Baptism of new baby: how long of a wait is sinful?
#1
Baby born May 14.
I want to have baby baptized this weekend, but that may or may not be possible.
Canon 867 states a “few weeks” after birth.
I assume this means maximum three weeks.
Is there a clearer teaching/canon?
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#2
(05-21-2019, 04:58 PM)FultonFan Wrote: Baby born May 14.
I want to have baby baptized this weekend, but that may or may not be possible.
Canon 867 states a “few weeks” after birth.
I assume this means maximum three weeks.
Is there a clearer teaching/canon?

In the Byzantine tradition, it's common practice to wait until 40 days after birth.  This wouldn't be possible if it were a grave sin to not have a baby baptized as quickly as possible.

That being said, it is the Latin tradition to baptize as quickly as possible, from what I have read.  So if you are able to have your baby baptized this weekend or next, you should.  Just don't let scruples get you down if you're not able to have the baptism performed as quickly as you might like.
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#3
(I)n the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.-1 Peter 3:20.-I'd say 'a few' is more than three.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
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#4
(05-21-2019, 04:58 PM)FultonFan Wrote: Baby born May 14.
I want to have baby baptized this weekend, but that may or may not be possible.
Canon 867 states a “few weeks” after birth.
I assume this means maximum three weeks.
Is there a clearer teaching/canon?

I've always heard that anything beyond two weeks was sinful, if there was any intentional delay. So, if you can get your kid baptized in a couple of days but you refuse to do so because you want to have a big party, and some of your family is out of town or you can't afford a band, that would be a sin. 

If the priest just can't, isn't in town, or some other impediment and you need to wait a few extra weeks, that is fine. Don't get scrupulous. Don't baptize your own child (excluding a serious emergency.)
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#5
Hey, congratulations on your new baby!  Name?
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#6
In traditional circles most priests will suggest that the Baptism of a child should occur as soon as possible. In France about 100 years ago it was often the case that the child would be baptized the same day, even if the mother could not come.

Since there is absolutely no other means know for the salvation of someone before they have use of reason except Sacramental Baptism, to delay such as risk the child dying without Baptism is a grave injustice to him and thus a grave sin.

The older Canon Law (which does not bind, but suggests the Church's attitide) said in Canon 770 that infants should be baptized as soon as possible.

Older moral manuals suggest a wait of more than a month without a very serious reason would constitute a grave sin. If there were some very serious reason a delay of up to perhaps two months would be permitted without grave sin, but could not be delayed beyond this.

That would mean that even in an otherwise healthy child, if there were no priest or deacon available for 1-2 months (think missions), simple baptism should be conferred on the child by someone, and when possible the priest should supply the missing ceremonies.

I do not see why in almost all cases that a child cannot be baptized within a week or two of birth. Often families want to wait for others to be present so they can have a big party, but they forget about what Baptism really is, and the effects it has.

There's not a hard and fast rule, so don't try to be calculating or scrupulous about this. Just get it done, ASAP.

So if May 14, ASAP unless there is a good reason to delay, but certainly by mid-June.
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#7
(05-21-2019, 05:02 PM)Melkite Wrote: In the Byzantine tradition, it's common practice to wait until 40 days after birth.  This wouldn't be possible if it were a grave sin to not have a baby baptized as quickly as possible.
Canon 686-Code of canons of Oriental Churchs

1. Parents are held to the obligation that the infant be baptized as soon as possible according to legitimate custom. 
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#8
Thanks for the responses, all.
Looks like she’s being baptized on Sunday coming!
Name is Emma-Grace Maria Fitzgerald.
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#9
(05-21-2019, 09:48 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(05-21-2019, 05:02 PM)Melkite Wrote: In the Byzantine tradition, it's common practice to wait until 40 days after birth.  This wouldn't be possible if it were a grave sin to not have a baby baptized as quickly as possible.
Canon 686-Code of canons of Oriental Churchs

1. Parents are held to the obligation that the infant be baptized as soon as possible according to legitimate custom. 

Does waiting till the 40th day not count as legitimate custom?  Is the intention here as soon as possible, or as soon as possible according to custom? (i.e., is "we're already waiting to 40 days, let's wait another 40 so it's warm enough to have a party" the kind of thing it's intended to prevent, rather than anything beyond the first Sunday liturgy after birth?)
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