What to Expect on Baptism Day/Choosing a God Parent
Baptisms are celebrated during Mass on the weekends, or at another time outside of Mass, if the parents wish.
Please arrive 20-30 minutes prior the baptism. This will give you time to meet with the priest or deacon who will show you where to put your things and which pew you will be sitting in. The presider will want to meet with parents and Godparents for introductions and instructions. We suggest family and friends sit in the back near the font.
Parents and Godparents are included in the opening procession and will sit in the front pews in the center aisle. The priest will begin the celebration with an introduction. You will be asked by Father to state your child’s name and trace the sign of the cross on his/her forehead. After the homily, the parents and Godparents will be invited to come forward for the prayers of the faithful, profession of faith and baptism. All will go to the baptismal font for the baptism, anointing with Sacred Chrism, and receiving the white garment and candle. Then the parents, Godparents and child will go to their pews.
Service Outside of Mass
You will be asked by the priest or deacon to state your child’s name and trace the sign of the cross on his/her forehead. The service continues with a reading from scripture, followed by the rites as listed above. The service concludes with the Lord's Prayer and a blessing after the presentation of the white garment and candle.
Choosing a Godparent
What is the role of the Godparents?
The role of the Godparents is to be a good model of faith and values for your child and a support for you as you try to raise your child in faith.
During the Baptism ritual, the Godparents are signs of God’s love to the child. They demonstrate that God’s love extends beyond the child’s parents. In that way, they also represent the larger faith community who promises to help the newly baptized baby to grow spiritually.
The Godparents’ commitment extends even further as they make a personal commitment to safeguard the child’s faith.
Who is eligible to be a Godparent?
- Only one Godparent is required in Baptism, no more than two are needed.
- One Godparent must be a practicing Catholic, having received the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.
- Godparents must be 16 years old.
- Godparents cannot be the child’s parents.
- If the Godparents cannot be present at the Baptism, a proxy may be appointed to represent them.
Some other things to consider:
- Look for someone who truly lives the faith—they should be an example to the child that the faith is important to someone else beyond their parents.
- Find someone who will support you in your effort to nurture your child’s faith.
- Choose someone who will build a special relationship with your child.