebrant

Do you believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

Parents and Godparents:

I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Parents and Godparents:

I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

Parents and Godparents:

Celebrant

Is it your will that should be baptised in the faith of the church, which we have all professed with you? All: It is. Celebrant

I do.

I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen 6

7


Baptism of

Welcome

into the community of the church on Souvenir Booklet for the Baptism of a Girl

at


Welcome

Everyone gathers near the entrance. Celebrant What name have you given your child? Parents: What do you ask of God’s church for Parents: Baptism.

?

Celebrant You have asked to have baptised. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? Parents: We do.

Blessing of the Parents

The Celebrant now addresses the godparents. Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents? Godparents: We are.

Celebrant God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May God bless the parents of

The Sign of the Cross The priest then makes the sign of the cross on the child's forehead, so welcoming her in the name of the whole Christian community.

They will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they also be the best teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do.

Celebrant

2

May Almighty God bless you, And send peace on all who are here present. Amen.

the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead and invite your parents, godparents and others to do the same. Those who wish make the sign of the cross on the child's head. 11


The Word of God

At the Altar Carrying the Baptismal Candle, the group now goes up to the altar to show that Baptism leads to Eucharist.

Participants process to the front of the church and sit near the lectern to listen to the words of Scripture..

Reader A reading from the First Letter of St. Peter Chapter 2: verses 9 and 10.

Celebrant As a new member of the church, has a right to take part in the Eucharist and, when old enough, she will receive Holy Communion from the altar, God’s table.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

As a sign of this future event, we will all say the Our Father on her behalf.

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us, And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

10

Once you were not a people at all and now you are the People of God; once you were outside mercy and now you have been given mercy. This is the Word of the Lord.

Bidding Prayers The response to each prayer is: Lord graciously hear us.

3

Litany of the Saints


The Lighted Candle

Prayer and Anointing before Baptism

The Celebrant draws attention to the Paschal Candle and says: Celebrant Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue all from the kingdom of darkness and bring us into the splendour of your kingdom of light.

Receive the Light of Christ!

We pray for The child's candle is lit by her father or godparent.

Set her free from Original Sin, make her a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell in her. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Celebrant anoints the child on the chest with the Oil of Catechumens. Celebrant Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ.

We anoint you with the Oil of Salvation in the name of Christ Our Saviour; may he strengthen you with his power, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen All:

She is to walk always as a child of the light, keeping the flame of faith alive in her heart. When the Lord comes, may she go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.

4

9


Anointing with Chrism

At the Font

The child's head will be anointed with Chrism, a sacred perfumed oil.

Celebrant God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life.

Chrism

Celebrant Father, God of mercy, through these waters of Baptism you have filled us with new life as your very own children. All : Blessed be God. You have called your child to this cleansing water that she may share in the faith of your church and have eternal life. By the mystery of this consecrated water lead her to a new and spiritual birth, through Christ our Lord.

The White Garment Celebrant: (holding the Christening Shawl)

you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven. Amen All: The baby is wrapped in the shawl. 8

Renunciation of Sin The celebrant reminds the parents and godparents of the step they are about to take and asks if they are ready to accept the responsibility. Celebrant

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children? I do. Parents and Godparents: Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? I do. Parents and Godparents: Do you reject satan, the father of sin and the prince of darkness? I do. Parents and Godparents: 5


Profession of Faith

The Baptism

Celebrant

Do you believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

Parents and Godparents:

I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Parents and Godparents:

I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

Parents and Godparents:

Celebrant

Is it your will that should be baptised in the faith of the church, which we have all professed with you? All: It is. Celebrant

I do.

I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen 6

7


Personalising Booklets for a Baptism Baptism

The parents may want to personalise the general booklet for their family. At the simplest level, they could write, in each copy, the Child’s Name on the lines that are provided at all the required places.

of

If families want to put more material into their booklets for the Ceremony, they might be given details of a local printer who already understood what was required for this booklet; or they could be given a CD copy of the basic booklet to make their own version.

