St. George’s Anglican Church
51 Church St., Moncton, NB E1C 4Z3
Church Office: 506-855-5209 Fax: 506-388-4866
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Reverend Chris VanBuskirk
The Rev. Dr. Dan Goodwin
The Rev. Deacon Norm Dupuis
Baptism of Children
St George’s Church
Diocese of Fredericton
Please find and complete the “Request for Baptism”
form. It provides us with the necessary information for the
Baptism Certificate and the Godparent Certificates. As you
decide on Godparents for your child, please note that the
Godparents must have received the Sacrament of Christian
Baptism themselves. Furthermore, for the sake of your child’s
future training in the Faith, it is important that you choose Godparents who are doing their best to imitate Christ and live a holy life. Think of people who will pray daily for your child and encourage them to love God and to take their part in the Church’s life. As well as Godparents, you will have a Parish Sponsor who will pray for your child and assist you on the day of your child’s baptism.
I want to point out that the promises made by the parents and Godparents are serious. Kids like to copy people – that’s one way they learn. And, there are a lot of people, places and things to copy these days with our modern technology. It used to be Sesame Street, Mr. Dress Up and Dr. Seuss; but now with so many television channels, NetFlix shows, and You Tube Videos, not to mention the endless websites, the role models are mind boggling.
When a child is brought to be baptized, the parents and Godparents agree to carry out some duties which are defined by certain beliefs and values. Christians accept these duties not as burdensome but as life-giving because they are critical for a healthy soul and spirit. These include things like teaching the child to pray and bringing them to Church so they can take their part in worship. There are other duties, too, such as teaching the child the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Apostles’ Creed.
Little, daily habits go a long way in giving a child good patterns to copy. For example, many parents read to their children before bedtime. As part of this, why not include a Bible Story? (Your child will receive a Bible Story book at their Baptism as a gift from the Congregation of St. George’s.) This special routine could also include kneeling at the bedside, folding hands, and repeating a simple prayer. And, at meal times, children take quickly to bowing their heads while thanksgiving is offered for the food.
The truth is, faith needs to be exercised daily. Just as our bodies need good food and fresh air and exercise on a regular basis, so it is with our souls. Baptism is about receiving a gift from God – the gift of forgiveness and new life – everlasting life. The water that is poured on the child reminds us of the invisible washing which God does in Baptism. He washes us and adopts as one of His own children, and makes us part of His family. The Bible uses the verb ‘grafted’ which describes how a branch from one tree is inserted into the trunk of another. In Baptism God unites us to Himself. He gives us His Life by coming to live in us by His Spirit; and this Life of His is the way of True Love.
In our culture, we often receive gifts that we do not unwrap. Some people have a cupboard or a closet where these are stored. Sadly, Baptism is often one of them. After the pictures have been shared and the cake has been eaten, many parents never darken the door of the Church again. The Gift is put away, wrapped – the Gift of God’s grace and new life.
And then what happens? The child grows and develops, but without confidence or hope in answering life’s big questions about meaning and purpose, and the Presence and Love of Christ in the face of evil and the reality of death. We have no power of our own in these things, only Jesus the Crucified and Risen One can help us. Only Almighty God the Eternal Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit Who has made us and redeemed us, and come to dwell in us, can save us.
As you think about the duties you will accept, be honest with yourself and with God. Baptism is not a magical guarantee or ticket to Heaven. In it we receive a great Gift – new life and union with Christ. But, this Gift must be unwrapped and lived every day so that our selfish wills are transformed. If we really try, our kids will imitate us; and both of us will be changed from the inside out forever.
Question: Will you be faithful in the fulfillment of these duties?
Answer: I will, the Lord being my Helper. (page 530, The Book of Common Prayer)
Please do not hesitate to call me if you any questions, or if I can be of any assistance (office 855-5209 home 389-3516).
God bless you
Sincerely Yours in Christ our Saviour,
(Priest & Rector, St. George’s Anglican Church, Moncton, NB)
“He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)