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Can I get my baby Christened?

A Service of Thanksgiving & Dedication

When we talk of a “christening”, parents will have different ideas in what this means. For some parents a Christening is no more than a “naming ceremony” where we celebrate the birth of a child and officially give the child a name. Many Registrars in Scotland will now perform a Naming Ceremony. For many other parents, they consider their baby’s christening as a matter of “tradition”. They think that all babies should be christened in a Church by a Minister because generations of their family have all been “christened”.

When parents don’t attend a local church, often they still want to bring their children to Church for a special ceremony of “Thanksgiving & Dedication”. They desire that God would bless their new baby. Here at the High Kirk we are happy to offer this “Service of Thanksgiving”. The ceremony is celebrated after a morning worship service with family, friends and other invited guests. Parents are asked to make promises to love, care and give thanks for their child. Godparents will also be asked to make similar promises, or you may choose not to have Godparents.

A Baptism Service

A “Service of Baptism” is available for parents who are members (or regular attenders) of the High Kirk. A baptism normally occurs during a Church Service at 10.30am. Parents will be asked to make promises, declaring their faith in Jesus Christ, and promising to attend church, pray, and read their Bibles regularly. They will also be asked to promise to commit themselves to their local Church by regularly attending and by bringing their children weekly to the Creche, Sunday Club & other children's activities. Godparents will also be asked to make promises to love, care, and pray for the child & parents.

For parents who are not regular attenders but have a sincere faith in Jesus Christ, and have a desire to attend church more faithfully, they will be asked to complete a 6-week introduction course looking at the Christian faith.

What Next?

Contact the Minister to confirm what type of Service will be appropriate to your present circumstances.

What is Baptism?

In the Church of Scotland we have two sacraments which Jesus commanded his disciples to perform. These ceremonies are ‘Baptism’ and ‘the Lord’s Supper’. In some traditions of the Christian church these ceremonies are known as ‘sacraments’ or ‘ordinances’. The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are signs and symbols which remind us of important spiritual truths.

The Meaning of Baptism

When we come to faith in Christ, the Bible instructs us to be baptised. Baptism signifies a washing in water which reminds us that we are cleansed and forgiven of our sins, since Jesus has paid the penalty for all our sins on the cross.

Baptism signifies that we have come into a special relationship with Jesus Christ. This sacrament therefore represents to us the wonderful blessings that flow from this special ‘covenant’ relationship with God; for God has promised to be our God [and the God of our children through all generations].

We notice that baptism further signifies our initiation [membership] into the visible Church family. We are therefore not just welcomed into the fellowship of the local church, but are welcomed into the fellowship and family of God.

Finally, baptism signifies that we now walk in a “newness of life”. Since Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, Christians also share the blessings that flow from Christ’s death and resurrection. Therefore we see baptism as signifying a life in all its fullness, a resurrection life, an abundant new life in Christ.

How is Baptism Conducted?

In the Greek language ‘baptism’ can mean “to dip, immerse or sprinkle”. In the Reformed tradition, all three expressions for baptism are acceptable ways to administer the sacrament. In the Church of Scotland it is more common-place to have baptism by “sprinkling”, where the minister will baptise from a ‘font’ at the front of the church. Here the officiating minister will pour or sprinkle water on the candidate’s head, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Who Can be Baptised?

So who ought to be baptised? In the New Testament it is clear that adult believers were baptised on their profession of faith - “Believe and be baptised!”

The Church of Scotland believes that the Bible teaches us, as believers, to baptise our children. Through the baptism of our children we anticipate and pray that one day they will come into a personal relationship with Jesus, and that they will experience the promises and privileges of their baptism in a personal way.