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Baptism FAQ: The 10 most common questions and answers about baptism

We answer the most important questions about baptism: Do both parents have to be baptized? What does baptism cost? Who can become a sponsor? And what documents do you need? The answers to these and many other questions can be found here.

Baptism is a great moment for both parent and child. But before baptism can take place, some preparation must be made, questions clarified, and decisions made. We answer here:

The 10 most common questions about baptism

1. When should I have my child baptized?

Usually the children are baptized between three and eight months of age. The latest trend, however, is towards baptism in childhood, when the child can be aware of what is happening.

2. Can we have our child baptized even if we are both not in the church or have left the church?

In the case of the Protestant church, this is the decision of the respective regional church or the responsible parish. A Catholic pastor can postpone baptism and discuss with you the reasons for leaving the church. But he cannot refuse baptism.

3. Can I have my child baptized against the other parent's will?

No. This is only possible if you have sole custody. Otherwise, you will need to come to an agreement with your partner about the baptism.

4. Where do I register my child for baptism?

You have to register your child for baptism in the parish or parish office of the desired parish, which, by the way, you can freely choose. The registration must be done personally and cannot be taken over by a deputy.

5. What documents do I need for the child's baptism?

For the baptism you will need the following documents:

  • the birth certificate for church purposes (available at the registry office)
  • your identity cards
  • if necessary your baptismal certificates
  • the marriage certificate
  • the certificate of church affiliation of the godparents

6. Does the baptismal verse have to be from the Bible?

That depends on whether you are in the Protestant or the Catholic Church. In the Evangelical Church, the baptismal proclamation must come from the Bible. In the Catholic Church you can also choose a saying that is foreign to the Bible, which you particularly like and which should become the life motto of your child.

7. Who can become a godfather?

A godfather must be baptized and at least 14 (Protestant Church) or 16 (Catholic Church) years old. To do this, he must not have left the church. In the Catholic Church, one of the godparents must be baptized and confirmed as a Catholic. A baptismal witness, on the other hand, may be Protestant. In the Protestant Church, every Christian of another denomination can become a godfather.

8. What does a baptism cost?

In principle, a baptism is free. However, if you want special (flower) jewelry for the baptism, you usually have to get it yourself.

9. What should my baby wear during baptism?

The answer is comfortable and festive. If your family has a christening gown, you don't necessarily need to wear it for the baby. You can also just put it on, as the inherited christening gown often does not fit the baby.

10. What is an emergency baptism?

If an unbaptized person is in mortal danger (especially in the case of an unborn child), every Christian can perform the emergency baptism. Of course, the person to be baptized or the legal guardian must agree to the baptism.

You can find more information and tips on baptism here!

Image source: Gettyimages / kzenon

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