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June 28, 2006

Comments

Dan E.

I had the same issue with the baptism of my children in my parish. For some reason baptisms are done once a month, as if it were unimportant enough to do at least weekly (when there is a baby to be baptized, of course). Baptism is an issue of salvation, and should be performed at the soonest available opportunity. I can't imagine how I would have felt if my baby had died without this essential sacrament because I waited until the most convenient date for out-of-town friends and family.

Francis DS

In our parish baptisms are done once a year, to my knowledge, on Easter Sunday.

John B

My wife and I had to wait 3 months to baptize our daughter due to family/church schedule issues. Her Godfather, my brother, wan't able to be present and so her it became a pxoy situation.

IMHO God probably isn't as concerned with the exact date as much as with the parents commitment, initiated in through the childs baptism, to raise them in their faith.

Joy Schoenberger

as soon as possible after the birth or even before it

How can a child be baptised before birth?

Godfather

"Should the child be in danger of death, an immediate baptism--even by you at home--would be required."

The following link will tell you how to do just that:

http://www.kencollins.com/how-04.htm

Leah

Joy, if you take another look, it's saying that the parents should request the sacrament as soon as possible after the birth, or even before the birth. :)

Josh

Our parish does infant baptisms weekly, and generally there is no problem arranging for another date or time.

Some smaller parishes may only hold it once a month if there aren't that many new babies born. Of course, if it's a goodsized parish with plenty of new babies being born, only once a month strikes me as very odd, at the least.

Margaret

This is yet another area where so much catechesis needs to be done. I used to teach baptism classes in my parish, and would schedule in parents who had put in their names at the rectory. It was appalling the way people would put off their babies' baptisms for the flimsiest of reasons. My favorite: I called to see if a couple (who had been "in the queue" for a while but had never actually set a specific date despite a phone call every month) would be ready to baptize the several-months-old baby in February. "Oh, no. We want to wait until May or June so the weather will be better for photots."

Good grief. I'm expecting my eighth baby in the fall, and normally waddle myself over to the rectory some time in the third trimester to get the baby's baptism on the calendar within a month of the scheduled due date. It spares me a lot of grief. The baby's baptism is scheduled for xxxxx, hope you can make it! :-)

Margaret

This is yet another area where so much catechesis needs to be done. I used to teach baptism classes in my parish, and would schedule in parents who had put in their names at the rectory. It was appalling the way people would put off their babies' baptisms for the flimsiest of reasons. My favorite: I called to see if a couple (who had been "in the queue" for a while but had never actually set a specific date despite a phone call every month) would be ready to baptize the several-months-old baby in February. "Oh, no. We want to wait until May or June so the weather will be better for photos."

Good grief. I'm expecting my eighth baby in the fall, and normally waddle myself over to the rectory some time in the third trimester to get the baby's baptism on the calendar within a month of the scheduled due date. It spares me a lot of grief. "The baby's baptism is scheduled for xxxxx, hope you can make it!" :-)

CaeliDS

We had the smallest baptism ever for our 2nd child--1st week of December, baby 3 wks old, just long enough for mom-in-law to get there to stand in proxy for my sister-in-law and her husband. Only 5 people in the church and our priest was totally flexible with scheduling (he had, I think, 2 other things going on that day and still he squeezed us in).

Nihil

Baptism is an issue of salvation, and should be performed at the soonest available opportunity.

I'd like to hear how devout Catholics feel about this issue - that a dead child's salvation can depend, even only partially, on whether his parents baptised him in time - something he never had any control over, nor could apply his free will to.

Steve Cavanaugh

Nihil,

the Church's teaching is that baptism is necessary, following the teaching in Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Paul in Romans especially. For those who die without baptism, including infants, the Church's teaching is that we do not know their state in eternal life, but commends such and trusts in God's mercy.

Nihil

Thank you, Steve. Can we then infer that baptism is a rite that goes solely to the benefit of the parents? Because otherwise, if God's judgment were influenced by whether the infant baptism took place (which, as I said, is something the child has no control over), it would clearly be unfair for the baby.

David B.

Nihil,

Baptism confers grace, which is God's life in us. If a baby, who doesn't have the use of reason, dies without baptism and then is received into heaven, it wouldn't mean that those who can receive baptism while alive on earth don't have to, it would mean that God, Who is all-powerful, is allowing an exception in extreme cases.

Cin

What about when your parish doesn't baptize during certain times in the liturgical calendar?

Owing to a series of events, including a nasty C-section that took me 2 months to recover from (as in, I couldn't have stood at the baptism font for that long!), and then the "liturgical calendar" according to my priest, my second son waited until he was 5 months old to be baptized -- way too long, but the priest insisted no baptisms be done during Advent (except emergencies.)

My first was six weeks old.

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