BAPTIZING YOUR CHILD
1) When should I have my child baptized?
Parents are encouraged to baptize their child within the first few weeks after their birth. We do, however, ask parents to attend a baptism preparation class before presenting their child for this sacrament. This is to ensure the parents fully understand the sacrament and their expected roles in raising the child in their Catholic faith.
All Catholic parents are encouraged to baptize their children in their Catholic faith. Even if a child was not baptized as an infant (or before the age of reason – 7 years old), we would like to work with you to see that your child in brought into sacramental union with the Church.
Refer to the Baptism page for information on attending the Baptism Preparation class before scheduling the baptism.
2) What if my child is older than 7 years of age?
Please contact the Assoc. Director of Family & Children’s Ministry, Elaine McCollum (email@example.com) or 404-267-3692, to discuss sacramental preparation for your child. The children’s catechumenate will most likely apply.
3) Must both parents be Catholic?
No. The Church requires that there be at least one actively practicing Catholic parent.
4) What if the parents of the child are not married?
The child’s baptism will not be delayed for unmarried parents. However, we would encourage you to contact the Church to pursue a sacramental marriage.
5) What if my spouse is not Catholic?
The non-Catholic spouse must give permission for the baptism to take place and agree to not interfere with raising the child in the Catholic faith.
6) What if we were not married in the Catholic Church?
This will not delay the child’s baptism. We encourage you to contact a priest or deacon to discuss having your marriage convalidated in the Catholic Church.
PREPARATION FOR BAPTISM
7) Do I need to be a member of the parish?
We ask that you be a registered and active member * of Christ the King OR of another Catholic parish.
* An active member, as defined by the Archdiocese of Atlanta, is registered with a parish, attends Mass on a regular basis, supports the parish through the consistent giving of time, talent, and financial resources in support of your parish, and receives regular mailings and communications from the parish. For Christ the King members, we ask that you be a registered member for at least three months prior to scheduling the baptism.
If you are registered and active members at another parish
- You must submit a “letter of permission” from the pastor which states that you are registered, active parishioners at that parish and which grants permission for the baptism to occur at Christ the King. (Code of Canon Law: Can 857- §2).
- This letter must be provided when you are scheduling the baptism.
8) What are the steps to have my child baptized?
The parents are to be registered and active members at a Catholic parish and are to attend a baptism preparation class within the past 5 years. Please refer to the following links for details:
9) What if I have already taken the Baptism Preparation class?
If within the past 5 years, parents have taken the class at CTK OR another parish OR have had a child baptized, they do not have to attend the class again.
Parents who have taken the class, see Baptism Preparation for Infants and Children
10) How are baptisms scheduled? Where and when are they held?
Please refer to the following link for the guidelines:
11) Is nursery available for the Baptism Preparation class?
Yes, for children 6 months to 8 years of age. Please supply diapers, bottles, etc., to the nursery worker. Mark personal items with your name. If your child is under 6 months, please feel free to bring your child with you to class.
12) What if I want a visiting priest or deacon to perform the baptism?
When you are scheduling the baptism, notify the scheduler of this request. If the priest/deacon is outside the Archdiocese of Atlanta, he would need to obtain a Statement of Ordinary from his archdiocese. If he is of this diocese, he would notify Monsignor McNamee of his request.
13) How many godparents may I have?
You may select two godparents; only one is required for Baptism. If one is chosen, he/she must be an actively practicing Catholic (see requirements below). If two are chosen, one must be male and one female and at least one must be an actively practicing Catholic. A Non-Catholic godparent must be a baptized Christian.
14) What are the requirements for being a godparent?
According to the requirements of the Catholic Church’s Canon Law (872-874), at least one must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church and
- At least 16 years of age
- Received the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation
- If married, it must be a valid sacramental marriage
- Not be bound by canonical penalties
- Not be the father or mother of the child to be baptized.
- The second godparent, if not Catholic, must be a baptized Christian; he/she is called a witness.
15) What if we don’t have a Catholic family or friend available to be a godparent?
We will provide guidance in identifying an actively, practicing Catholic in the community who may step forward as godparent. Contact Elaine McCullum, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
16) What if a godparent is unable to be at the baptism?
A Catholic adult must be present at the baptism ceremony. The parents and godparents can designate in writing a proxy stand in for the absentee godparent. If you know beforehand, please notify the scheduler of the proxy’s name. If it happens the day of the baptism, be sure to notify the priest/deacon as they must note it on the documentation.
17) Can I change the godparents later?
If the godparent(s) do not follow through in this spiritual relationship, you may decide to engage other family or friends to support you and your child in this role. However, godparents listed in the official baptism register can never be changed since they were the historical witnesses to the baptism and entered into a permanent spiritual relationship with the baptized.
DAY of BAPTISM
18) What should my child wear for their baptism?
A white garment is traditional, signifying cleansing received in the waters of Baptism and the purity of beginning a new life in Christ. You may wish to change your child into this garment once you’ve arrived for the baptism. Allow extra time for this.
19) What should parents and godparents wear for the baptism?
You may want to dress as you would for a special family celebration. We ask that family and friends dress respectful of the sacred space.
20) How long is the Rite of Baptism?
In the Cathedral, the community baptism lasts approximately 45 minutes, and in the d’Youville Chapel, the private baptism lasts 30-45 minutes.
21) What time should we arrive?
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the baptism to allow for parking and situating your family in the Cathedral or chapel.
22) What should I bring for my child’s baptism?
If you had not submitted eligibility letter(s) for the Catholic godparent(s) registered at another parish, please bring these letter(s) to the baptism.
We will provide the sacramental needs (candle, etc…).
23) May we take pictures during the baptism?
Yes. You may also take pictures afterward. We ask that you respect the sacred space.
24) What will I need to say during the Baptism?
Please refer to the handout, Rite of Baptism and Renunciation of Sin, provided in the folder from Baptism Preparation class. If you do not have it, you will be prompted by the priest/deacon.
25) Does it cost anything to have my child baptized?
Cathedral parishioners are not charged a fee for baptism. However, it is customary to give a gift (stipend) to the celebrant of baptism. The amount is at your discretion.
Non-members will be asked to participate in the private baptisms only. A chapel rental fee will apply.
WHERE TO GO
26) Where is parking and is there elevator access?
Parking: The parking deck is across from the Cathedral. It may be accessed from Peachtree Road or Peachtree Way. There is also parking behind the Cathedral and school, accessed from West Wesley Rd or Peachtree Way. There is limited parking on the plaza which is only accessible from Peachtree Road.
– Cathedral – it is advised you park on the plaza and enter the church at street level OR park behind the school and use the main elevator located past the Media Center. Go to the 3rd floor for the church.
– Chapel – it is advised you park behind the school. There is an elevator* in the d’Youville.
*Please notify Scheduler in advance or upon arrival notify the receptionist or facilities. Facilities has access key needed to operate the elevator.
27) Where do the parents, child, godparents go in the Cathedral or Chapel?
– Community Baptism: Cathedral – No assigned pews. We suggest you sit in the front half of the church, near the front. Typically, 3 – 4 families participate in the community baptism.
– Private Baptism: d’Youville Chapel – If another baptism is in progress, please wait in the hallway; otherwise you may have seat.
28) Where do family and friends go in the Cathedral or Chapel?
Community Baptism: Cathedral – They may sit in the pew with you.
Private Baptism: d’Youville Chapel – If another baptism is in progress, please wait in hallway. Otherwise, they may have a seat in the pews.