Since the birth of his daughter Aurora, Byron Smith has been posting some great little reflections on baptism, on whether to dunk, dip, douse or dribble?, and his latest on timing and why parents should not wait:
… when it comes to baptism, church family trumps blood family. No waiting until great aunt Gertrude can make it up from the farm; the child is welcomed immediately by and into the congregational family at their next major gathering. And this makes good sense. If children are to be welcomed into the household of God so that they are always raised within the Christian faith (as the practice of baptising infant baptism implies), then to be consistent, this baptismal welcome should occur as soon as possible …
Therefore, resolve to make your arrangements for a baptismal celebration prior to the birth. Expectant parents often spend hours researching prams and selecting nursery colours. Why not also (instead?) put some time into making preparations for the child’s spiritual growth? Settle your conscience on the good gift of infant baptism. Meet with your priest or minister to discuss any concerns and to ensure you understand what baptism means and how it will work. Think about godparents early (and remember, godparenting is not primarily a chance to honour your closest friends, but a responsibility for those who will be faithful in prayer and example, taking the lead in discharging the duty and privilege of the whole church family in raising a new child in the faith and love of Christ). Check your church has a font or pool large enough for the infant to be dipped into. Have your child baptised at the first service available after their birth. And read your prayer book.
Great stuff Byron.