Przygotowanie do chrztu dzieci w prawie i liturgii Kościoła katolickiego w Polsce

Krzysztof Mikołajczuk


In May 1969 the Holy Congregation for Divine Cult proclaimed a new liturgical book – Ordo baptismi parvulorum with the “Rites for Children's Baptism” prepared according to the recommendations from Vatican Council II. We can understand how significant this book is only against the background of the whole history of Christian initiation, which from the beginning of the Church concerned also children. New rites were not some kind of adjustment of the post-Tridentine rite, but an event in the collections of the liturgical books that called for a thorough analysis. This was a rite adjusted to the actual situation of children.

The introduction of the post-councillor liturgical books in Poland was preceded by respective instructions from the Episcopate for the clergy and the faithful. Having introduced those books, some bishops issued additional and explanatory instructions for their local churches.

The Catholic Church in Poland attaches a lot of weight to children's upbringing and baptism. It stresses that natural parents are obliged to take care about their children's baptism and prepare themselves for the rite of baptism. Therefore there is an abundance of legal norms and pastoral-liturgical recommendations in this regard.

Parents are responsible for their children's valid and decent baptism. They should be aware that baptism is necessary and should know all requirements with regard to the baptism of their child. They are obliged to ask for baptism of their children themselves, or at least consent to it. They should also see to it that their children are baptised within the first weeks after birth, or – in case it is necessary – baptise them immediately. The most important duties that parents have with respect to baptism are the following: early register of baptism, submission of a request of baptism to the appropriate dispenser, ensuring Catholic upbringing for their children, choice of name according to the Christian spirit, choice of appropriate godparents, setting the date and place of baptism with the pastor, and personal religious preparation for baptism.

It is worth noting that besides the above duties connected with the preparation for baptism, natural parents have other obligations. They all deal with the sacrament itself and the fulfilment of obligations assumed at baptism. These problems deserve to be treated in a detailed study.

Słowa kluczowe

przygotowanie; sakrament; chrzest

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