A guide for all interested in Baptism at RUC.


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 sacrament, a special ceremony in the Christian Church, common across all denominations. It may look different depending on where you get baptised, but the meaning behind it is the same;

1. Baptism is a symbol of God's love and grace, a reminder that salvation is a gift offered to all. Baptism is a celebration of what you already know to be true - that God loves your child.

2. Baptism is a demonstration of an individual person’s faith, or the parents’ faith if the baptism is for a child. For parents, baptizing their child is a commitment to learn about the Christian faith as a family. 

3. Baptism into a community, such as Rosedale United, is also a commitment from the community. The congregation makes a commitment to support you in a place where you and your family can experience God's presence through each member of the community. 

For more information about the United Church of Canada's views on Baptism, click here.

What is Required of Me?

Baptism begins with a willingness to trust in the teachings and faith of Jesus. During a baptism you will be asked two 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?


To best follow up the promises you’ll make we hope you will have an ongoing relationship with a community of faith, and we’d love for you take the step of membership into this congregation when you're ready to take part in it.  

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 simpy that you have decided that your child belongs to a family which belongs to a spiritual tradition.  

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 configurations.  We welcome persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities to celebrate life passages in this community.

What About Godparents?

 In The United Church of Canada every member of the congregation becomes your child’s Godparent. 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 baptism.

What About a Private Baptism?

Since baptism is about your child’s relationship with the community of faith the sacrament 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 a 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 parents wish to have a baptism for their child at Rosedale United Church because this is their grandparents' or parents' church. We're fine with that! The people of Rosedale United act as representatives of the congregation which will become the church family of the child.

We encourage parents to form a relationship with a new church family close to where they are living.

What Happens in a Baptism?

You are invited to sit where you like in the sanctuary, but we recommend that you sit closer to the front. If you wish to reserve seats for loved ones, let us know.

Baptism occur 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 by answering two simple questions led by the minister. 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. 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.