Questions & Answers about Baptism
When Do Baptisms Take Place at St. Perpetua?
Baptisms take place at St. Perpetua Church generally during one of the weekend liturgies. These ceremonies usually include more than one family. Dates and times can be arranged either at the welcome meeting, at the evening preparation session or afterwards by calling the parish office.
Because the whole community prepares during Lent for the Easter sacraments of initiation and the renewal of baptismal promises,we do not baptize during Lent.
May We Take Pictures at the Baptism?
The key word here is "unobtrusive." This is a special occasion that you want to remember for many years to come. But the baptism should be memorable first as a powerful worship experience. Although cameras are welcome before and after, picture taking is not allowed during the ceremony so that the rite itself is not disturbed. The presider will be happy to participate in picture taking and will help in any way he can to make this event a real celebration. The ceremony may be videotaped without special lights from a stationary position out of the sight lines of the assembly.
What About Godparents?
Your family is the primary place where your child's faith will be nourished. Godparents are a sign of the community's support and care for this child and your family as you begin this journey of faith together. Canon Law requires each child who is baptized to have a sponsor (#872). One sponsor is enough; there may be two. Godparents should be "people of firm faith and committed love." Usually they should be 16 years or older and confirmed members of the Church. Parents may ask a baptized and believing Christian who is not a Catholic to be a godparent along with a Catholic godparent. If you select godparents who live a great distance away, they need not be present at the baptism. You may have a proxy stand in for the official godparents. More godparents may be included in the ceremony, but only two will be placed in the church's baptismal register as official godparents.
Clothing With the White Garment
Can anything be newer than a new baby can? Yes! The newly baptized who have put on Christ! In Christ, new life is victorious over sin and death. The white garment that you so carefully prepare for your child is the garment of the kingdom, of all the saints assembled before God's throne (Revelation 7:9-10). Together with your spouse and the godparents, you will help dress your child in the baptismal robe you have prepared. Perhaps it's a family heirloom. Perhaps it was crafted for you by a dear friend. Now that your child has "put on Christ," the white robe announces celebration, festivity, and the fullness of life lived in the spirit of Christ. The white robe is the special garment of the baptized. Perhaps you recognize it from other occasions: the alb worn by priests or lay ministers, or young people being confirmed or receiving first communion. The white pall placed over the coffin at a funeral is a reminder of the white garment received at baptism.
May We Have Guests at the Baptism?
This is a day of great celebration so you are encouraged to invite relatives and friends to share your joy and welcome your child into the community. It is helpful for us to know an approximate number of guests in advance, so that we can arrange seating for you.
Although there is no set fee, it is customary on the occasion of a baptism to make an offering to the church to help support parish ministries, such as the baptismal preparation program. A typical offering would be $25 to $50. Checks are made payable to St. Perpetua Church, not to the priest performing the rite.
If you do not presently live in Lafayette and wish to have your child baptized at St. Perpetua, you must have a letter from the pastor of the parish where you live giving permission for the baptism to take place at St. Perpetua.
Last Modified on December 27, 2008