Marriage is required for baptism
We are happy with the parents about the birth of their child. Connected with this are certainly numerous wishes and hopes for the path of life. We invite you to pursue the meaning of "baptism" together with other parents, to get to know the signs and symbols better, and to reload God's traces in your and your child's life discover.
Baptism is the "entrance gate" to the church, the sacrament that enables one to receive the other sacraments. It is the acceptance into the community of believers and it expresses God's unconditional yes to man, his promise: “You are a child of God”.
Baptism Sundays are regularly offered in our congregations. Please register your child for baptism in one of the parish offices in good time. You will then be invited to a baptismal discussion.
We offer a special form of preparation for young people and adults who want to be baptized.
Who Can Be Baptized?
In principle, anyone who has not yet been baptized can receive baptism. A repetition of the baptism is not possible. Baptism validly donated creates a bond with God that cannot be undone. It is not lost through serious misconduct, loss of faith or leaving the church because God is faithful. Figuratively speaking, baptism gives an indelible mark. Therefore, it cannot be donated again even if someone changes his or her church affiliation.
When is a baptism valid?
In order for a baptism to be considered valid, it is first necessary that the donor intends to give a real baptism. Baptism itself is to be given by pouring or immersion in water and speaking the Trinitarian formula ("I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit").
Which churches and communities baptize validly?
From the perspective of the Catholic Church, the following non-Catholic churches and communities baptize validly: Orthodox, Old Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran and Reformation churches, Evangelical member churches of the Union, Anglican churches, Mennonites, Herrnhuter Congregation, Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists. In some free churches and New Apostolic congregations, it is necessary to check how baptism was carried out on a case-by-case basis.
What is a godfather?
A godfather helps the parents and bears joint responsibility for introducing the person to be baptized into the community of the church and for bringing up them in the Catholic faith.
A common misunderstanding is that a godfather is primarily responsible for special gifts on public holidays and personal celebrations for the person being baptized. This may of course be the case, but it is not part of the sponsorship office.
The sponsorship office is also not linked to being substitute parents for the person to be baptized in the event of the death of the birth parents. The guardianship for orphaned children is regulated by the guardianship court or a notarized declaration by the parents.
What is required to take over the sponsorship office?
Since the sponsor's office is a confessional office, the sponsor must be Catholic and also be in harmony with the Catholic Church in his life. In addition, a minimum age of 16 years is set, from which the pastor can make an exception in justified individual cases (e.g. if the sponsor fulfills the other requirements and is an active member of the community). Because the task of the godfather is the religious education of the person to be baptized, he should read the sacrament of Confirmation and St. Have already received communion. A Catholic who has not yet been confirmed can be approved as a godfather if he does not exclude or consider receiving confirmation later. The parents of the person to be baptized cannot be godparents at the same time.
How many godparents can be chosen?
A godfather or godmother or godmother and godmother are planned. Behind this is the idea of spiritual parenthood.
What if you want godparents who do not meet the requirements?
If the prerequisites are not met, they cannot take over the office. Nevertheless, the parents are of course free to entrust these people with special care for their child. This can be appreciated by the fact that this concern of the parents is appropriately discussed and supported in the baptismal conversation and the baptismal donor addresses these people in a special way at the baptism ceremony.
Can Christians from other churches be godparents?
Only a Christian belonging to the Orthodox Church can also be approved as a godfather, but only together with a Catholic godfather. Orthodox and Catholic churches are very close to one another, which finds its special expression in the mutual admission to certain sacraments.
What is a christening witness and who can be one?
A baptismal witness is not a witness such as B. a best man who should only be able to testify to the process of marriage. A baptismal witness should give the person to be baptized a testimony of Christian life. This can also include persons who are validly baptized and who belong to a non-Catholic Christian church, e.g. B. the ev.-luth. Church, belong and have not resigned. However, since a Catholic person to be baptized should be brought up as a Catholic, the non-Catholic baptismal witness can only fulfill his task together with a Catholic godparent.
Can those who have left be godparents or witnesses?
Religious education also includes teaching the person to be baptized that it is good to be in the community of the Church. A Catholic who has left the church cannot do this and therefore cannot become a godfather. Even the non-Catholic baptismal witness who gives a testimony of Christian life, to which church membership also belongs, must belong to his church or community.
Can non-baptized godparents or witnesses be godparents?
A person who has not been baptized can neither be a godfather nor a baptismal witness because he or she cannot support Catholic education or give a testimony of Christian life. This would simply be too much.
What if unbaptized or departed parents ask for their child to be baptized?
If both parents have not been baptized or have left the church and still ask for their child to be baptized, it must be clarified in the baptismal conversation whether this request is based on religious motivation. If this is the case, a Catholic person who is in the immediate living environment of the child / family can take over the religious upbringing of the person to be baptized instead of the parents. It makes sense that this person then also takes on the role of godparent. If there is no hope that someone will seek the child's religious upbringing, baptism can be postponed. It cannot be refused.
Can a godfather be deleted from the baptismal register?
It happens that godparents do not or no longer fulfill their tasks or parents have fallen out with them. Then it is not uncommon for a request to be made to delete the sponsor in the baptismal register and replace it with a new sponsor. Such a request must be refused. On the one hand, the baptismal register is an official document recognized as such in the state sector, which documents the circumstances at the time of the baptism, so that no deletions may be made. On the other hand, a godfather cannot be replaced by another godfather, because he did not declare his willingness to take over the godfathering office at the baptism and was not accepted as godfather by the church. Subsequent naming of godparents is not possible. In such a case, parents can be recommended to choose a so-called honorary sponsor who will endeavor to take on the duties of a godparent. An honorary godfather is not a godfather in the legal sense.
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