Baptisms (sometimes known as Christenings):
We are delighted to welcome parents who express a wish for their children (of any age) to be Baptised, and Dave Slater will meet with them and discuss what Baptism involves.
We do operate within Church Law which requires one or both parents to be Baptised, and normally requires at least one parent to be either a church Member, an Adherent (regular and committed attender), or that they be willing to become a Member. Dave will discuss with parents what church membership involves. In certain cases it may be possible for a family member (e.g. grandparent, aunt or uncle) who is a church member to take these promises for and alongside the parents.
An alternative, open to anyone, is to have a service of Thanksgiving and Blessing – further info at the bottom.
The Sacrament of Infant Baptism is an important part of Christian and church life. Baptism is carried out after Jesus’ example (Mark’s gospel chapter 1) and command (Matthew’s gospel chapter 28) and its welcome and promise has been understood to extend to the children of believing parents (Luke’s gospel chapter 18, Book of Acts chapter 2) by the church from early on in Christian history.
The promises of Baptism are solemn and serious and not to be taken lightly:
Do you earnestly desire that your child may be joined to Christ, as a member of his body the Church? [I do]
Do you confess your faith in God as your heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, and in the Holy Spirit as the One who changes you to become more like Christ? [I do]
Do you promise, depending on God’s gracious help, to teach your child the truths and duties of the Christian faith, and by prayer and example to bring her/him up in the life and worship of the Church? [I do]
In addition the congregation take a vow:
We welcome you into our family
Baptised into Christ
we are united in Him
we promise, by our prayer, our care and our example to encourage you,
and all God’s children,
to walk in the way of Christ,
and trust him as your Saviour.
This vow is because historically the Church of Scotland hasn’t had a specific role for godparents – in a sense the whole congregation are godparents to children (which is why we emphasise bringing your children along regularly to church, to enable us to keep our vow!) – along the lines of the proverb “it takes a village to raise a child”. However if you wish to have particular godparents you are welcome to do so and they will be included and acknowledged during the service.
You are encouraged to reflect on these vows beforehand, to make sure you are willing to make these vows and promises before God and in front of your family and the congregation. We recognise that family life can be challenging and work patterns are not always easy – we don’t impose attendance requirements but we will obviously be concerned for your spiritual and general welfare if you are not able to be around the church at all following the Baptism! Please note that young children are very welcome to come to church regularly – both congregations have toys suitable for the young and will welcome, as they feel able, their participation in our Sunday Club/Sunday School activities.
If you are not at the stage in your own faith where you feel able to take these vows with integrity, or cannot commit to bring your child to church regularly, but you still wish to give thanks to God for your child and seek his blessing on him or her, we can arrange a service of Thanksgiving and Blessing which is open to anyone who requests it, and has similarities to a Baptism but does not include sprinkling with water – further details from the minister.
Baptism is not simply for infants – if you have not been baptised as a child and later come to faith, you can be baptised and join the church as a teenager or adult. The form of the
service is slightly different as you are taking vows yourself rather than having them taken by parents on a child’s behalf. Please ask for more information.
Baptisms generally take place during a Sunday morning service, will include the usual parts of the service but with particular prayers and readings about baptism, the minister will sprinkle water from the font along with words such as “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, descend upon you now, and dwell in your heart for ever”. The service also usually includes a sung blessing and a chance for the baby or child being baptised to be welcomed by the church (with a wee walk round, usually with a parent, godparent or family member).