What do you have to consider for baptism?
The baptism represents an important event in the child’s life. However, to make sure the day of baptism succeeds, many preparations have to be made in advance. General organizational questions, such as the course of the baptismal service, must be clarified as well as various legal aspects. But those who take care of the preparations as early as possible can clear the way for obstacles on time – and then look forward to the day of the baptism.
The right time of baptism
Baptism makes it clear that a person becomes a child of God and is integrated into the church.  Most parents want to take that sense of belonging and safety to their child as early as possible, so they choose to have a baby baptism. They want the child to be under God’s protection – right from the beginning.
But more and more parents can also imagine that their child is aware of the baptism quite consciously and already learns something about the background of this special day. In many cases, when the baby is baptized in preschool, he or she can take on specific tasks themselves – for example, place the christening candle on the altar.
On the other hand, if it is important for the parents that the baptized child decides completely independently for or against the Christian faith, adult baptism is preferred. However, it should be remembered that predominantly children who grow into a religious tradition, later also feel the desire to deal with the faith and to be baptized.
Anyone, big or small, young or old can be baptized. (#1)
Important documents for the baptism
A baptism is always also a canon law act; Anyone wishing to register their child for baptism therefore needs certain documents. These include:
- the birth certificate of the child
- the identity cards of both parents
- the marriage certificate of the parents
- the godparent certificates (church affiliation of godparents)
The baptized must be registered for baptism, usually in the community office or parish on the spot. In principle, however, parents are free to choose the community themselves. However, it should be noted that the registration must be made personally by the parents.
For the baptism one needs different documents. The best in the relevant rectory ask what is needed, get everything and sign only after the baptism. And most importantly, do not forget to give away the baptism invitation cards for the guests! (# 2)
The baptismal talk
Once the decision on baptism has been made and all documentation is complete, it is important to first make an appointment with the local pastor. In the so-called “baptismal talk” then all the details of the baptism can be clarified – especially with regard to the actual worship process. The pastor, depending on the denomination, can ask the following questions:
- When should the baptism take place??
- What are the godparents of the baptized?
- Which songs should be sung?
- Should read certain intercessions?
- Which baptismal claim should the baptism receive?
- Is a christening candle desired?
In addition, the pastor will discuss the distribution of tasks with the parents. In order to ensure a smooth process of baptismal service, it is important to know who, for example, reads the intercessions, where the godparents stand and who holds the baptized person over the baptismal font. It has been proven to include the sexton in the planning; he knows best how to arrange the seating or how to decorate the church attractively.
Infographic: The infographic shows the birth rate in relation to the Catholic baptisms in Germany from 1980-2015. (# 3)
The choice of godparents
One of the important preparations for baptism is the choice of godparents. They are to accompany the baptized during his entire life and represent valuable contact persons. However, from a canonical perspective, not all potential applicants are admitted as godparents; In the Protestant church, the godfather must be at least 14 years old and baptized.
The Catholic Church sets the minimum age at 16 years; In addition, the godfather must not quit the church, must be baptized and confirmed Catholic. Belongs to the desired godfather for the Catholic baptism of the Protestant church, this is only admitted as a baptismal product. However, at least one member of the Catholic Church will be available to sponsor. In the Protestant church, however, the Christian denomination plays no role in the godparenthood; Here also Catholic Christians are admitted, if they are baptized. 
Preparation of the baptism ceremony
After the church ceremony, a celebration usually takes place on the day of baptism; Usually, parents decide to have a christening in a small circle, in which not only parents and siblings but also godfathers and other family members as well as closest friends participate. If the date of the church baptism is fixed, the subsequent baptismal celebration can be prepared.
It does not matter if it’s a big baptism event with the whole family and all friends or a little celebration with the godparents, the parents and the baptized child – what is good is just what brings joy. A beautiful christening invitation card will make every guest happy. (# 4)
Many parents invite the baptismal community to a restaurant that has to be booked for this purpose – often with a long lead time. Those who prefer privacy and seclusion, can also rent a ballroom and take care of the guests themselves; That way you can often save a lot of money. In this case, however, it is advisable to additionally invite helpers who agree to take over the hospitality of the guests. Distant friends or acquaintances are willing to do so.
In order to determine the exact amount for food and drinks, it is advisable to create an early guest list. Guests will then receive an invitation in a timely manner. A large selection of invitation cards for baptism is provided by the provider of the baptism card paradise, which can also be customized. By the way: After the baptism the guests are looking forward to a baptism card with photo!
After the general organization, there should be some time left to prepare personally for the upcoming baptism of the child. The following aspects may belong:
- Choose a wardrobe (christening gown for the child and for the parents)
- Choose the baptismal font and the baptismal candle
- Schedule hairdressing
- if necessary, submit holidays for the preparations
It is also worth concluding with the background of baptism – so that the meaning of this important event does not go down in the middle of the preparations. For this purpose, it has proven useful to engage in selected reading on the topic of baptism and to read the relevant sections in the Bible. In this way, the inner preparation for the upcoming event is accomplished, and baptism can be experienced much more intensively.
Whether personal preparation or general organization: Anyone who considers the most important aspects in preparing for baptism saves a lot of stress in the last few days before the big day, thus increasing the chance that baptism will remain unforgettable – both for hosts and Guests as well as for the christening himself, who may be interested in his baptismal album after years …
 Hartlieb, Gabriele: Why we baptize our child. Decision aids for parents, Ostfildern 2017.
 Van Briel, Peter: Basic Course on Belief. 24 catechesis, Munich 2016.
 Wessely, Christian: Simply Catholic. What Catholic Christians Believe and How They Celebrate, Innsbruck 2013.
Credit: © Shutterstock Cover photo: Antonio Gravante, – # 1 silalena, – # 2 Christian Camus, – # 4 Kzenon, – # 5 Kamila Koziol
Infographic: © Schwarzer.de (# 3)
About Sabrina Müller
Sabrina Müller, born in 1982 in Berlin, is now the mother of three children. Actually, she did not want so many kids. However, after her first daughter was really easy to care for, Sabrina and her husband decided to have more children. No one could know that easy care is not always followed by easy care. After the first daughter followed a girl and a boy. Her rascals are currently filling Sabrina’s life. In addition to caring for the children, Sabrina is also involved in kindergarten and sews and tinkers like.
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