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A Baby Being BaptizedThe decision to have your child baptized is a big one. Whether this is a tradition that has persisted in your family for generations or you will be the first to have your little one brought into the fold of your faith in such a way, you may have lots of questions about the baptism process. From the ceremony to the reception, there are a few key points you want to hit while planning in order to feel confident the event goes smoothly. Review this checklist and create a strategy to stay on top of your responsibilities. 

Contact the Church

The first step of this process is to contact a representative of your church. In most cases, this will involve making a call or sending an email to a priest, deacon, or minister. The main purpose of this step is to learn about your date options for when the baptism can take place. Additionally, some churches have particular rules about what “training” parents and godparents must complete before the ceremony can be conducted. If you’re required to take a class, the church may not allow you to set a date until you’ve finished all prerequisites. 

Plan the Reception

Once you’ve got a date set with the church, you can move into planning the reception. Most parents like to show thanks to family and friends for attending the baptism by gathering everyone together after the ceremony. If you decide to hold the reception at a local restaurant, the space should be reserved as soon as possible. The venue will require a headcount, so a primary task to focus on is coming up with your guestlist. Though not everyone you invite will be able to attend, the list will help you provide as accurate a number as possible.

Notify Godparents and Guests

Traditionally, the godparents are selected before the process of planning the baptism even begins. While most of the major responsibilities will fall on your shoulders, you should always be mindful to keep the godparents in the loop. Whether they need to take part in a preliminary class alongside you or they simply have to show up on the day of the ceremony, providing them with advance notice is the only way to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. 

This is also the point in the process when you should send invitations to your guests. If you’re planning in a rush, then you can forego paper invites altogether and instead use email or similar digital options. This alternative provides you with a more immediate response and gives you a clearer picture of how many guests to anticipate.

Plan a Few Words 

Though not expected of you, it can also be nice to plan out a small speech to thank the guests for coming. Baptism ceremonies are usually on the shorter side, and the entire affair can be over and done with before you realize. By delivering a few words during the reception to show gratitude to your family and friends for being a part of this joyous occasion, you will find it easier to ground yourself in the moment.

Add a Personal Touch

Baptisms might not be as elaborate or involved as weddings, but you can still put your own spin on the day’s events. Incorporating family traditions, for example, can add a needed personal touch to things. If the church doesn’t allow for customized ceremonies, you can make time for these rituals during the reception. This is an important day in your family’s journey, so do whatever you can to make it feel special and true to your core values. 

Planning for the baptism of your child can seem complicated, but the process is actually quite straightforward. Review the most important tasks on your to-do list, and put together an event that perfectly brings your little one into the light of your faith.

Category: Baptism


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