Baptism at St John's
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ”Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.” Gospel of Mark ch.1 v9-11
In baptism, we thank God for his gift of life and publicly acknowledge his love. In the Anglican Church it is common to baptize young children; this is sometimes known as christening. But you can be baptized at any age, young or old. But what is very special is that you can only be baptized once in your life.
Baptism is a ‘sacrament’ (holy ritual to symbolize grace) in the Christian tradition, that is traced back to Jesus himself being baptized in the river Jordan, by John the Baptist. In the passage above it describes Jesus’ baptism, so when a child or an adult is baptized in the Parish Church here at Ranmoor we are recreating that moment. The font becomes for us symbolically the River Jordan. The dove in the passage represents Gods Holy Spirit and in the moments of baptism we are praying that just like it descended upon Jesus that it will also descend into the life of the one who is being baptised.
Every child who is to be baptized has to have God parents who are over 16 years old and who themselves have already been baptized. That is because the Godparent makes certain promises during the service on behalf of the child. Every child to be baptized has to have no fewer than three Godparents, of whom two must be of the same sex as the child and of whom one must be of the opposite sex.
If an adult is to be baptized then they need to have at least two adult sponsors to support them.
If you would like to know more about arranging a baptism service here at St John’s, then please contact Claire Webber at the Parish Office.
Some frequently asked questions about God parents;
Q. What does being a Godparent involve?
A. As a Godparent, you have a special role. It’s about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of the local church. You will be expected to be attend the child’s baptism, where you will make promises to help to bring them up in the Christian faith. It’s a role that will develop over time, as your godchild grows up and develops their own faith.
Q. Is there a website that can tell me more about being a Godparent?
A. Yes, there is a very good Church of England website that tells you lots of things about being a Godparent.