The below given guidelines are meant to help parents desiring to have their child baptized in our church of Immaculate Conception to prepare and celebrate the sacrament more a meaningfully.
- The true and most precious gift that parents can give to their newborn infant is the gift of faith received through the sacrament of baptism. Hence as soon as possible after the birth of their child, indeed even much before it, parents should approach the parish priest to request for their child to be baptized. They are obliged to see that their child is baptized within the first few weeks (Can. 867 $1)
- Since the sacrament of baptism has a close relation to the Pascal Mystery of Christ celebrated on the Lord’s Day i.e. Sunday, it is recommended that in normal circumstances it be celebrated on a Sunday. (Can. 856) In our parish Church we celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism on all Sundays at 11.00 a.m. Hence, parents are advised to seek the counsel of the parish priest and decide on which Sunday is suitable for the worthy celebration of the sacrament.
- Parents and those who are to undertake the office of sponsors (if they are parishioners of Immaculate Conception Church) have to attend the pre-baptismal instructions that are normally given on the Saturday at 9.00 a.m preceding the Sunday on which the baptism is to take place. Sponsors who are non-parishioners have to submit in advance, an eligibility certificate from their respective Parish Priest.
- The parents of the child to be baptized has to bring along the original birth certificate of the child together with the Baptism Information Form (attached herewith) duly filled, when they come for the pre-baptismal catechesis.
- While choosing persons to act as sponsors to their child, the parents should keep in mind the following requisites needed to undertake the office of sponsor, as stipulated by Can. 874:
- Be suitable for the role and have the intention of fulfilling it.
- Be above sixteen years of age, unless the Parish Priest or Minister consider there is a genuine reason for an exception to be made.
- Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the Blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken.
- Not labour under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared.
- Not be the father or the mother of the person to be baptized.
- In baptism the child is welcomed into the faith community of the parish and he/she becomes a member of the mystical Body of Christ, i.e the Church. Hence whenever there is more than one child to be baptized on the same day, it is strongly recommended that a communitarian celebration of the sacrament be held. (DC art. 123).
- The celebration of the sacrament of baptism should inspire awe, joy and genuine piety, for which all undue pomp should be avoided (DC, art. 121, $2; SDS 171.6)
- Parents and sponsors are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment. (Can. 855)
- After the rite of baptism is over, the Minister of Baptism and the sponsors have to sign on the baptism register maintained by the office of the parish Church.
- For the proper preparation, celebration and registration of the sacrament of baptism, the relevant norms as laid down by the Code of Canon Law, the Archdiocesan Constitutions and the parish Church guidelines need to be strictly adhered to.
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