"Suffer the little children to come unto Me." -Jesus
Our Children are not really ours; they belong to God.
We recognize the covenant
between God, ourselves, and our children when we bring them to God in
holy baptism. Some
churches do not practice infant baptism, believing that baptisms should
administered to persons that are of age. But Jesus specifically
included little children
in the family of faith.
In the Old Testament, Jewish parents were responsible for their children's upbringing in the faith, and symbolized this by the act of circumcision. In the new, we symbolize our commitment to bring up our children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," by baptizing them. At the time of baptism, the child cannot speak for him or her self. When children are baptized, the ceremony has two parts, separated by a few years. The vows that the parents made are confirmed by the child at a later ritual, when he or she comes of age. At confirmation, the child accepts his or her baptism and professes faith in Christ. Then they are accepted into the membership of the church as adults.
commitment made by the parents or sponsors in
Beloved, do you in presenting this child for holy Baptism confess your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Do you therefore accept as your bounden duty and privilege to live before this child a life that becomes the Gospel; to exercise all godly care that he be brought up in the Christian faith, the he be taught the Holy Scriptures, and that he learn to give reverent attendance upon the private and public worship of God?
Will you endeavor to keep this child under the ministry and guidance of the Church until he by the power of God shall accept for himself the gift of salvation and be confirmed as a full and responsible member of Christ's holy Church?
commitment made by the community of faith in baptism:
With God's help we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.
Ministries to Children