A celebration for the whole Church!

Whether it’s an infant or adult baptism, celebrating Jesus’ baptism, or at confirmation, remembering our baptismal vows is a big deal. But how do we talk about baptism and baptismal vows with our families? Is it just a once, or twice, in a life time conversation? Here are some activities and resources to help inspire you.

A vow is a promise to try. When we make baptismal vows we’re saying that we are going to try and live our lives faithfully. God knows, and we know, we won’t get everything right. But, lucky for us, we worship a God of love and forgiveness. She wants to see us try our best, and helps us when we make mistakes.

Tori’s favourite part of our baptismal vows is when the candidate responds: “I will, with God’s help.” We need God’s help to do all the things we’re promising at our baptism/confirmation.

In the United Church we generally make the following statements/promises at baptism…

  • We say that we believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
  • We promise to do good, not evil
  • We promise to follow Jesus’ example
  • We promise to be part of the family of God
  • We promise to share our faith with others

When exploring our vows with families we can ask questions about what it means to live these promises out day-to-day. Invite your children and youth to put these promises into their own words!

We can also remind families that these are promises we make as a whole church. This is emphasized when the church recommits themselves at a baptism or confirmation.

A great way to explore a sacrament is with symbols. Just like communion, with the bread, the wine and table, we have different symbols we use to talk about baptism.

Water, dove, fount/basin, shell, candle…

Your faith community also likely has their own symbols! What do you use during baptism? Do you light a special candle? Anoint the candidate with oil? Do you give the candidate a prayer shawl to take with them? What do candidates usual wear for their baptism?

These are all images and questions you can explore as a family or faith community.

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