We are always delighted when parents wish to have their children baptised into Christ’s church within Greyfriars Parish Church. Having a child is a great joy but a child also comes with responsibility on behalf of the parents. Many parents want to give thanks for the safe arrival of a child. In the Church of Scotland we practise 'infant baptism', meaning that we baptise children as well as adults.
Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognised by the Church of Scotland, the other being the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
What is baptism?
Baptism allows the church to publicly welcome the person being baptised into God’s family. We believe that it is through being baptised that people are part of the worldwide church. We often talk about people becoming members of the church of Jesus Christ during a Baptism service. Baptism, we believe, is the sign of ‘dying’ to our old lives and ‘rising to new life in Christ’. We sprinkle water on the head of the person to be baptised symbolising the washing away of the old life.
If I am baptised, am I a member of the church then?
The Church of Scotland recognises that to become a ‘communicant’ member you must, as an adult, profess your faith in Jesus Christ. So although, during baptism, you become a member of the worldwide church, to be a full ‘communicant’ member of the Church of Scotland, you must acknowledge your faith in Jesus Christ understand what it means. If you are interested about becoming a member of our church, please see the Church Membership page on the website.
Who can be baptised?
The Church of Scotland practices infant baptism, as well as adult baptism. In the case of infant baptism the Church expects at least one parent either to be a member of the Church or willing to become a member. In the baptismal service the parent or parents profess their own faith and promise to give their child a Christian upbringing. In the case of adult baptism the person himself or herself makes the appropriate promises.
When are people baptised?
Baptism is administered at Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises that baptism is part of the life of the church and stresses the important nature of the sacrament. It used to be customary that children would be baptised in the house, the manse, or even the church vestry. However, it is only in very exceptional circumstances that baptism can be administered outwith Sunday worship.
How can I find out more?
If you would like to know more about Baptism for yourself or for your children, the please contact our minister, Rev. Bryan Kerr who will be happy to discuss it with you. You can also download our baptism booklet here.
Please do contact us if you would like to enquire about Baptism for you or your child.