Immanuel Parish Church Highters Heath Birmingham, UK
The Baptism Service and Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child service.
The Baptism Service.
Many parents want to have their children Christened. Baptism is the same as a Christening. At baptism you promise to raise your child to know God loves them, and to help them to follow Jesus as a member of his church. So what happens in a Baptism service?
Making promises: during the service you and the child’s godparents answer six questions on behalf of your child. You declare your Christian faith and promise to help your child to follow Jesus.
Symbols: The Vicar will make a sign of the cross on you child’s forehead with oil blessed at Birmingham Cathedral by the Bishops.
Water: The Vicar pours water over your child’s head as a sign of being washed free from sin and beginning a new life with Christ. The Vicar says the child’s name and then……. ‘ I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
Candle: A candle is given for you to keep as a reminder that Christ is the light of the world and goes with your child wherever life leads them.
This is just a taster of the service, there is so much more! And adults as well as children can be baptized, there is no age limit! Adults don’t have godparents because they make the promises for themselves.
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child.
Some parents would prefer to let their children decide for themselves if they want to be baptized when they are older or they feel they can’t make the promises required at a Baptism service.
In the service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child, there is no baptism in water, no godparents, no anointing with oil. And if you choose to have this service you can always have your child baptized at a later date.
So what happens at a Thanksgiving Service for the Gift of a Child?
The parents choose some friends who will be their child’s ‘supporters’. They have a similar role to godparents but do not have to answer the six questions central to the baptism service or make promises on behalf of the child.
Here is a taster of the service:
The Vicar asks the parents and the child’s ‘supporters’ the following question:
Do you receive (Name of Child) as a gift from God?
Parents and Friends: We do.
Vicar asks: Do you wish to give thanks to God and seek his blessing?
Parents and Friends: We do.
The Vicar asks the parents:
What name have you given this child?
Parents respond with the name.
The Vicar then ‘names’ the child and gives the child a blessing.
A copy of a Gospel is given to the parents which tells the story of the life of Jesus.
Vicar says: Receive this book. It is the good news of God’s love. Take it as your guide.
The Vicar then asks the friends chosen as ‘supporters’ for the child:
Will you do all you can to help and support (Name of Child) and their parents in the bringing up of (Name of Child)?
Supporters: We will.
This is only a taster of the service, because, like Baptism there is so much more! So, if you are thinking of having your child baptized or you want to talk further about the Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child, then pop along to Immanuel Church for a chat during vicar’s hour on Tuesday evenings between 7pm and 8pm every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. If Tuesdays are not possible, please leave a message on 0121 430 7578 or email Immanuelfirstname.lastname@example.org. During Interregnum, one of our wardens will get back in touch.
Immanuel Church is in the Church of England so if you want to know more about Baptisms in the Church of England then please have a look at the web site: www.cofe.anglican.org