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Posted May 15, 2012

Book: Together at Baptism
Author: Robert Hamma
Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame. 2012. pp. 113

An Excerpt from the Introduction:

Welcome to Together at Baptism and to this special time of preparation for your child's Baptism in the Catholic Church. Parents from many walks of life use this booklet, and we hope that each of you will find much of value in it. You may be awaiting the birth of your first child, have a newborn, or have a child who is several months old. One parent may not be Catholic, or you may be a single parent. Perhaps you have been away from the Church for a while. No matter what your life circumstances are, if you have come to the Church sincerely desiring to raise your child in the Catholic faith, this book is written for you. We hope it will enrich your experience of Christian parenthood and help you to understand the rich meaning of the celebration of your child's Baptism and the lifelong journey of faith that this sacrament initiates.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The people may sing a psalm or hymn suitable for the occasion. Meanwhile, the celebrating priest, or deacon, vested in alb or surplice with a stole (with or without a cope) of festive color, and accompanied by the ministers, goes to the entrance of the church or to that part of the church where the parents and godparents are waiting with those who are to be baptized.

Rite of Baptism for Children, #35

The liturgical celebration of Baptism usually begins at the doorway to the church. We often adorn the doors of our homes with various signs of welcome such as a plaque with a word of greeting or a wreath at Christmas. These signs express that going through a doorway of a home is different from going through a doorway at a place of business or a school. Going through the doorway of our home is entering into the sanctuary of our family. To invite someone into our home is a gesture of warmth, an offer of friendship.

When your child passes through the door of the church on the day of his or her Baptism, the priest and assisting ministers go to greet him or her. The people join in a song of welcome. Your child is being invited into the Church. Beginning at the door is a symbolic way of saying, "Come in, you are welcome!" We recall this special moment every time we bless ourselves with holy water from the font as we come into the church. Baptism itself is a doorway into the Body of Christ. When we are baptized, we are welcomed into the Father's house and we have access to the sacraments.

For Reflection

How do you welcome a friend into your home?

Is this different from the way you would greet a salesperson?

How have you welcomed your child into your family and home?

Table of Contents:

Rite of Baptism for Children

An Overview of the Celebration

Reception of the children

Liturgy of the Word

Celebration of the Sacrament

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Appendix A: Scripture readings

Appendix B: Additional Prayer Texts

Appendix C: Family Renewal of Baptism

Record of Baptism

Liturgy -- Planning Sheet