In Baptism, God calls each of us by name. Through it we receive that which only God can give: faith, grace and blessing.

This is a gift even for children. Jesus said, ”Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10.14). Its efficacy does not depend on us, for baptism and faith are God’s work in us.

Baptism is the most important ceremony of the church, and is the sole rite of Christian initiation. It is the foundation of the life of faith. The baptized are embraced by God’s grace and love. By the Holy Spirit, God strengthens our faith. Baptism is eternally valid. Its promise remains, even when our faith is shaken.

The Baptism can take place either at the local church or the family home. The child’s parents and godparents confess their faith. The celebrant addresses the candidate by name, and pours water on their head three times, saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Parents and godparents then join in blessing the newly baptized by the laying-on of hands as the celebrant says: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all evermore.”

Christ himself commands that we be baptized. Jesus calls us to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach those who are baptized. Christian education is the shared responsibility of parents, godparents and parish. Praying for a child is the most important task of parents and godparents.

Teaching a child to pray and to attend church belong to Christian formation. It is important to show by our example that the seeking and receiving of forgiveness is part of life.

The parish offers a child spiritual instruction, along with family and daycare clubs, Sunday school, activities for children and teenagers and preparation for confirmation.

Adult baptism

Adults who have not previously been baptized may seek baptism.  Baptism cannot be re-administered for any reason.

The candidate is usually dressed in an alb (a long white robe), which may be put on before the service or after the Baptism itself. The candidate confesses their faith with the congregation, and, using the candidate’s name, the celebrant pours water over their head saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

In the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, adult candidates for Baptism should ideally have two godparents or sponsors, who must be confirmed members of the Lutheran church or a sister church; but, at the discretion of the vicar, they may have only one. The godparents promise to support the candidate in their spiritual journey.

You can get further information from your local parish.

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