If you want your baby to be baptised, you should first contact the Parish Priest, who will make the necessary arrangements. If for any reason you wish the baptism to take place elsewhere, you should seek the permission of the Parish Priest.
Baptisms normally take place on Sundays, after 12 o’clock Mass. In some cases, a number of children may be baptised at the same ceremony. The normal length of a baptism service is around 25 minutes.
You will probably be expected to attend some form of preparation before the baptism, commonly two sessions. This is partly to enable you to participate actively in the service, but also because baptism has always been seen by the Church as connected with personal faith and repentance. Babies cannot repent or have faith themselves, but from earliest days the Church has baptised them in the expectation that their parents will nurture the gift of faith as they nurture the physical and mental life of their children. The priest or deacon performing the baptism is therefore obliged to make sure that there is a well-founded hope that your child will be brought up in the Catholic faith.
Baptism can only be administered when at least one parent is a Catholic. If the other parent is not a Catholic, they are under no obligation to assist in the Catholic upbringing of the child, though of course it can be a great help if they do.
You will be required to choose at least one godparent to assist in the Catholic upbringing of the child, but can have two if you wish. The godparent should normally be 16 or over and a practising Catholic who has been confirmed and made their first holy communion. Baptised Christians of other Churches can be witnesses in addition to the Catholic godparent. If you cannot find a suitable godparent yourself, the parish priest can nominate someone. If the godparent cannot attend the baptism, they can act by proxy.
Baptisms are recorded in a register kept in the Church, and you will be issued with a certificate which is a copy of this entry. You or your child can obtain a copy of this certificate at any subsequent time, by contacting the Parish Priest.
O loving God, who called your servant Aidan from the peace of a cloister to re-establish the Christian mission in northern England, and gave him the gifts of gentleness, simplicity, and strength: Grant that we, following his example, may use what you have given us for the relief of human need, and may persevere in commending the saving Gospel of our Redeemer Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.