Baptism
A guide for all interested in Baptism at RUC.

Congratulations!

Your interest in Baptism is one that shows your willingness to profess your faith, and share it with others. Below is a guide about what Baptism is, how it is done, and what the next steps are.

When you are ready, contact us at Rosedale United and we can begin the process. 

What is Baptism?

What is Baptism?


Baptism is a ritual done in the Christian Church, across denominations and communities. It may look different depending on where you get baptised, but the meaning behind it is the same;


1.    Baptism is a sign of what God's love and grace and a reminder that salvation is a gift offered to all. Is a celebration of what is really true; God knows your child. God loves your child. God has already saved your child through Jesus.


2.    Baptism is a demonstration of either the person’s commitment, or their parents’ if they are a child, to believe in the teachings of the Church, including love, grace, and the eternal presence of the Divine in our lives. For parents, baptizing their child is a commitment to teach their child about those important lessons, and celebrate the Christian faith as a family. 


3.    Baptism into a community, such as Rosedale United, is also a commitment from the community. We, at Rosedale United, make a commitment to support you, in a place where you and your family can experience God through each member of the community. 


For more information on how the United Church view’s Baptism, click here.

 

What is Required of Me?

What is Required of Me?  

Baptism begins with a belief in Jesus, and a decision to follow in his teachings. During your baptism, or your child’s baptism, you will be asked two questions;

In the Service of Baptism, this duty is defined by these questions:  

1. Do you affirm your faith in God, your desire to follow the ways of Jesus Christ, and your willingness to be led by the Holy Spirit?  

2. (If you are baptising your child) Will you do your best to raise your child in the community of the church, here, and at home teaching them the truths and the duties of the faith, and encouraging them to seek Confirmation, so that together you might grow in your faith?  

(If you are being baptised) Will you do your best to live in the community of the church, following the truths and duties of the faith, as Jesus taught us all?

Do I Have to be a Member of Rosedale United?

The short answer is No.  

To best follow up the promises you’ll make, you will have an ongoing relationship with a community of faith, but we’d rather you take the step of membership into the congregation based on being ready to take part in things here.  

If you are not a member of Rosedale United Church and you have decided that you want your family to belong to the faith community, it is easy to arrange for your membership. The important thing is your decision that your child belong to a family which belongs to this church family.  

If it is not appropriate for either parent to become a member of Rosedale United Church, the minister will discuss with you how you might plan to follow through on the promises made during the ceremony in a meaningful way.

What if We Are a Same-Sex Family?

Rosedale United Church is proud and privileged to baptize children of same-sex couples and all family make-ups.  We welcome persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities to celebrate life passages in this community.

What About God-Parents?

 In The United Church of Canada, every member of the congregation becomes your child’s God-Parent. This is in fact what we promise when children are baptized –   

"….to receive this child in Christ’s name, even as we were once received, and to support him/her with constant love, wholesome example, Christian teaching and faithful prayer."   

As well, you may choose to establish a special relationship with others who will have particular responsibility for your child. If so, you are encouraged to have them stand with you during the Service.

What About a Private Service?

Since Baptism is about your child’s relationship with the community of faith, the Service of Baptism normally occurs during a regular Sunday morning service where the whole congregation can participate. In some extraordinary cases, arrangements may be made for Services of Baptism to be held at another time and/or place. In such cases, member of the church’s Session (elders) will be present to represent the congregation.

What if I Don't Live in Toronto?

Sometimes, although they are living in another community, parents wish to have the Service of Baptism in Rosedale United Church where grandparents and others may attend. In such a case, the people of Rosedale act as representatives of the congregation which will be the church family of the child. During the service, the minister will announce the name of the congregation for which the Baptism is being celebrated.  

It is necessary that the parents have a relationship with that ‘new’ church family before the Baptism takes place. In most cases, instruction about Baptism is provided by the minister who will be the family’s pastor.

What Happens in a Service of Baptism?

First, we invite the family to sit where they choose, but recommend closer to the front. If you wish to reserve seats for loved ones, let us know.

The Baptism ceremony occurs early in the service, before the children go out to Sunday School. 

The minister, joined by the Clerk of Session and one of the baptised children of the congregation, will call you forward. The minister begins the Baptism by reminding everyone of its meaning. Then, the parents, or Baptisee if they are old enough, are asked to profess their faith. The congregation then professes their support.

The minister will hold the child, gently pour water on their head in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and then return the child to their parents.   

We light a candle for each newly Baptised person, as a sign of the light of Jesus that shines within each of us. You will also be handed a small hand-knitted baptism blanket, or ‘prayer blanket’. It has been made by a member of the congregation, and brought forward in the congregation as part of our offerings.   

The Clerk of Session will hand you the Certificate and a ‘keepsake’ box for the candle. While the congregation sings a hymn, you return to your seats. For the sake of the child, you are encouraged to take advantage of the Nursery facilities provided. Check the Certificate and notify the Church Office immediately if any of the information is incorrect.

Are Photos allowed?

Although we ask that photographers not disrupt the worship by taking pictures during the Baptism Ceremony, you are certainly welcome to do so following the service. If you wish, the minister will be happy to join you for pictures as soon as possible after the end of the service.  

Arrangements may be made for the service to be videotaped. As long as no additional lighting is used, video cameras may be operated during the service. Those operating video cameras should remain in their seats or, if they prefer, they can be accommodated in the Sanctuary Control Room.

Any questions? Let us know, we are happy to talk with you further.

The people of Rosedale are anxious to share in the Baptism of your child and to include you within the fellowship of our congregation. We pray that you will decide to make your family a part of our church family.