How to Plan a Baptism

Organizing a Baptism

When organizing a baptism, scheduling is the key to a successful event. Start by contacting the church involved and discussing their calendar openings and any rules that may be involved. It's a good idea to plan the event a month to three months in advance. Although there are usually no hard and fast rules about when baptisms can be performed, holding a baptism before a child's first birthday is pretty common. For adult baptisms (or those planned for older children), timing isn't a factor, but scheduling may be.

Churches can have crowded schedules, particularly during certain times of the year, so be flexible. You'll want to discuss the topic of godparent selection with your church representative, too. There may be rules in place requiring godparents be members of the same faith. The title of godparent is that of spiritual consultant or mentor, and some faiths take the role very seriously. As parents, you may also be requested to participate in an instructional session explaining the meaning of baptism. These details will have to be taken care of before the baptism happens.

The next order of business is the selection of godparents. Knowing what your church requires is important, but finding godparents who are willing to take the responsibility seriously is important, too. This may take time and thought. Ideal godparents are involved in the lives of their godchildren, which can easily become a decades-long commitment. It's up to you who you choose, whether it's a couple or two people who have never met each other before. But make sure they're two people you love and trust, who are very close to you. Choosing a work friend or neighbor may not be the best option.

After you've selected godparents and discussed your plans with your church, review the tentative date you have in mind with other important participants, like both sets of grandparents, and then confirm the date with the church. This sounds like a lot of back-and-forth discussion, and sometimes it is. Making sure everyone is available and all the requirements for the baptism have been met are the two biggest hurdles in planning, though.