Our Lady Queen of Martyrs
Roman Catholic Church Hereford
The birth and baptism of a child is a wonderfully happy occasion and the parish of Our Lady shares in the joy of all families who are celebrating the birth of a child, and who wish their child to receive the gift of Christian baptism. Because of the importance of Baptism as a sacrament, and because parents have to make a solemn promise to bring up their children in the practice of the faith, great stress is laid upon preparation for this sacrament, especially attendance at Sunday mass.
Therefore couples requesting Baptism at Our Lady's are asked to contact Fr. Matthew before making any other arrangements, such as booking a venue for the post baptism party etc, or finalising their list of godparents. There is normally a waiting period of at least two months between the enquiry and the baptism taking place.
Other requirements are
Only those who live in the parish of Our Lady's can have a child baptised at Our Lady's If a family live in another parish but regularly worship at Our Lady's then they can have their child baptised at Our Lady's; also if there is a family connection to the parish. Those who don’t live in the parish and don’t practice at Our Lady's will be referred to their geographical parish.
There is an absolute obligation to attend Sunday mass, ideally the 9.30am morning mass at Our Lady's, once an enquiry has been made. If the family has not previously been attending mass then there will be a waiting period of two months before the baptism can take place. The Catholic god-parent must also be regularly attending holy mass.
Parents must attend a Baptism Preparation course run regularly in the parish. Dates to be arranged with Fr. Matthew. Attendance at these sessions is compulsory, and a date for baptism can only be confirmed when the sessions have been attended. The practising catholic godparent is also asked to attend these sessions if they live locally.
Both parents are encouraged to attend the preparation sessions, although we understand the difficulty of shift working and of single parent families.. Single parent families and unmarried couples are of course welcome to request baptism for their children.
Children who are aged 6 or over and for whom baptism is requested will be enrolled on the parishes First Holy Communion course, as preparation for their baptism.
Each child to be baptised should have at least one Christian or saint’s name, one name that is traditionally Christian.
Godparents must be over 16, and at least one must be a practising catholic. There can be a maximum of 4 godparents, please remember that they share in the promises the parents take in bringing up your child in the practice of the faith, so god-parents should be chosen with this in mind. At the earliest opportunity parents should inform Fr. Matthew of the name and address of the catholic go-parent, who will be expected to be attending Sunday mass and to attend the preparation sessions. The names of the other god-parents must be communicated to Fr. Matthew at least two weeks before the date of baptism, extra godparents cannot be introduced after this or on the day of baptism.
THE BAPTISMAL SERVICE.
Baptisms normally take place on Sundays at 1.00pm, baptisms can take place most Sundays. Baptisms can though also take place within the morning Sunday masses. Parents are reminded that they and their guests should dress appropriately for a Church service, this does not necessarily mean “Sunday best”, but does mean no mini-skirts etc!
Parents are free to make a contribution to the parish on the occasion of their child’s baptism, the figure suggested is £30, but this is dependent on each family’s financial means.