Her

sent -

pre family

Rose Sarah for sm Bapti

Ba of ptism Cam eron Tho m

urch t's Ch

cen

St Vin

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To the basic text they might choose to add items such as: Their own Bidding Prayers; Names for the Litany; Photographs which could include the child, the family, the church, the parents themselves at the final blessing.

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4 After-Baptism Session

Growth in Goodness

Session Guide Discussion Leaflet Local Material for ‘Parish Possibilities’.


2010 Session Guide

After-Baptism Family Session

Growth in Goodness From the Rite of Infant Baptism Dear parents and godparents: You have presented this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit he/she receive dthe gift of new life from God, who is love.

On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring up your child in the practice of the faith.

‘God has welcomed you into his Holy People’

From the Rite of Infant Baptism


Summary of the Session This session is about the development of Faith. It should help parents consider the need to build up, in their home, a background of Christian belief and customs. The starting point is the sacrament of Baptism which they have chosen for their child.

In making that choice, they have undertaken to foster Christian qualities in the child’s character.

In this ongoing task, the action of the Holy Spirit is highlighted; as well as the practical support, available through the community of the church.

This session is about ‘belonging’. Baptism initiates the child into membership of the church.The families meet in this session to consider what they can do, right from the start, to make that membership real and active. If the families are not currently regularly present in church, this will need practical help from the parish. The session therefore requires an introduction to some current opportunities to meet other families.

Materials Holy Water in small open dish(s) Bowl of bulbs (or some other plant) beginning to show healthy growth One small candle in a holder for each adult. Also present should be:

Individuals and reps of parish (or local Christian) groups/event for families with young children.

The leaflet

First side of the leaflet Parents and family do most of the talking. The parents reflect on the enormous task of caring for a baby and on their willingness to do so much work, because of their love for the child. They are prompted to consider how much support and help they receive both from family and friends and from organisations such as health clinics. Second side of the leaflet The material on this side may be quite challenging. Parents and family should, by this after-Baptism session, feel free to express their doubts and reservations within a setting that accepts them where they are.

The introductory part of this session includes a reminder of the waters of Baptism by the personal use of Holy Water in an informal blessing. At the very dawn of creation, Your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness.

2


Introduction Our meeting today is a much quieter affair than the big exciting event of your child’s Baptism. Yet, in its own way, it is just as important.

At Baptism, water was poured in a very memorable ceremony and a new life, Christ’s Life, began in a special way in your child. Life needs care and attention if it is to grow strong. Today we will take time to consider personally - and as a group your plan to encourage that Life of Christ to grow in your child.

Let’s see if this plant offers an idea.

Put a bowl of bulbs (or other suitable plant) on display

These bulbs have made a good start. Strong growth is there for us to see and we know that, under the suface, the bulb continues to support and strengthen growth - or the plant will die.

But not every bulb that starts well is sure of flowering. Plants cannot grow without support. They need to be in a place where they are safe, where they will have water and a real chance to grow. Your child is in a similar situation. His/her Growth in Goodness depends on the assistance you give your Baptised child to grow like Christ. This session is meant to support your efforts.

We have seen that water is as central in the sacrament of Baptims as it is in all natural growth. So let’s begin with water - Holy Water, this time as a sign of commitment to your child’s Growth in Christ. Put Holy Water on display

as a reminder of our Baptism, we dip our fingers in holy water and make the sign of the cross on ourselves when entering the church, . Just now, whether you have been Baptised or not, you are invited to dip your finger into this Blessed water and use it to make the sign of the cross - demonstrate the action - on yourself and then on your child. Everyone is invited to do this now - if you wish. When this activity is completed give out the discussion papers.

It is time now to talk about how all that support and commitment can happen in our ordinary lives! 3


Discussion Leaflet 1, After-Baptism Session

Growth in Goodness We have come together, after the Baptism, to talk about how your baby grows and develops - and the task of bringing out the best in your child.

