Planning a baptismal service
After a date has been set for the baptism, the pastor calls the parents to make an appointment with them to discuss about the baptism. A discussion like this is good to have even if the pastor in question is a personal friend or acquaintance. Documents such as the child's registration form (Lapsen tietojen ilmoittaminen) and the list of godparents (Kummien tietojen ilmoittaminen) are at hand, and this is the time to discuss the order of the service and to agree on hymns and other details.
Hymns are sung at a baptism. The church hymnals in Finnish (virsikirja) and Swedish (psalmbok) have many special hymns for this occasion (all found online at www.evl.fi/virsikirja and www.evl.fi/psalmbok). For suitable hymns in English and other languages it is good to consult other hymnals in the appropriate language. (For baptismal services, various language groups of Lutherans have very few hymns in common!) Besides hymns, there can be other suitable music.
Godparents and family members can read Bible verses and prayers, present music, or be active in some other way that has been planned together with the pastor.
What is needed for the baptism service?
A person being baptized wears a white robe as a baptismal dress. This long white dress reminds us of Christ and his purity and grace. Many families have their own baby-size baptismal dress, but it can also be borrowed from the congregation. If you need to borrow one, please make sure well in advance that one is available on the big day!
If the baptism takes place in a church or chapel, all necessary accessories are there. If a child is baptized at home, you need a table, a Bible, a candle on a candlestick, a bowl and flowers are placed on the table. The bowl can be a glass or ceramic dish, colorless or of one color, suitable for baptism. Lukewarm water is poured into the bowl. It is also good to have a small towel to dry the child's head.
Through baptism a person becames a member of the congregation. A child baptized as a baby is later invited to children's clubs and other activities of the congregation. As the child grows, parents can explain the meaning of the Lord's supper (Holy Communion) to the child and take the child along to participate in it. Teenagers are invited by the congregation to attend lessons and camps (rippikoulu) in preparation for confirmation. Soon after the baptism the child's name is announced in a Sunday service of the congregation. At this time there is also prayer on behalf of the child, the parents and godparents. If the parents give permission, the name of the baptized child is also announced in a church newspaper.
Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong journey as a Christian. In the Bible we find Jesus' command to baptize and teach, but also his promise to be with his own "always, to the end of the age." Baptism is administered only once in the life of a Christian, but it is a foundation throughout life for growing in faith, hope and love.
More information contact
Lutheran congregations (parishes) in Espoo
Esbo svenska (Swedish-speaking)
Tuomiokirkkoseurakunta (Espoo Cathedral Parish)
Arranging a baptism in a Lutheran congregation in Espoo
To get a pastor and a church or other church facility contact the Service Center (palvelukeskus) of the Lutheran congregations.
Reservations for a baptism
09 8050 2601
Kirkkokatu 1, 02770 Espoo
(mail: PL 200, 02771 Espoo)
Pastor in the office
Phone 09 8050 2602
Office hours Mon-Fri 8 AM to 3 PM