Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognised by the Church of Scotland, the other being the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In the case of infant baptism the Church expects at least one parent or other close family member either to be a member of the Church or willing to become a member. In the baptismal service two questions are asked:
In presenting your child for baptism,
desiring that she may be grafted into Christ
as a member of his body, the Church,
do you receive the teaching of the Christian faith
which we confess in the Apostles’ Creed?
Do you promise, depending on the grace of God,
to teach your child the truths and duties of the Christian faith; and by prayer and example to bring her up in the life
and worship of the Church?
In the case of adult baptism the person himself or herself makes the appropriate promises. Baptism is normally administered at Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises the nature of the sacrament as incorporation into the body of Christ and the life of the Church. There is a little more flexibility in the case of genuine emergencies, normally in a hospital situation.
For those parents who feel unable to make the promises of baptism, the Church of Scotland recently approved an order of service for the thanksgiving and blessing of a child. The blessing ceremony takes place at morning worship following the same pattern as that for Baptism, except the wording is different, the promises are different, and no water is used.
If you would like to discuss baptism or blessings please contact the Interim Moderator – Reverend Alan Kimmitt.