Don’t postpone your baby’s baptism any longer, as baptism is an essential sacrament in your baby’s life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put on hold the plans of countless people, who are waiting until the day when they can reunite with family and friends.
For some parents, this also means putting on hold the sacrament of baptism for their baby, born in the midst of the pandemic. These parents continue to wait, while the pandemic continues to spread and has no end in sight.
The Catholic Church strongly urges these parents to have their children baptized as soon as possible, not waiting for the perfect circumstances in an unknown future.
The reason for this insistence is that baptism is an essential sacrament, even more important than the “essential services” that were allowed to stay open during the shutdowns of 2020.
The Catechism of the Church Church explains the necessity of baptism.
The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
Pope Francis is one of the strongest advocates for having children baptized as soon as possible after their birth. He reflected on this topic in a general audience in 2018.
[F]rom antiquity, children, too, have been baptized in the faith of their parents. And I would like to tell you something about this. Some people think: ‘But why baptize a child who does not understand it? We hope that as he grows, he will understand and that he himself will request Baptism’. But this means not having confidence in the Holy Spirit, because when we baptize a child, the Holy Spirit enters that child, and the Holy Spirit cultivates in that child, from childhood, Christian values that will then flourish. This opportunity must always be given to everyone, to all children, to have within them the Holy Spirit who guides them during life. Do not forget to baptize your children!
We can’t predict the future, but what we can do is take action in the present moment. Find a priest in your area who will baptize your baby. Think of it as an essential “doctor visit,” that will lay the foundation for the spiritual health of your child. You already take your newborn baby to the doctor for checkups every few months. Why not schedule a baptism with a local priest?
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