Baptism is the start of the Christian life
Baptism is our initiation into the Family of God. In baptism, you are welcomed into the international family of those who love and follow Jesus. Baptism is the outward, visible sign of the inward, invisible grace that Christ pours out on us through His Holy Spirit.
Trinity Church will baptize infants who are being raised in a Christian family, and youth or adults who confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Baptism is celebrated in the context of a worship service. The most appropriate days for Baptism are the Easter Vigil, the Baptism of Our Lord, Pentecost, and All Saints’ Day.
What does it mean to be baptized?
Baptism means starting to believe in Jesus
Baptism is ‘in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’. It is about coming to God, being forgiven through Jesus, and receiving the Holy Spirit.
The baptism service includes these questions and answers about who God is. It is based on the Apostles’ Creed, used for hundreds of years.
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Baptism means you claim your true identity as God’s beloved
We are often told that who we are is defined by our actions and accomplishments. Baptism means we now claim something else. Our true identity no longer depends upon our successes and failures but is grounded in the freely given one-way love of God. This love sets us free to discover who we truly are as God’s beloved children.
How do we discover God’s love and grace?
Through His Word
The Bible teaches us about God, His love for us and about how we can live a life that pleases Him. It gives us light for the journey through life. At the baptism, children are given a Bible and a candle symbolising the light God brings into a dark world.
Try to find a regular time every day to read Bible stories to your child. It might be best at breakfast, after bath time, or at bed-time.
Do come to church whenever you can so you and your child can understand the Bible better.
Through the Sacraments
There are two sacraments which were instituted by our Lord, Baptism and Holy Communion. As baptized believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are welcomed to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. In Holy Communion we remember all that Christ has done for us when died on the Cross and then was resurrected from the dead. We receive the bread and the wine as Christ’s body and blood symbolically, but also as a sure witness and an effectual sign of God’s grace and good will towards us.
Baptism is about turning away from all that is wrong, the devil, evil and sin, and turning to Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. So it is about the start of a new relationship with God. People in relationship with one another need to talk to each other, and the same is true in a relationship with God. Prayer is simply talking with, and listening to, God.
It is good to pray with your child every day to teach them to talk to God and listen to what He says.
You can say a prayer before meals:
‘Thank you God for this food. Amen’
You can say prayers at bed-time:
‘Thank you God for today and for all the things I have enjoyed. Sorry for the times when I’ve been naughty. Thank you for your forgiveness. Help us all sleep well tonight. Amen.’
You can also use the Lord’s prayer, which we say at the baptism service:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.’
How do we give thanks for God’s love and grace?
By Living a life of integrity
Being baptised as a Christian means starting a new life in the family of God’s Church. We try to live with integrity. We hope to bless others and to bring glory to God through our words and actions.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the other is like it. You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22.37-40
In the baptism service we ask for the Spirit of God to come and help us live this new life. It is not just about keeping rules. It is about loving God and loving other people as ourselves. And always remember, God’s love does not depend on how well we live. As Saint Paul said:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8.38-39
Children learn most from what they see others doing, so it is up to parents, godparents and the church to show them the Christian life and encourage them to live it. The more you know of the Christian faith, the more you can teach your child. The Church is here to help you and your family grow in the Christian faith.
-with thanks to the Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry for much of this material.