My daughter is being baptized in two weeks. I was wondering what the process is like, as my family is all non-Catholic. Also, what is normal to be done at the reception afterwards. God Bless
You can read the liturgy of the Rite of Baptism here and it will give you an understanding of what happens and why. The outward signs are the prayers of the liturgy, the anointing with oil, the pouring of water, the affirmations and vow, the lighting of a candle, the dressing in a white garment. All of these are symbolic of God’s removal of original sin (all sin in the case of an adult), the acceptance into community with His Church, and the infusion of His sanctifying grace which is the promise of eternal life with Him.
It is staggering to realize that the soul of that little baby you hold in your hands is so absolutely pure and holy it is capable of living in the presence of Almighty God at that moment.
A reception afterward is up to your own choosing and is like any other family gathering of joyous celebration.
Is the baptism during Mass or following Mass?
The reception is time for the family to see the baby and eat! Usually sandwiches or whatever traditional food you all like and then a cake.
After Mass is the Baptism. There maybe other children there as well, the parish does it twice a month.
That link is a good one for making the baptism process clear. As for after…
By all means, invite close friends and family to your home (or, the grandparents home, if it is more appropriate for a gathering) afterwards…this is such a cheerful, fun way to celebrate the “big thing” that just happened and a great opportunity for non-Catholics to get some questions answered that might have come up during the Rite. As mentioned, sandwiches are a good choice; some folks get a couple platters from the deli of their local grocery store. And just leave time for people to chit-chat and enjoy the newly baptised