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We are delighted that you are enquiring about having your child baptised. Parents of children are asked to make vows, and it is right that you should know what you are promising and the significance of the ceremony. The notes here may help, but you should arrange to speak with the Minister, Rev Mark Johnstone who will be happy to talk to you.
"Baptism" is a word from the Greek language (the language of the New Testament) which means "to wash". Water is sprinkled on your child's head as a sign of the washing away of sin. Sometimes this is called Christening, literally to Christ-en, or to make Christ's. Both words refer to the same thing - the ceremony marking the welcome into the family of the Church.
Normally the baptism will happen in the Church as part of the Sunday Service. Baptism is about the welcome into the family of the church and it is right that it be within the context of the community of faith. In years gone by it had been the practice to baptise at home, but this would be an option only in say the case of illness.
Baptism is an act of faith, and as such requires belief in the power of God. There are many reasons why people have their children baptised; but there is only one good reason. That is that parents wish to make a commitment to raise their child in a Christian family, giving them the chance to learn about the love of God in Jesus Christ, so that they too might come to believe and dedicate their life to following the way of Christ.
Baptism is for believers and their children. One or both parents must be themselves baptised and should be members of the Church, or intent on becoming members. This time when you are thinking about the best for your family, is a good time to reflect upon what is important for you.
Two questions are asked of parents bringing their children for baptism
In the Church of Scotland there are no vows taken by God Parents. In fact the whole congregation, including all your family and friends present, are invited to show their willingness to share in the Christian upbringing of your child and all the children who are a part of the family of the Church. You do not have to have God-Parents, but you may wish to have a close friend or family member with you at this special service.