The Sacrament of Baptism
Congratulations to your family! We have a wonderful Baptismal preparation process for you:
For Infants and Preschool Children:
Step One: If you are a registered parishioner, attend Mass regularly and wish to have your child baptized, call the Parish Office to schedule your Baptismal Preparation Class. Directions to the Host Home where you will attend the class will be mailed to you, along with a reminder of your class date, time and a summary of this process. The class will run from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. If the directions seem unclear, please call the host home.
Step Two: Prior to your Baptismal Preparation class, you will need to pick up a booklet in the *Guadalupe Room of the Church. The booklet is to be read prior to the class. You will also notice a letter and prayer from our Prayer Ministry. You are invited to begin praying for your child using this prayer or one of your own.
Step Three: On the first weekend of the month, we have prayer teams positioned in the front of church after each of the Masses. Please come forward to one of the prayer teams and let them know that you are preparing to have a child(ren) baptized. They will pray over you – for your faith and for the faith of your child. (They are also available each first weekend of the month to pray with your family whenever you have a need.)
Step Four: Attend Class at your Host Home. (This may actually happen before you come forward for prayer the first weekend of the month.) The Host Home Family welcomes up to 5 families preparing for baptism, provides a warm and inviting setting for your class, provides refreshments and takes attendance. You are welcome to bring your infant but we cannot accommodate other children. The Catechists have been trained by Parish Staff and are sent out, two by two, to teach the class. They foster an adult exchange of information and utilize a DVD to bring a message from Fr. Joe.
Step Five: Call the Parish Office to schedule the Baptism. Baptisms are held the second and fourth Sundays of the month after the noon Mass, except during Lent.
Step Six: Baptism (Please do NOT bring your child to be baptized to Baptism in his/her white garment. Please see the following dressing instructions.)
Step Seven: Pick up your Baptismal Certificate in the *Guadalupe Room and continue a life-long process of Mass participation and leading your child in the faith.
*The Guadalupe Room is located in church – just off the gathering space, down the right hallway, on your left, just before entering the women’s restroom. There is a file cabinet on your right with booklets and an accordion file folder with certificates.
May you find Christ here……may you bring Christ to the world.
For 1st – 8th Grade School Children:
If your child has not been baptized and is or will be attending Assumption School, contact Melinda Kruper, Coordinator of Religious Education, at 240-4474 for more information.
If your child has not been baptized and is or will be attending Assumption’s PSR program, contact PSR Coordinator, Derlene Hirtz, at 240-1020 for more information on the RCIC program.
For Teens and Adults:
If you or your teen has not yet been baptized in any faith contact RCIA Coordinator, Missy Lowrey, at 314-630-3983 for more information.
Dressing Instructions for Parents with Children to be Baptized
Please dress your baby in a simple onesie. Please know that your child’s Baptismal Gown is NOT to be put on prior to the baptism. The white garment is meant to be a symbol of the baptism and it undermines the power of the symbol to put the gown on before the baby is baptized.
Before the Baptismal Ceremony begins, please remove your baby’s clothes and dress him/her in a swim diaper (or a clean diaper right beforehand if swim diapers are too large). Keep your baby warm with blankets until the appropriate time during the baptism, at which your baby will be dipped into the upper bowl of the Baptismal Font and then wrapped in a white towel or blanket. The water is heated and any discomfort should be minimal. Immediately following the dipping you may dress your baby in his/her white garment.
What to bring –
Swim Diaper and dry diaper
White garment (outfit)
Children: (ie., approximately age 2 years and up)
Note: Our Baptismal process is healthy, hygienic and holy. If your child has a health condition that makes him or her unable to get into water, please inform the parish office and arrangements will be made for water to be poured over his/her forehead instead.
If your child cannot easily be held by the priest and dipped into the upper bowl, dress your child in simple clothing and slip-on-shoes. (If attending the noon Mass, you will have time for a quick change after Mass.) A brown gown will be provided to you just before the ceremony. (They are hung with the server’s albs in the work sacristy.) Put the brown gown over the child’s clothing. Your child will be assisted with getting into the larger portion of the Baptismal Font for the immersion. Afterwards, your child will be helped out and then wrapped in his/her white towel. The water is heated and any discomfort should be minimal. Immediately following the immersion you may quickly dress your child in his/her white garments in the restroom.
