Baptism

In the sacraments of initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist - we are freed from the power of darkness. We are joined to Christ's death, burial and resurrection. We receive the Spirit of adoption making us God's sons and daughters. With the entire people of God we celebrate the memorial of the Lord's death and resurrection.

Baptism is the introduction of a person into the Church community. Through the waters of Baptism the person enters into the life of God - Father, Son and Spirit. He or she is dedicated to God and all that is good.

If you want to have your baby baptised, the first step is to go and see your parish priest or the pastoral associate. It's best to telephone to make an appointment first rather than try and catch the priest at the end of Mass.

You may be asked to come along and talk about the meaning of baptism and what it is you are asking of the Church.

Parishes vary as to what they expect of parents bringing a child for Baptism. It is good to see any preparation for Baptism as an opportunity for you to understand more about what you are asking for your child rather than as a task to be fulfilled.

If you are a regular member of your local parish, Baptism is a wonderful opportunity for your fellow parishioners to share your joy in your new baby. That is why Baptism is often celebrated during Sunday mass so that as many people as possible can welcome your child into the community.

Godparents
It is good if the godparents can be adult Catholics who will take an interest in your baby as he or she grows up.

In the early Church the godparents were sponsors who taught the new Christian, usually an adult, about the faith.

Later on when infant baptism became usual, the godparents often took the role of guardians of the child if anything happened to the parents. Something of these two roles remain today.

Choose godparents who are likely to be around and have an interest in your child over the years.

Most priests are willing to go through the ceremony with you beforehand if you are a bit unsure of what is involved.

Sign of the Cross
Usually when you enter the church the priest will trace the cross on the forehead of your baby and invite the parents and godparents to do the same. The cross is a reminder of the love of Christ who gave his life for his friends.

The tracing of a cross on the forehead of the person being baptised is an invisible 'branding' that says 'you belong to Christ'.

Baptismal Promises
You will gather around the baptismal font - a large bowl, usually of stone or marble or glass holding the waters of baptism. Usually the mother holds the child. The celebrant asks the parents what they want for the child. You reply, 'Baptism.' Then you make the baptismal promises on behalf of your child.

These promises are based on the Apostles Creed.

Anointing
The celebrant anoints your baby with oil on the forehead and on the chest. He anoints the baby with the Oil of Baptism (Catechumens) and with the Oil of Chrism. The Oil of Baptism is olive oil. It relates to the days when athletes used to rub oil into their bodies before events to strengthen them and make their skin more supple. It symbolises strengthening for the struggles of life ahead.

The Oil of Chrism is a combination of olive oil and balsam. It symbolises the sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism with Water
The priest pours water over the head of your baby (or immerses the baby in the water) and says "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

The water is a sign of cleansing. The water symbolically washes the person being baptised of all sin.

It is also a sign of life. Without water nothing can grow. It is a sign of the new spiritual life into which the baptised person is entering.

Candle
As a sign of the new life a candle will be lit, usually from the Easter Candle which symbolises the light of Christ.

Usually the father of the child or a godparent will stand by the child and hold this candle.

You might ask the priest beforehand whether it is the custom in your parish for the parents to bring their own baptismal candle or whether the parish provides them. If you provide the candle, you can choose either to buy a baptismal candle or to decorate one yourself.

White Garment
Your child is given a white garment as a sign of being clothed in Christ.

Your family might have a Christening gown that you want to use or a shawl. If you want to use this, then let the priest know beforehand.

You might like to use a baptismal gown, either a white stole, a white scapular or a white bib - perhaps one that you have made and bearing the sign of a cross. The white garment is a symbol of purity and innocence.

Baptismal certificate and Baptismal register
At the end of the ceremony you will be asked to sign the parish Baptismal register and you will be given a Baptismal Certificate. You will want to keep the certificate carefully as it may be needed when you enrol your child in a catholic school or before he or she receives the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

Donation
Although a baptism is free, it is usual to give the priest a donation - for his time and effort. Give what you can afford. The parish office might make a suggestion as to how much would be appropriate.

Most priests are willing to go through the ceremony with you beforehand if you are a bit unsure of what is involved.

Sign of the Cross
Usually when you enter the church the priest will trace the cross on the forehead of your baby and invite the parents and godparents to do the same. The cross is a reminder of the love of Christ who gave his life for his friends.

The tracing of a cross on the forehead of the person being baptised is an invisible 'branding' that says 'you belong to Christ'.

Baptismal Promises
You will gather around the baptismal font - a large bowl, usually of stone or marble or glass holding the waters of baptism. Usually the mother holds the child. The celebrant asks the parents what they want for the child. You reply, 'Baptism.' Then you make the baptismal promises on behalf of your child.

These promises are based on the Apostles Creed.

Anointing
The celebrant anoints your baby with oil on the forehead and on the chest. He anoints the baby with the Oil of Baptism (Catechumens) and with the Oil of Chrism. The Oil of Baptism is olive oil. It relates to the days when athletes used to rub oil into their bodies before events to strengthen them and make their skin more supple. It symbolises strengthening for the struggles of life ahead.

The Oil of Chrism is a combination of olive oil and balsam. It symbolises the sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism with Water
The priest pours water over the head of your baby (or immerses the baby in the water) and says "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

The water is a sign of cleansing. The water symbolically washes the person being baptised of all sin.

It is also a sign of life. Without water nothing can grow. It is a sign of the new spiritual life into which the baptised person is entering.

Candle
As a sign of the new life a candle will be lit, usually from the Easter Candle which symbolises the light of Christ.

Usually the father of the child or a godparent will stand by the child and hold this candle.

You might ask the priest beforehand whether it is the custom in your parish for the parents to bring their own baptismal candle or whether the parish provides them. If you provide the candle, you can choose either to buy a baptismal candle or to decorate one yourself.

White Garment
Your child is given a white garment as a sign of being clothed in Christ.

Your family might have a Christening gown that you want to use or a shawl. If you want to use this, then let the priest know beforehand.

You might like to use a baptismal gown, either a white stole, a white scapular or a white bib - perhaps one that you have made and bearing the sign of a cross. The white garment is a symbol of purity and innocence.

Baptismal certificate and Baptismal register
At the end of the ceremony you will be asked to sign the parish Baptismal register and you will be given a Baptismal Certificate. You will want to keep the certificate carefully as it may be needed when you enrol your child in a catholic school or before he or she receives the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

Donation
Although a baptism is free, it is usual to give the priest a donation - for his time and effort. Give what you can afford. The parish office might make a suggestion as to how much would be appropriate.

About us

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Griffith Sacred Heart Parish
Warrambool Street  Griffith NSW 2680
+61 2 6962 1533
+61 2 6962 2597
info@griffithsacredheart.org

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Sacred Heart Masses
Warrambool Street Griffith
Saturday Vigil - 6.00 pm
Sunday - 7.30 am, 9.00 am, (Italian), 10.30 am, 6.00 pm

Weekday Masses
Monday - Friday - 7.00 am, 5.30 pm
Saturday - 8.00 am

Marian Catholic College Chapel
185 Wakaden Street Griffith
Sunday - 9.00 am

Confessions
Friday - 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Saturday - 11.30 am to 12.30 pm

Baptisms and Marriages by appointment

Benediction
1st Friday Exposition - 1.00 pm with Confession and Benediction at 4.30 pm ; other Fridays Exposition and Confession at 4.30 pm