Baptism in Cobh Parish

Due to the high numbers of baptisms as well as large groups attending, we have had to restrict the number of baptisms to a maximum of 2 at any ceremony. Please book as early as possible, to avoid disappointment if you have a specific date in mind.

Baptism is a great gift to give to your child. It welcomes them into the parish faith community founded on Christ’s love for us all. It is with great joy that all are invited into the family of the parish through baptism.

Each year about 200 baptisms take place in the parish. We are delighted with the opportunity this provides to meet with the families concerned, and we work hard to ensure that the ceremony itself will be both relaxed and memorable for all.

Please note on the day of Baptism, as a courtesy to the priest and the other families, please aim to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony. PARKING is available in the car park above the Cathedral and on the hill above. Parking is very restricted on the Cathedral grounds

Congratulations on the birth of your child! The Parish Community shares in your joy. Thank you for wanting to have your baby join the family of the Church through Baptism. To allow for preparation for your child’s baptism, parents are asked to give at least one months notice to the Parish Office.

Baptism Preparation

Since Baptism is not merely a naming ceremony for your child, but rather a welcoming of each new Christian into our parish community, these are very much community celebrations. We have a team of Baptism Friends who visit each family in their own home to help them to prepare for the big day. They will help your family to become familiar with the ceremony itself, with what is expected of you; they will explain the practicalities of the day, and answer any questions that might arise.

Dates for Baptism Ceremonies

The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated in the Cathedral almost every weekend, on Saturdays at 4.30 pm and on Sundays at 1.00 pm.

Time for celebration and Joy! Your baby’s baptism is a time for celebration and joy. And, naturally, you want the best for your baby. We want to help you plan and prepare for the baptism in the best possible way.

Bookings & Paperwork

In order to book a Baptism in Cobh Parish, there are a few small steps to take. First of all please contact the Parish Office to see availability of dates. Once your preferred date is pencilled into the diary you will then need to complete, and submit, the required paperwork, which includes a short application form, and a copy of baby’s Birth Certificate. Baptism dates are only confirmed when the completed paperwork has been received and checked. When choosing two Godparents it is important to note that you must choose a Godfather and a Godmother, or one individual Godparent. The Godparents much be Catholic and have received their Confirmation. The Baptism Application pack (including the form) is available from the Parish Office. Please note that if you are residing in another parish and wish to have your child baptised in Cobh, we require a letter from said parish giving permission for your child to be baptised outside their parish.

Your faith is important

Your most important preparation is to look at your own faith. Your baby will be born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms. As he or she gets older your child will grow up, too, with your faith. That is why, when you approach the church about having your child baptised you will be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life. The very fact that you have asked to have your baby baptised shows that you recognise the importance of God in your life. From the earliest days children too young to answer for themselves have been baptised, usually as they accompanied their parents into the Church. For the church recognises the desire of Christian parents to share the life of Christ with their children. Jesus Christ, like you, wants the best for your child.

Growing in God’s Love

Your efforts will not only help your baby to grow up in the love of God: they will also help you to grow. As you teach your child to pray you yourself will deepen your prayer; as you teach you child to appreciate the Mass your own faith will be enriched. Your baby’s baptism is only the beginning of a new life in which you will grow closer to one another in the family and closer to God. The Church welcomes your child into its midst with love and prayers for the future peace and happiness of your family in the years ahead.

The signs and symbolism of Baptism

Sign of the Cross

A sign on something shows its origins or ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians for Jesus Christ died on the cross. parents and god-parents trace it on the child’s forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.


This is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, in the baptism of adults, of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the risen Christ is ours.


Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves with oil to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead. Oil of Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The profession of faith which you make on behalf of your child at baptism will later be confirmed personally by your child in the sacrament of confirmation when Oil of Chrism will be used again. The oils are blessed by the bishop around the time of Maundy (or Holy) Thursday.

White Garment

This garment (usually a white shawl) is a relic of the new clothes worn by Christians after baptism in the first centuries. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection.


These symbolise Christ – the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as a sign of the risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life; and its flame symbolises the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.

Baptismal Register

Your baby’s baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in form of a certificate issued on the basis of this registration. Your child’s confirmation, marriage or ordination will also be noted alongside this entry in the register.