A new baby is the centre of attention in a family. Just to look at your baby is to be filled with awe and wonder. But there is not too much time for just looking! Who shares the work of helping your child grow in health and happiness? Have you family and friends to help you? Do you visit the Health Centre or belong to a Parents’ Support Group? Give time for people to talk about their own situation. This talk about support from family and larger support organisations prepares the way for discussion about membership of the Christian family and the local parish.

Your baby needs a great deal of practical care. The day seems to become a round of feeding, bathing, comforting. There is joy and effort, fun and hardwork all running together. Lengthy bouts of crying and sleepless nights may seriously upset you. How do you keep going? Does the fact that you love your child influence your ability to give such constant care? This second section needs time for people to mull over the trouble they are willing to take to ensure their child’s health and growth. That willing effort leads to the discussion which follows on nurturing growth in goodness.

You have talked about the loving care that you give your child. As part of that care, you brought your child to church to receive Baptism. What made you think of having your child baptised? Did any of your family or friends discuss it with you? Encourage all parents to answer.

In Baptism your child becomes a member of another, very large, family - the church. The Baptismal Rite recognises the need for your constant care if your child is to become an active member of this family.

4

Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit he/she is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring up your child in the practice of the faith. Rite of Infant Baptism


Discussion Leaflet 2, After-Baptism Session

One element of the practice of the faith is ‘growing in goodness’. When your child was anointed with Chrism, the Rite says that he/she is now part of God’s Holy People! God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin , given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation Rite of Infant Baptism

We all know that the ideal for a Christian is to become like Christ (Christened). But being ‘Holy People’ might seem a bit beyond most of us! Could you say that you want your child to grow into a good person? Parents know that the early years are very important in forming a child’s personality. Child experts say that, in particular,the first two years of life are when most of the basic characteristics are shaped. How could parents help their child make good choices? How could your child become aware of others, at this stage, and learn to share? Give time to share experiences

What about bedtime stories? When your child is old enough to listen, will you tell stories about Jesus? Do you have any other religious customs in your home? How do you cope with the baby in church? Does he/she ‘chuckle and laugh and attract attention’ as the baby-manual suggested? Or is it a scream? Care of a child is always easier if other people are involved. Who joins in your efforts to bring out the best in your child? Is there some way, perhaps through the parish, that you could meet regularly with other parents who share your Christian values? If the children could get to know one another through planned social events, would this give an opportunity to foster Christian qualities in your child? Is this a possibility in your parish? 5


Parish Possibilities

This part of the session should be led by parish groups and by individuals who are prepared to set up events to support young parents. Where possible, a display from the parish library and local examples from parish groups/events should illustrate this page of the Session Guide for each parish.

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This final section is meant to help parents reach a quiet moment of prayer and commitment.

Light as a Sign To help us see our way forward, the Church uses the image of Light. Towards the end of the Baptismal Ceremony, the parents are given a small version of the great Candle that is lit each Easter as the sign of Christ’s new, Risen Life. Presenter draws attention to the Paschal Candle

Your child’s Baptismal Candle is a sign

that the living God is shining - in some small way - in your child’s life. In accepting this light, the parents are accepting a commitment to help their child keep the ‘flame of faith’ alive in his/her life. Your child will learn to let the light of faith shine through him/her in the same way as he/she learns everything else -

by watching YOU!

Christ lives in you - and reaches other people through you so Jesus can say to you in the Gospel: “You are the light of the world... No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on a lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house.” Matt.5 14 -15

“You are the light of the world.” How do you feel about that?

Can any of us claim to be a shining light to the people we live with? It is a bit hard to see ourselves in this role. But maybe a person you know is so rooted in faith that they are like a light for others. Take a moment to call to mind someone like that in your own life. Give time for reflection.

Look into your own heart now for a moment: acknowledge that God lives in you now and this shows in your life. Consider how your belief is lived out in membership of the church. To help you think quietly about your relationship with God, you are invited now to light a small candle. Those who wish light a small candle from the Paschal candle.

