In this blog post, I will explain a little bit about infant Baptism! This post will NOT be an explanation of the theology of infant baptism (since that can be learned in baptism preparation classes), but rather some of the practical things to do and know surrounding the big day! We will discuss godparents, gifts, party planning, and more! And of course, baptism is not limited just to infants. You can get baptized on your deathbed, and it is still just as wonderful and beautiful a thing. However, since Jesus tells us in the Bible, we must be baptized to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Catholic families baptize their babies. This post will be most pertinent to those wanting to baptize their babies!
Choosing godparents can be a very difficult decision, but it is one the most important decisions you can make for you child! You will want to pick somebody who will take the responsibility very seriously. You want to trust that that person will pray for your child until the day that they die. And of course you will want to pick someone who is a good reflection of Christ and a great role model of the Faith!
Being a godparent is a huge responsibility. That person should be praying for the child constantly. Inside my bible, I keep physical pictures of all my godchildren to remind me to pray for them every day. That is why we are their godparents—it is to pray for them and help them on their journey to God!
What should the baby wear? Most babies will wear a white gown. I didn’t have a baptismal gown, so my mother turned my wedding dress into a baptismal gown. I absolutely love the gown, and it still smells like chrism from all my babies! Any white gown will work though! Although all my boys have been baptized in a gown, boys can also wear little white outfits. Either will work! The priest will want to bless the top of their chests so you may want to find a gown that easily unbuttons in the front or back. It might be a good idea to consider undoing it prior to being called up.
What to wear yourself? Church clothes are perfect. I try to always wear a dress when I go to Mass!
A Baptismal Candle will be needed for the Baptism. Some churches will provide you with one, and others may ask you to bring one yourself. Hold onto the baptismal candles because they are blessed and can be used to celebrate their baptism days later on!
It is customary to give the priest a little gift for the baptism. We gave our priest a little icon and gift card with a thank you note. Some choose to give money or a gift card. Some churches may even ask you to pay for the baptism. It’s always thoughtful to give him a gift as a little thank you for the time he put in. It’s also a nice idea to give the godparent a little something to remind them of your child. A crucifix that has been blessed is always a great gift!
As for gifts for the baby, I highly recommend Holy Water from the font they were baptized in. This can be a very sentimental keepsake. Traditionally, we give sacramentals (something that is holy that will bring them closer to God.) Ideas include a Catholic Children’s Bible, Chews Life rosary, Shining Light stuffed Saint doll, crucifix, or statue. I recommend the priest bless them before giving them to the child.
Should you have a party? A lot of people choose to have parties, but we always choose to keep ours pretty simple. For our youngest, we bought a sheet pan cake from Costco and offered chicken salad sandwiches. It was the perfect amount of food and everyone had a great time being together!
Thanks for reading! Do you have any pointers to share?