Clothing for baptism?

Hi - My children will be baptized in the spring. They will be 9 (boy) and 3 (girl) at the time. I’m trying to determine what it is that they should wear. Is it customary for them to wear white? Should my son wear a suit?

Thanks, and God bless!

A lot will depend upon how the parish will do the baptism. I’ve seen some parishes that have a larger baptismal pool and have those to be baptized wearing an alb and actually get into the baptismal pool. After the baptism they go back to the sacristy and then dress up for the remainder of the Mass. If the parish is going to pour water over the head with the kids leaning over a smaller baptismal bowl then dressing as you indicated makes since.

There is a part of the ritual where the priest says something to the effect: See in this white garment an outward sign of your Christian dignity. Bring that dignity unstained . . . This is the time in my parish where we place a white baptismal garment on a baby who has just been baptized. I usually encourage the parents to simply have the baby in a diaper before this. That is not practical for older children :smiley:

I think the best bet would be to ask at the parish how they intend to do the baptism and then go from there as far as determining what to wear to Mass and what you might want to have to put on if they use a larger baptismal pool.

I hope this helps you out a bit.

By the way

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They will be clothed in a white garment AFTER their Baptism. Before their Baptism they should be in a neutral darker color. Not necessarly black! What they wear is dependent on the method of Baptism?

this should be covered in your 9 yr old child’s RCIA class. It depends on if the baptism of the older children and adults will be done by immersion in a pool, or simply by pouring water as they stand over a baptismal font. If it is the former they will probably be asked to dress in gym shorts and t-shirt, with flip-flops or sandals that can easily be removed. They will wear some type of gray or dark garment, probably it will given to them, before baptism, and then be taken by their sponsor to a place where they can change into their “Church clothes”. This should be something easy to change into, but white is appropriate, for boys we ask for a white shirt and dress slacks. They may also be given a “white garmet” a poncho or hood-type thing to wear, because this is one of the symbols of baptism. A girl would probably put on a white communion dress. The harr should be worn simply, off the forhead for confirmation anointing. We warn the girls and ladies not to pay for elaborate hairstyle which will be ruined by the pouring of water 3 times on the head.

A white suit is an unneccesary expense unless your parish requires it. It can also be rented.

For infants, a traditional “heirloom” type christening gown, or a white dressy outfit is fine. Again, if baptism is to be done by immersion, it should be something easy to take on and off. (bring extra diapers for a baby).

In our parish, the 9 year old would wear a modest swim or tank suit, then change into either Easter wear or, as somebody mentioned, First Communion wear. The baby would wear a diaper until just before the baptism, when he or she would wear nothing. After baptism, the baby would be wrapped in a towel to be changed in the front pew.

Do Not Wear White if Baptism is by Immersion or Pouring over the standing candidate.

It isn’t a wet T-shirt contest. :eek:

My then 6 y/o grand daughter was baptized this past July. She picked her own outfit. It was a purple 2 piece skirt and top with gold threading . She looked absolutely beautiful.


I don’t want to sound mean. But Baptism is not a fashion show, or what one looks like. It’s about Sacraments and symbolism.

Remember that St. Paul speaks of becoming a new creation in Baptism. How was the change or a new person symbolized?
What did she wear TO the Baptism and what did she wear AFTER? Who supplied the “white garment” given after Baptism as a symbol of their sin being cleansed, you or the parish? What was the “white garment” a robe, sash, etc.

Come on Br. Rich. The OP asked a question about what was appropriate and this poster was giving an idea of what her own granddaughter wore. To state that she looked beautiful is just a statement of fact by a proud grandmother. Don’t chastise. It’s a Grandma’s right to see helr baby as an angel.

To some of us, coming into Our Lord’s House deserves the best. To have my child baptised in a bathing suit would be the utimate crass. Sorry to those who think this is appropriate, but not for my child. If a “liturgical director” or priest told me to strip my newborn to a diaper in church, I would know that I was in the wrong parish!

I think we all understand that the garment is actually on our soul but the OP asked about what was appropriate OUTSIDE. To most of us, flipflops and shorts would not be appropriate.

Well, you do :mad: . But that’s ok. And Chloe’ was very proud of what she wore. She said the gold was “for Jesus”. She said after the Baptism was over that “I am so happy I’m a Catholic” and everyone she met she showed her candle and said"I’m baptized"
And rest assured, the beauty I was referring to was “inner” that radiated from her smile.


I’m glad she understood the meaning of her Baptism and expressed joy in being Baptized.
However you didn’t answer my questions?

This whole discussion of clothing is ignoring the method of baptism despite the earlier posts which point out to the OP that the choice of attire depends on it.

If a parish practices full immersion or the kind of pouring where the candidate stands in a shallow basin and a gallon or so of water is poured over the head it would be ridiculous come to Mass wearing one’s best clothing only to have it ruined by a full dunking! This is true whether the candidate is an infant, a child, or an adult. Wet clothing, particularly women’s, is likely to be quite immodest when wet, not to mention cold. This is why such parishes have the babies baptized naked or in just a diaper. And such parishes usually have older candidates wear flip flops and a bathing suit (or similar) under a brown robe. (They are baptized with the robe on so no one SEE’s the attire underneath.) The newly baptized would then change into a dry white robe (with appropriate attire underneath) or into other appropriate attire that reflects the new status of the baptized.

If a parish practices the kind of baptism where a very small amount of water is poured over the forehead and the clothing really doesn’t get wet, other than a few stray drops, then one’s attire should reflect the practice of the parish. If it is normal to wear the same attire prior to the baptism as after because some small symbolic white garment will be placed on the newly baptized then obviously one comes to Mass already dressed in nice attire. If the practice of the parish is to change into an entirely new outfit after baptism then one comes to church dressed in some nice but simple outfit which is likely to have darker colors and then changes into the new fancier outfit which is likely to have lots of white.

A discussion on the appropriateness of the form of baptism is a discussion for a separate thread.

Actually, our parish uses no brown robe, just a special swimsuit for the ladies (anybody over 7) who choose immersion that looks as if it escaped from the turn of the 20th century, and flip-flops. Adult guys wear long trunks and a t-shirt. Little kids wear a double t-shirt and swimsuit; girls have these bottom that look like long shorts. These people are NOT wearing bikinis and speedos! What white attire they choose to wear after is up to their parents and/ or them. One year, a lady wore a dress that she could have used later for her wedding. A girl of about ten in RCIC wore complete First Communion attire. Guys stick to white shirts with a regular suit.

The point (and you are so right): What one wears to one’s Baptism depends on the method. A little water on the head will not kill a good suit. A dunk tank style immersion pond will.

If they do not point these out in RCIA and RCIC and baptism classes- they should.

She wore her purple/gold skirt outfit TO, AT and AFTER her baptism. And the only thing white, was the candle the priest gave her after.

Thank you

For those that are baptized on the Vigil of Easter, our Church provides a long white robe for each. Individual baptisms; the sewing club made a white cloth for boys and girls to be placed on the children during baptism. This and the candle is given to the children to remember their baptism.

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