Baptism – or ‘Christening’ – is the ceremony which welcomes a person into the worldwide church family.
It is one of the two ‘sacraments’ of the church – a sacrament being a symbol or sign. The ordinary water used in baptism is a sign of God’s love for us all.
There are no lower age restrictions on baptism in the Church of Scotland.
This is because, whether we know or understand it, God loves us first. As we then grow and mature, we can respond to God’s love with faith and love.
The sacrament of baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Traditionally, most baptisms are of babies or children. This is in line with the belief, in our branch of the Church, that God’s love is not dependent on our understanding.
In fact, age is no restriction at all and adults of all ages may choose to be baptised.
A baptism usually takes place during one of the normal Sunday morning services at St James’.
It is a welcome into the family of the church – and your family and friends are warmly encouraged and invited to attend with you.
Where the baptism is of an infant, parent(s) and/or sponsor(s) are asked to confess (confirm) their Christian faith and make promises to bring the child up in the life of the church.
Where you are being baptised as an adult, it is you who confesses your faith and makes promises for yourself.
The congregation has obligations and duties in all of this too. In all cases, the members of the congregation must also make promises – to welcome and support the baptised person and their family.
Blessing of a child.
Some parents – while they may wish to give thanks for the gift of a child – may feel baptism is not right for them.
Some parents prefer to give their child the chance to make a decision about baptism for themselves later. Some might find the promises and confession asked in a service of baptism to be beyond what they feel comfortable with.
In those cases, a child can be blessed during a worship service.
These occasions involve no water and no promises or commitments on the part of the parents or godparents. Nevertheless, a Blessing of a Child allows family and friends – and the church family – to gather before God. It is an opportunity to celebrate new life and to give the support all families need.
How we can help
For further information, or to discuss possible arrangements, please contact Rev. Geoff McKee or send us a Free Online Enquiry via this website.
You may find the following blog articles on this website – which deal with different aspects of baptism – helpful sources of additional, background information: