A Background on Baptisms

A Background on Baptisms

Each year at the Cathedral we welcome numerous children and their families for baptism. So far this year, there have been 9 baptisms and one thanksgiving, with at least another 8 set to happen before the end of the year.

The process of organising a baptism or a thanksgiving has changed over the years and continues to be a fluid process, however, the ‘normal’ process goes something like this:

In January, the Liturgy group decide the baptism Sundays for the next 12 months, normally with a pattern of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, however the 2nd and 4th services are often interchangeable for special Sundays.

Someone phones up to book a baptism and I (Ruth) work with them to choose a date that both fits our selected Sundays and what works for them as a family; this is often complicated by family needing to travel to the island for the baptism. Also, we try to have a maximum of two families per Sunday, in order to be able to welcome the family fully as well as fitting everyone in!

In the month prior to the baptism, the member of the clergy who will be baptising as well as one of the members of the baptism visitation team go to the family’s house and fill out the necessary paper work and talk through the service, ensuring they know what they are participating in.

A few days beforehand, the gifts that are given are collected and registers written. Each child gets a wooden cross, a Bible and a prayer book (all provided by the Mother’s Union) as well as a candle, certificate for the child and certificates for each of the Godparents.

As you can imagine, this can change for different families and situations. Often baptisms are booked in months in advance, however, occasionally we have to get one sorted very quickly (for example when a family member is home on leave from the Forces) and on these occasions they often end up outside of our normal service pattern.

We are fortunate that many families in Peel see the Cathedral as a part of their lives and so, when important things happen, such as the birth of a child, they choose to come and celebrate with us. Therefore I want to thank you on behalf of the baptism team for the welcome you continue to show these families when they worship with us.

Ruth Walker

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