Jesus instructed his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to the world and to baptize all people. Our Lord also makes clear that Baptism is necessary for salvation (John 3:5). Faithful to this commandment the Church welcomes individuals into communion with Christ through Baptism. The sacrament marks the entry into a life of faith. The newly-baptized person assumes the responsibility of living a holy life and, particularly in the case of an infant, this will require the support of other members of the Christian community.
“Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1277]
The meaning and grace of the sacrament of Baptism are evident in the rites of its celebration. More information here.
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitæ spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1213]
- A child to be baptised is to be given a godparent, who together with the parents, presents an infant for baptism. A godparent also helps the baptised person to lead a Christian life and to fulfil the obligations inherent to baptism.
- There is to be only one godparent either male or female, or one godfather and one godmother.
- Godparents need to be over 16, be baptised Catholics who have received the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation, and who are practising Catholics.
- A good godparent is not necessarily a relative or best friend, but rather someone who will be a good example of a life of faith to one’s children and a support to their Catholic upbringing.
- Non-Catholics cannot be godparents, but they can participate as official witnesses of the baptism. Only the names of Catholic godparents are recorded in the official certificate and registry of the Church.