What to bring –
Swim diaper if your child is not potty trained
Simple clothing that can get wet
White garments (outfit)
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven. “You are my Son, the Beloved. With you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11
Baptism means to “plunge” into the life which was modeled by Christ. Baptism tells us 1.) That our lives are not all about us, 2.) That we will suffer, and 3.) That we are never alone!
Parents who ask that their child be baptized into Christ have the most significant part to play in the passing on the Christian life. It is through you that your child will come to know the love of God. It is through you that your child will become involved in the larger community in which he/she lives. Through you, your child will acquire an awareness of being a living and active member of the church.
Bringing your child to the baptismal font expresses your commitment to raise your child in the Catholic faith. This faith needs to be awakened, strengthened and developed as the child matures. To present your child for baptism is to accept responsibility for the growth of that faith.
Parents should baptize their child, not because it is the custom, but because they sincerely desire the Christian life for their child. Later, your child’s faith will be based on what he/she has learned and experienced in your home and community from the very first days of life.
The responsibility of Christian parents is holy, important, and often difficult. Therefore, it is very understandable that you should invite family and friends to assist in the responsibility of raising your child Catholic. It is the godparents who most explicitly assumes the responsibility with the parents and should be ready to help the parents raise their child in the knowledge of the Lord.
Age of Baptism:
In the Catholic tradition, infants (and young children) receive the sacrament of baptism to celebrate their entrance into the faith community.
Parents vow to take on the responsibility of raising their child in the Catholic Faith. Parents and godparents gather with family and the Catholic Community to formalize their acceptance of this long-term commitment. Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation.
Older children and adults may receive the sacrament of baptism at the Easter Vigil by entering a faith formation process of discernment and conversion called the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation).
What is the Role of Godparents?
Godparents must be firm believers, ready and able to help the newly baptized on the road to Christian life. In addition, the entire church community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.
Who do you chose as a godparent?
A person must not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
At least one godparent must be a confirmed Catholic, 16 years of age, and already received the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. A baptized person, 16 years of age or older, who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be a Christian witness to baptism together with a
Only one male or one female or one of each can be a godparent.
If you feel your special circumstances require additional godparents, you can name additional Christian witnesses, but only 2 godparents are included on the Baptism Certificate.
What do the Baptism Symbols Mean?
Sign of the Cross
The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians because Jesus Christ died on the cross. Parents and godparents trace it on the child’s forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.
Water is a symbol of both life and death. Its use in baptism is central to the sacrament representing taking on a new life in Christ.
Immersion is a more dramatic and powerful water ritual. In immersion at Assumption, the child’s body (but not the child’s head) is immersed into the baptismal water, symbolizing that the newly baptized is dying to sin and rising to new life. Immersion is most similar to the baptism performed by early Christians. The water in the baptismal font is heated for all baptisms.
The baptismal candle is a symbol of the light of Christ which is coming into the child’s life.
The Paschal [Easter] Candle is always lit during baptism ceremonies. The Paschal Candle represents the light of Christ, and it is from this flame that your baptismal candle will be lit.
The lit candle is presented to the baptized, held by the father, mother or a godparent during the remainder of the ceremony. The presentation of light represents how the newly baptized will become a son or daughter of “the light.” The flame symbolizes the flame the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.
We encourage the use of the baptismal candle at family birthday celebrations to celebrate the anniversary of being baptized into the Christian family.
White is a symbol of transition and change; purity and cleansing. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection. Its use in the baptism is a visible sign of putting on Christ, of taking on a new way of life.
Chrism means “to anoint.” This Oil of Chrism is olive oil, perfumed with special spices and blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday. In the baptismal ceremony it is used to anoint the head of the newly baptized. This oil is also used to anoint someone in the sacraments of
Confirmation and Ordination.
The presider may also choose to anoint the breastbone during the baptism ceremony with the Oil of Catechumens. This oil is a symbol of the power and strength which comes from Jesus.
The anointing of the heads of the newly baptized with chrism is accompanied by the celebrant saying, “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.”