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After nearly nine years I have finally...

(42 Posts)
Lonelymum Wed 16-Mar-05 13:29:10

...begun to make arrangements to have my 4 children baptised. It happened entirely by accident today. I wandered into church looking for a (as it turned out non-existant) coffee morning, met the priest and found myself talking about getting the children baptised. Didn't plan it at all but it has been hanging over me for nine years so it feels rather pleasing to be doing something about it at last! Has anyone else baptised their children late (ie later than normal in your church - I am RC and it is normal to baptise them as soon after birth as possible). The reason I ask is because ds1 is nearly nine and I wonder if I ought to let him make the decision for himself or should I jsut tell him it is going to be done? That feels a bit wierd to me but it was what the priest suggested (well, he would, wouldn't he? Would he?)

nutcracker Wed 16-Mar-05 13:30:30

My friends dd was baptised the other week and she is 7. Her mom asked her if it was what she wanted and she agreed so they did.

jamiesam Wed 16-Mar-05 13:32:33

Remember that your eldest will be up for confirmation in a few years time. Personally I'd say there's not much point in getting him baptised now if he's not going to choose to be confirmed. Not the party line of course for a rat-catcher, just my view.

Listmaker Wed 16-Mar-05 13:34:46

Where about in Bristol did you move to in the end Lonelymum? Which church was it - I'm a Catholic in Bristol!!!

Lonelymum Wed 16-Mar-05 13:37:04

Well, there is a first communion class going on right now for 7 year olds (ds2 is 7) and the priest suggested my two oldest boys attend that and get baptised, with their brother and sister, shortly before first communion takes place. That makes sense to me but I am not sure my boys would understand that as they have not been brought up as yet in the Catholic faith.

Marina Wed 16-Mar-05 13:37:38

I asked to be baptised when I was five. I think you should discuss it with all the older children but it's a lovely decision and I hope it is the start of meeting new friends in your new community, lonelymum.
Holding off until they are older can give them a huge sense of occasion. I remember my baptism very clearly. Ds and dd were done as babies.

Lonelymum Wed 16-Mar-05 13:37:55

Oh hello Listmaker. I am actually in Thornbury rather than Bristol itself. How about you?

Listmaker Wed 16-Mar-05 13:47:25

I live in Knowle which is on the south side of Bristol but work at Aztec West - just down the road from Thornbury. I would imagine Thornbury is nice - hope you are settling in OK!

Lonelymum Wed 16-Mar-05 14:09:44

Bit on the slow side at the moment, but the weather isn't conducive to being out and about and we have to keep going back to West Sussex at the weekends so we haven't experienced a weekend here yet.

Exactly what is Aztec West? I have seen signs.

Listmaker Wed 16-Mar-05 15:25:06

Aztec West is a business park really on the roundabout where the A38 meets the M5. Lots of big offices - Orange, RAC etc. It's near Bradley Stoke - bit miserable but at least I can park outside the office I suppose.

Hope you settle in when you get more time here. I love living in Bristol but then I mostly always have so don't have much to compare!!

ionesmum Wed 16-Mar-05 21:06:42

I think it is a very beautiful thing that you are doing. However, I do think you need to talk to your older ones about this first. Nine especially is old enough to be able to understand what is going on, and feel resentful or even embarassed about it. Think the confirmation class is a good idea but it should be with no strings. Also, I'm a CofE, and although we tend to baptise our little ones as babies we get confirmed a bit later. I was baptised as a baby but was really pleased I hadn't been confirmed as a child because when I began to take my faith seriously as an adult I could make a real statement about it in church through confirmation.

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 09:16:58

ionesmum, just to set the record straight, the RC church does first communion at 7 (way too young IMO) but that is not the same as Confirmation which takes place when they are teenagers at the earliest (as in the CofE church).

Thanks for saying I am doing a lovely thing: I am not so sure today. My 2 oldest boys started being a bit disparaging about Easter yesterday (I know none of it means much to ones so young but previously they have always had the utmost respect for Christianity: my eldest tells me off for blaspheming!) When I told them I had met a priest who would like them to join his church (I couldn't think of any other way of expressing it) they looked at me with bemusement and no enthusiasm!

Then I told dh what I had done and he said he was not ready to make the commitment (he has been a lapsed RC pretty much all his adulthood but we did agree to make the effort to immerse our children in the church a few months ago). It seems he is not as committed to that as me. He wants me to go ahead by myself but that is not what I had in mind.

