© 2017 Church of The Ascension, Hall Green
Baptism at The Ascension
The Baptism Service is also known as ‘Christening’. In this service parents thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and the Godparents promise help and support. The church also welcomes the child and prays for the family. Being baptized marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith as part of the local and worldwide Christian family.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a Baptism and a Christening?
There is no difference between a Christening service and a Baptism service. Some churches will use the word 'Baptism' and some the word 'Christening'. Babies are Baptized during a Christening service just as couples are 'married' during a 'Wedding' service.
Can anyone have a Christening service?
Yes, so long as they have not been Baptized already. The Church of England welcomes all babies, children and families for Christenings - whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married to ask for a Christening for your child. You do not have to be an active churchgoer - as parents, you do not even have to have been Christened yourselves. Everyone is welcome at Church of the Ascension.
What about godparents?
Godparents are not the people who will care for your child should anything happen to you. Arrangements for this would normally be made by a Will. Rather, they should be people who will be there for your child and help them think about the bigger questions in life - questions of love, hope and faith.
Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex. Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.
Godparents must be baptized themselves and old enough to make some serious promises on behalf of the child.
How much does a Christening service cost?
The good news is that a Christening service is free. There may be costs for your family party afterwards, for gifts, or for christening robes, but the church service is free.
Can we arrange a Christening at a separate time to the Sunday service?
There are opportunities to have a service at a different time, usually on a Sunday, but talk to the Vicar and ask their advice about what is possible.
How old should my child be?
You can have your baby or child Christened at any age. There is no upper age limit, but after about the age of seven your child may be able to make the promises for themselves. Talk to the vicar about baptizing an older child and how this might differ from a baby's Christening service.
What happens in the service?
At your baby's Christening, water will be blessed and poured on the baby's head - this is the baptism of your baby (the word 'baptism' means 'to be immersed in water'). The baby will be signed with the cross and. A candle from the church will be given. Godparents and parents will make promises on behalf of the baby, and prayers will be offered for the baby and the family. There may also be readings and hymns, which you may be able to choose - ask the vicar if you have any special requests.
What exactly is Baptism?
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. This first step is a response to God's love. It is also a celebration, a time to come together with family and friends; remembering that your child is loved by God, is part of a wider community and has a place with God's people.
Some parents might want to celebrate the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During the Thanksgiving service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and everyone prays for family life. It can take place in church with the congregation, or with just family and friends gathered, or elsewhere such as home, or even in hospital.
A Thanksgiving Service is not a Baptism. There are no promises to make about the Christian faith. The child will be blessed and prayed for, and supporting friends will promise to support the parents in bringing up their baby.
To find out more please call to the Church on a Wednesday evening between 7 and 7.30
Baptism will normally take place during our All-Age Service at 10.00 am. Celebrating your child joining with the family of the Church and we love to celebrate this very special occasion with you In turn we will promise to support and pray for you and your child.
We will make sure you know where to sit and when you need to move. Some parts of the service will be for everyone to join in with, some will be for you and the godparents.
Part of the service will take place at the front of the church, but for the Baptism itself, parents and godparents, sometimes family and friends too, will be asked to gather around the font. (The font is a large basin on a pedestal, containing the water for baptism.)
Please call to the Church on a Wednesday evening between 6.30 and 7pm to make further enquiries
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