Look at the candle you are holding and, in your heart, ask yourself: ‘What flame of faith in my life could this little candle flame represent?’ Give time for reflection before moving on to the conclusion.

We will end with a prayer that belongs especially to Baptism.

7

The Our Father expresses the child’s membership of the church for the rest of life. So it has an important place at the conclusion of the Baptismal Ceremony. Let’s bring all our thoughts together as we stand round the Paschal candle and say: Our Father......


After-Baptism: Discussion Leaflet

Growth in Goodness A new baby is the centre of attention in a family. Just to look at your baby is to be filled with awe and wonder. But there is not too much time for just looking! Who shares the work of helping your child grow in health and happiness? Have you family and friends to help you? Do you visit the Health Centre or belong to a Parents’ Support Group? Your baby needs a great deal of practical care. The day seems to become a round of feeding, bathing, comforting. There is joy and effort, fun and hardwork all running together. Lengthy bouts of crying and sleepless nights may seriously upset you. How do you keep going? Does the fact that you love your child influence your ability to give such constant care? You have talked about the loving care that you give your child. As part of that care, you are here to prepare for your child’s Baptism. What made you think of having your child baptised? Did any of your family discuss it with you? In Baptism your child becomes a member of another, very large, family - the church. The Baptismal Rite recognises the need for your constant care if your child is to become an active member of this family. This is what the Rite says: Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit he/she is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring up your child in the practice of the faith.

1

Rite of Infant Baptism


One element in the practice of the faith is 'growing in goodness'. During the Baptismal ceremony your child will be anointed with Chrism. At that point the Rite tells us the baptised are not only a family but God’s Holy People! God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin , given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation Rite of Infant Baptism

We all know that the ideal for a Christian is to become like Christ (Christened). But if being ‘Holy People’ seems a bit beyond most of us, could you say that you want your child to grow into a good person? Parents know that the early years are very important in forming a child's personality. Child experts say that, in particular, the first two years of life are when basic characteristics are shaped. How could parents help their child make good choices, as tiny opportunities for personal expression gradually become possible? How could the child become aware of others, at this stage, and learn to share? What about bedtime stories? When your child is old enough to listen, will you tell stories about Jesus? Do you have any other religious customs in your home? How do you cope with the baby in church? Does he/she ‘chuckle and laugh and attract attention’ as the baby-manual suggested? Or is it a scream? Care of a child is always easier if other people are involved. Who joins in your efforts to bring out the best in your child? Is there some way, perhaps through the parish, that you could meet regularly with other parents who share your Christian values? If the children could get to know one another through planned social events, would this give an opportunity to foster Christian qualities in your child? 2

Is this a possibility in your parish?


Family Faith Baptism programme This encouraging, conversational programme explores: 1. The meaning of Baptism as New Life in Christ; 2 How a baptised child’s up-bringing involves, from the very beginning, the development of Christian values and the practice of their Faith.

One: New Life

The opening session recalls the birth of the child with the emotions and experiences of that New Life. Starting from this natural birth, we explore how the pouring of Baptismal Water over the child brings New Life in Christ.

Two: Life and Light

The parents’ constant care for the child’s welfare leads to discussion about the development of Christian qualities and the meaning of the Baptismal anointing with Chrism. The significance of the Baptismal Candle, representing the Light of Faith, is also considered.

Three: ‘Walk Through’ A practical preparation

This walk gives families both an experience in action of the elements of Baptism that they have discussed and a peacefully rehearsal for the ceremony. They should obtain from this a sense of ‘ownership’ and personal responsibility when they present their child for the Sacrament.

After-Baptism session: Growth in Goodness

The starting point for this session is the sacrament of Baptism which the parents have chosen for their child. The focus is on ‘belonging’ and developing the child’s Faith. This idea of continuity and growth may be challenging for some. The warm acceptance of each person at this meeting - with all their doubts and reservations should contribute positively to their sense of belonging.

Baptism  

2010 series

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