BAPTISM ~ Frequently asked questions
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is the way of entry into the Christian community. The person or child being baptised is sprinkled or immersed in water. The water is a symbol of cleansing for our sins and declares a new start with God. The immersion in water is closely linked with the idea of Christ’s death and resurrection in the New Testament.
IS BAPTISM BIBLICAL?
John the Baptist prepared people to meet Jesus Christ by Baptising people in the River Jordan as a sign of renewal and repentance. Although Jesus himself did not baptise he told his disciples to ‘Go to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples. Baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although the New Testament does not give us an instruction to baptise infants as such, the early church baptised whole families including infants. The promise made to the apostle Peter is that baptism is offered ‘to you and your children’. Jesus himself warmly welcomed infants to come to him and we cannot believe that he does not make a place for them through this sacrament. In baptism we are given the Holy Spirit to help us live ‘in fellowship with God through Jesus Christ’ (Romans 6v11)
DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF A CHURCH TO GET MYSELF OR BABY BAPTISED?
Since baptism marks your entry into church life you do not have to be a member. However, if you are seeking baptism for your children, one or other parent should be a member of the church.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT IF I AM NOT A MEMBER MY CHILDREN CANNOT BE BAPTISED?
Since you are declaring faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour on behalf of your children, and making promises before God on their behalf, your level of commitment should be sincere, and honest. The minister will discuss this in detail with you. There are certain circumstances the minister may consider Baptism where neither parent are members of the church. The minister will be happy to talk to you in more detail about what membership to the church would mean.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO ANY CLASSES BEFORE THE SERVICE?
Sometimes a pre baptismal group meets to talk about what is involved, but on most occasions, this is done informally in the comfort of your own home.
IS BAPTISM THE SAME AS CHRISTENING?
‘Christening’ is a term associated with baptism, because in days gone past, when a person was baptised, they took on a new Christian name. Baptism is one of two sacraments within the Church of Scotland (the other is Communion), and is seen as part of our personal commitment to Jesus.
WHERE DOES BAPTISM TAKE PLACE?
Baptism normally takes place in the presence of the congregation during Sunday Worship. Baptisms usually take place on a date agreed with the Minister. It is a public service of worship and not a private party. In certain circumstances the minister can baptise people anywhere or be involved in the service with the permission of another minister or priest.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY BABY OR ME HAS BEEN BAPTISED?
A certificate of baptism is issued to you. In the case of the child, their name will also be added to a cradle roll in the church. You will then be encouraged to live out the promises of faith by attending church on a regular basis.
I HAVE ASKED SOME FRIENDS TO BE GODPARENTS. WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO, AND DO THEY ALSO NEED TO BE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH?
In the Church of Scotland, godparents are not responsible for the Christian upbringing of the child; this responsibility lies with the parents and the congregation. However, you are welcome to nominate friends or family to accompany you at the service, and to stand with you at the baptism itself. It would be a nice thought to invite your church elder, or one of the Junior Church staff, or member of the church to be a kind of Church parent to the child, and to also be with you at the service of baptism.
ARE THERE ANY FEES CHARGED AT A BAPTISMAL SERVICE?
Since baptism is a public service of worship and a sacrament of God’s grace, there are no fees charged for the minister or the use of the church. You are invited to contribute to the freewill offering during the service.
CAN WE VIDEO THE SERVICE OR TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS DURING IT?
Video cameras or flash photography of any kind are not allowed during the service itself. However, the minister is happy to organise photographs or some mock video footage at the end of the service, time permitting of course. The service is normally streamed live on our Facebook page.
We hope that this information will help you understand what baptism is about within the church. The Minister will be happy to answer your questions and you are encouraged to discuss any doubts you may have about any of the information on this website.
Crèche facilities are available each Sunday to allow you to come along to church and to have your baby cared for by one of our youth staff.
Junior Church meets each week for children during the time of worship, and is free to all children of the community. Children of guests to the baptismal service are warmly invited to join Junior Church as well as being present at the actual Baptism.
Please contact the minister
0141 316 2678
Or use the contact page on the website