It is the parents’ responsibility to consult with the Vicar of the parish and set a date for Baptism as early as possible after the birth. An infant in danger of death can be baptized by any baptized individual but when the danger has passed, the child needs to be brought to church for the ritual and registration. An application form(found below) needs to be filled and submitted and an appointment with the Vicar scheduled to go over the details.
- Baptismal name: Culturally the usual practice is to give one of the grandparent’s names to the child. If not, a saint’s name is recommended but not required.
- Confession: It is highly recommended and advised that parents and godparents prepare themselves for the Baptism of the child by receiving grace through the sacrament of Reconciliation.
- Godparents: It is recommended to have two godparents, a male and female. When choosing godparents, it is good to consider Catholic relatives or friends who would be good role models for the child, who give witness to God in their everyday lives, have the ability and intention to help the parents raise the child in Catholic faith and must have already received all the sacraments of initiation.
A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided that there is at least one Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria.
Godparents are required to submit a letter from their parish priest stating their eligibility to be Godparents for Baptism.
What to bring:
- White garment: Signifies that the person is now washed clean from original sin and hence in Syro-Malabar Baptism, the child is changed into the white garment after the ceremony of Baptism(pouring of water on the head) Keep a white towel handy to wipe the head of the child.
- White Candle: Symbolizes the light of the risen Christ and may be seen as the passing of the torch(faith) to the newly baptized. One of the Godparents holds the lit candle for the infant/child. Be mindful of the hot melted wax of the candle when lit and after.
- White Crown: Symbolizes our original glory. Man was created in the image and likeness of God. However, Adam, through his disobedience, lost the crown. After being washed from the darkness of the original sin, we are crowned back in glory.
- Please arrive 30 minutes before time. Make sure the infant/child is well fed and rested as it helps the child and everyone else participate well in the ceremony.
- As you arrive please arrange the garment, candle and crown on a tray that will be placed on the first pew near the Baptismal Font.
- The baptism ceremony begins at the main entrance of the church. Please be ready and wait there.