Baptism in Poland
The Catholic Baptism tradition dictates that an infant should be baptized within the first couple of months after birth. The reason for this Catholic tradition is to remove Original Sin, which every human being is born with because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Members of the Catholic religion believe that if an infant dies before Baptism, he or she cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the reason the Sacrament of Baptism is so important to a Catholic baby.
One of the most important duties of the parent before the Baptism is to choose the Godparents for the infant. The Godparents are required to be at least sixteen years old, have received the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, be practicing Catholics, must not be the child’s parents, and must be willing to accept the responsibility of raising the baptized child in the Catholic faith if the parents are unable to do so.
The Baptism ceremony has many symbols dealing with faith, life, the family, and God: The celebrant traces the Sign of the Cross on the infant’s forehead claiming the baby for Jesus Christ.
The most important ritual of a Catholic Baptism is pouring holy water on the infant’s head, baptizing the child in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This symbolizes the child being reborn as sin is washed away.
The baptized infant is now a true member of the Catholic faith and the celebrant places a white garment on the baby. A candle is given to the parents and it is lit from the Baptismal candle. The candles symbolize the infant taking part in the resurrection of Christ.
After the christening, it is time for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the joyous occasion. Traditionally, the parents arrange a get together with food and gift giving. It was not so popular in the past, but nowadays it is very common to celebrate with the relatives, and friends who welcomed your new baby into the Catholic life. The parents of the child, who was baptized give gifts to the godparents and the godparents, give a gift to their godchild. Godchild gifts are religiously oriented, for the most part.