Why does my faith (or lack of it) have to be so awkward all the time?

ionesmum Thu 17-Mar-05 10:16:13

lonelymum, sorry if I got that wrong, I'd gathered from my catholic friends that confirmation was a bit younger than we tend to. We have started to do first communion classes at our church too although it's not widely accepted throughout the CofE yet - our church is on the Catholic wing which might explain it!

Why not try buying some books on Christianity and Catholicism for your children to look at? There is an on-line Catholic bookshop called Family Publications which might have something suitable.

And take them to a service before you commit to anything. Do you know any young Catholics that your children could talk to? What about godparents?

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 10:57:01

Loads of issues here! Firstly, thanks for the website. I will check it out later.

I am not entirely sure when RCs do confirmation (I was not brought up an RC) but I thought in the C of E it was at about 14 and communion follows confirmation. In the RC church, first communion is at 7 and confirmation follows (but not sure when).

My children were friends with a few Catholic children without realising it IYSWIM but we have just moved so they currently know no-one!

As for godparents, tricky subject although a friend of mine agreed to it in principle a year or so back (her and her dh). If she is no longer willing (I only want someone to say the words on the day, I don't want to force anyone to be committed to my children beyond that) my MIL will step in I am sure. It feels really odd doing it now. You see other people's baptisms as a lovely family event celebrating a new family member, whereas my children are no longer new and it feels more like an initiation process, a bit clinical, IYSWIM.

Not sure I am making much sense here!

Aimsmum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:09:02

Message withdrawn

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:14:37

Oh I specifically asked the priest if he would do it as a private service as I know both dh, and my kids would freak out at having to undergo anything in public (and I wouldn't enjoy it either). Ds1 would probably die rather than go ahead with it: he LOATHES being the centre of attention.

Thanks for clearing up the confirmation debate. What did you say to your dd when she was baptised or did you just do it without explanation? I ask because my dd is nearly 5 and I can't think what to say to her (or the older boys either obviously!)

Aimsmum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:27:23

Message withdrawn

zubb Thu 17-Mar-05 11:30:27

LM - regarding godparents, my kids have been christened catholic and as long as one of the godparents is catholic the other(s) don't have to be - different to Aimsmum so you would have to check.

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:33:42

Yes I intend to although there are 2 difficulties:
1) we keep using the weekends to go down to West Sussex to do things at the old house
2) dh looks like he will be chickening out of his RC parental responsibilities. Previously, if I have gone to Mass, I am prepared to take one child with me (though none have accompanied me in years) but not all four!

The more I write about this, the more I feel this must look really odd to non Christians, like I am foisting something on my children they don't want. I suppose I am. The only difference between me and loads of other parents is that I am doing this rather late instead of with a newborn baby. I am a bit slow getting anything arranged!

Aimsmum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:34:17

Message withdrawn

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:34:44

I have already checked out the godparent issue: the priest said you only needed one godparent but could have as many as you liked as long as one is Catholic.

Aimsmum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:39:52

Message withdrawn

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:49:04

Yes there is a "children's liturgy" aka creche(!) at this church too but that means they all come back in time for the eucharist which is when you want them least IMO!

Yeah maybe I am being too sensitive about it. My kids undergo other things without being asked if they want to do it, so maybe this is just another one of those things. I am not going to force them to be good RCs afterwards. They can do what their conscience dictates after that.

We have only had one viewer for our house but they are coming back for another viewing next week and I met someone at the w/e who knows them (amazingly wierd coincidence!!) and she said they were definitely planning on buying it! So fingers crossed.

Have you started your next essay yet? Don't tell me it doesn't have to be done by April - that is only a few days away!

marialuisa Thu 17-Mar-05 12:03:21

BTW, 11 would be on the young side for confirmation claases even in the RC church now. Schools here offer confirmation classes for anyone in Y8 upwards (after first communion in Y3).

Good luck with the Church thing, we move tomorrow and DD is desperate to go to church more regularly, luckily there's a RC church in the village so no more excuses!

marialuisa Thu 17-Mar-05 12:03:43

BTW, 11 would be on the young side for confirmation claases even in the RC church now. Schools here offer confirmation classes for anyone in Y8 upwards (after first communion in Y3).

Good luck with the Church thing, we move tomorrow and DD is desperate to go to church more regularly, luckily there's a RC church in the village so no more excuses!

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