Baptismal offering?

Hi all. Just looking through the Baptism booklet that we got from our parish (baby is due 5/6, Baptism is scheduled for June 17th), and it contains an offering envelope…

Need some opinions as to how much we should offer…?

Thanks all!

You could contact your parish office and ask what the usual stipend is for baptisms.

it is entirely voluntary, ask family members or other parishioners for suggestions, in this parish the offerings range from $5 to $100, and it is often the duty of the godparents to make the offering, but that is a cultural thing, not any kind of church law. No offering is required, the envelope is provided as a convenience so your contribution does not disappear in the general collection. Sacramental donations have to be tracked in a separate account and are usually used to offset cost of sacramental preparation and incidental costs. If you are looking for a rule of thumb, not including overhead and salaries, this parish spends at least $25 per candidate for the average sacramental prep and ceremony. In some dioceses the pastor has to account for those donations and their use is restricted, so the envelope helps with that accounting.

When my daughter was baptized, we wanted the priest that married us to do the baptism. We did the prep work in the parish we belong to now. The policy in the church where the baptism occured was that a gratuity was to be given to the priest. We gave him $100 when he married us, so we gave him $50 for the baptism, and it seemed to be well receieved.

When I baptized my two oldest, the parish I attend said it would cost $50. It wasn’t presented as an offering or anything. Just, that will be $50. If that is a burden, well, then we can work something out.

Can they do this? Require you to pay x amount? I have been having to hold off on baptizing my newest one because that $50 is a bit of a stretch until I return to work.

Sorry, don’t mean to hijack post, so if you want, I can repost in a new thread.

I have never had a parish ask me for a certain amount for any sacrements or services (such as a mass intention for the dead). I have always received an envelope however, and have put in it whatever we could. We’ve been blessed to be able to offer $50.

Please do not hesitate to baptise your baby because of cost. Contact the church as soon as possible! If they again state that it costs $50, tell them how much you can afford to offer. I would be appalled if they refused the baptism based on costs!

I would go one further. I would change parishes. Hopefully, this is what is “usual” as an ofering in your area, and not a demand. The sacraments are not for sale.

when you say “the parish” told you this, do you mean the secretary, the person running the baptismal classes, another parishioner who is not on staff, something published in their bulleting, or the pastor? Sometimes the person answering the phone is less than knowledgeable and precise about language and will talk about fees and costs, rather than stipends or offering, out of ignorance or carelessness. I would definitely talk to the pastor about this one because whoever told you this needs to be corrected. The sacraments are free and there can never be a mandatory charge. There can be a fee for books and supplies for prep classes, for use of the church and/or hall as for a wedding, or something similar, but no sacramental fee.

I called again on Friday to make sure of what is going on and also because I NEED to have Kyle baptized and do not want to wait! I called and the lady who I spoke with must have been the secretary. Here is our conversation:

Me: “I need to have my newest one baptized. What do I need to do to get the ball rolling?”

Her: “Has he had his rite of welcome?”

Me: “Yes. When he was exactly one week old.”

Her: “Okay. You need to come down to the parish office and fill out some paperwork. You need to have the names of his godparents when you come. Also, there is a $50 stipend.”

Me: “Okay. This is a bit awkward, but my husband and I just bought a home. We actually just moved in a week ago. Also, I’m not working right now. That $50 is going to be a bit of a stretch right now…”

Her: “That’s okay. When you come down to the office we can work out payments or something for you. I’ll talk to you about it whenever you have time to come to the office.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll come on Monday after my husband gets home from work.”

Now, I have no problem working out payments or something. I am very willing to support my parish, the Church, and all of the charities the church supports. I have no problem with that. Should I be concerned that there is a set amount though? I am going to assume (and I may be way off here…) that they set a limit because it is a very small parish. We hardly ever meet operating expenses through our weekly offerings.

I would complain to the priest, and I would talk directly to him or to the person who he has appointed to handle the baptismal preparation. What the secretary said is just plain wrong.

I think the only place that there is a problem here is if they won’t baptize your son because you can’t pay the $50. Setting a stipend is probably easier than having a “free will donation.” The Sacraments may not be for sale, but the stipend may help defray the costs of the materials needed, which is allowed.

Also, people can be very dense about tipping. A set stipend might ensure that the priest gets more than $5 or, as one of the priests on CAF once received for a wedding, a free buffet coupon.

If you can afford it, the guideline I’ve always been given is $50 for a baptism and $100 for a wedding. If you cannot afford it, the clergy usually understand.

Thank you all for the reasurrances. I’ll be sure to let you know the joyous day of Kyle’s baptism!

Should I tip the priest when he gives me the last rites? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist it!)

It is considered customary to tip the priest for baptism and weddings. One does not tip for Eucharist, Reconciliation, or Confirmation. I doubt that one tips the Bishop for Holy Orders. You can do whatever you want if you are annointed, but it is customary for the immediate family to tip the priest following a loved one’s funeral too.

Maybe I’m wrong on all accounts, but this is how I was raised, and quite honestly, this is how I will continue living and interacting with the clergy.

I’m excited for you :slight_smile: Even though you’re having issues with your parish’s baptism policies (and I would too, if my parish did that), I’m happy to hear that preparations are underway to get baby Kyle baptized! I can’t wait to hear all about it! That’s such an exciting time!

We have a priest as of this past summer. He has been most concerned about maintenance and security of the church building, installing gates, new doors and hyper-strict on keeping all external and internal doors locked. We live in a rural area where most people, including our family, don’t lock their doors.

Not sure if that has to do with the topic, but in the six months he’s been here I’ve noticed as increased concerned about money flowing into the parish. This past week I noticed an announcement in the bulletin regarding baptisms that there is a required 90-minute class to have one’s child baptized and to call the church offer for registration and fees. I asked the church secretary about this because this sounded like simony to me. I thought perhaps it was just a modest fee for materials and the announcement should just be worded differently to avoid giving the impression one was paying for the sacrament. But she told me there is a $100 FEE for each baptism! How is this not simony? Our priest in on vacation (third one since last June) but I intend to speak with him when he returns. What else can I do?


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