The family of the child being baptised would choose godparents who made the promises at the baptism.
The parish would also choose a “parish sponsor”.
The parish sponsor gave the lighted candle and was encouraged to keep up contact. The parish sponsor received a printed card.
The words on the card explain well the ministry of the parish sponsor:
Full name was baptised at
Name of Church
Name of Parish Sponsor
represented the congregation and gave a lighted candle with the words:
Walk in the faith of Christ crucified and risen. Shine with the light of Christ.
Name of person baptised
was born on Date of birth
to Names of parents
At baptism the parents and godparents make promises. The community of faith, the congregation, also makes promises to share our delight in prayer, our love for the word of God, our desire to follow the way of Christ, and food for the journey.
Our parish tries to fulfill this promise in many ways: through baptism preparation, through visits by the parish priest and by parishioners, through our worship, and so on.
The baptism candle helps to fulfill this promise. By lighting it on birthdays, on Christian feast days, and on the anniversary of baptism, it reminds the child “I have been baptised.”
You are not a godparent, and you have not made the promises of a godparent. But you gave the candle, and you can be another part of sharing our faith with the child we have baptised.
Giving the candle, and keeping an occasional contact is another part of showing that we care about children in our parish. We care about families and we care about baptism.
How you make this contact is up to you:
You could ring the family on the anniversary of the baptism (and possibly also on the child’s birthday).
You could visit before or after the baptism.
God bless you in your ministry.
- Parish Baptism Sponsor
- Getting NZ’s Baptism Rite right
- revise the marriage rite
- Church of England waters down Baptism?