Current Arrangements for Baptisms
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PREPARATION FOR THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
The Significance of Baptism
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”
From the very day of Pentecost the Church has celebrated and administered holy Baptism. Indeed St. Peter declares to the crowd astounded by his preaching: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The apostles and their collaborators offer Baptism to anyone who believed in Jesus: Jews, the God-fearing, pagans. Always, Baptism is seen as connected with faith: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household,” St. Paul declared to his jailer in Philippi. And the narrative continues, the jailer “was baptized at once, with all his family.”
The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213, 1226, 1257)
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Who can be a godparent?
The godparents are the link between the family and the Church in the Baptism of an infant. The custom of having godparents is an ancient one in the Church. (In the early days of Christianity, a sponsor was chosen from the community to encourage and support an adult who was being baptized, both before and after the Baptism.) In addition to representing the Christian community, godparents help parents to bring up their children in the faith by their witness and prayers. To be a godparent is a privileged service in the Church and a special ministry.
Church law (Canon Law #872-874) asks that a godparent be at least sixteen years of age and have received the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist). He or she should lead a life of faith in harmony with the duty undertaken. The godparent may not be one of the parents of the person being baptized.
Only one godparent is required for Baptism and a maximum of two can be recorded in the baptismal record. Where there are two godparents, one must be male and one must be female. When pastoral circumstances warrant it, one of these sponsors may be a baptized non-Catholic Christian as a witness of the Baptism.
(Adapted from https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Story/TabId/2672/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/86/Common-Baptism-Questions.aspx)