Rites of Passage

Birth and Infant Baptism in Christianity.

Infant Baptism

-Performed by Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglican and Methodist Churches.

Purpose:

-Child is welcomed as a member of the church

-Child receiving God's grace and given the chance to live a new life, free from sin.

-Opportunity for parents and godparents to express intention to bring up child in the Christian faith.

Key Features

-Parents and Godparents declare their own faith... 'I do'

-Priest takes the child and splashes water from the font (baptismal bowl) on the child's head and says 'I baptise you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'

-Priest then signs a cross on the child's forehead, 'I sign you with the cross of Christ'.

-Congregation promises to support the child in the faith.

-A lit candle is given to the parents as a symbol of the child passing from darkness into light.

-Appropriate hymns, sermon (about the meaning of Baptism) and prayers are made for the child.

Infant Baptism

A video of Infant Baptism

Variations of Infant Baptism

-The ORTHODOX Church dips the child into the font three times, and this is followed by Chrismation, in which the child is anointed with oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The child then receives it's first communion.

-The BAPTIST Church and OTHERS have a service of Dedication to thank God for the child and dedicate the child to God. They believe baptism should take place when a person is older. SALVATION ARMY and QUAKERS do not baptise as they don't believe it is necessary to receive salvation or communicate with God.