Menu

Baptism / Confirmation / First Communion

Help is here for all concerned with the Ceremony, the Preparation, the Service, or what follows.

Catechizing Our Children

- The Whys And Hows Of Teaching The Shorter Catechism Today

by Terry L Johnson


In this small book the author makes the argument for teaching children the catechism regularly from a young age, quoting many well-known theologians as he goes along.

The author discusses the history and strengths of the catechism (specifically the Westminster Shorter Catechism), but it is when he writes about its structure and the way it can be used to present the whole gospel that his argument is the strongest. He is able to show how carefully it was compiled by faithful men in order to demonstrate how God’s plan for salvation fits together.

However, the danger comes in the way the book teeters on the edge of giving the impression that a thorough grasp of the catechism will in some way help to ensure that a child will be converted. The author is obviously aware that this is not the case and makes sure that he includes caveats, but the concern is that an uninformed reader could take away a wrong impression.

The other big concern is that suggested programmes for Sunday School suggest teaching the catechism in detail on a regular basis. For most Sunday Schools this would leave little time for teaching from the Bible—as a result the question has to be asked, which is more important, the words of man or the Word of God?

The book makes a good case, but in the end it presents an unbalanced argument and may only be helpful for teachers and preachers.



Review by Alan Hill  (26/05/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Published: October 2013
ISBN: 978-1-848-71300-0
Paperback
Price: £5.50

Making the Most of Your Child’s Baptism

- A Gift for all the Family

by Ally Barrett


Brilliant! Accessible! Practical! Superb section on prayer and post-baptism in general! I wish it had been available when I was in a parish! Need I say more?
The words of the service are explained as to meaning and symbolism: e.g. ‘Sanctify this water’ We ask God to make the water ‘holy’ – that is, special enough for something as important as baptism.
There are points to ponder and/or ideas for activities at home on virtually every page: e.g. ‘God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.’ Find a map of your local area. Now trace each street or location with your finger….as you do so think about where the darkness is in those places…perhaps a spot where you know people are suffering.
This book enables both the parents and family and the Church to make the most of baptism – and that’s no easy task!
Ally Barrett has done the church a great favour. In the words of the subtitle A gift for all the family: that includes the Christian family.
A recommendation? Just look at the first words of this review.

10 pack £44.99 ISBN 978-0-281-06648-3

Review by Nick Horton  (31/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 10 October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-281-06461-8
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Being God’s People

- The Confirmation and Discipleship Handbook

by Robin Greenwood and Sue Hart


This book is wonderful.
First, it links confirmation with discipleship. Confirmation is a beginning yet often, I suspect, the service of confirmation itself feels like an ending. This course ensures that need never be the same again. It offers continuity and depth for all in the church community whilst also providing everything needed for a confirmation course.
Secondly, it is structured around the Eucharist with each of ten sessions mirroring a particular stage of the rite. As the authors write, 'We’re not offering here a commentary on the Eucharist itself but discovering in the shape of the Eucharist celebration the entire meaning of Christian discipleship and mission.This approach is just about unique amongst discipleship courses, which often appear to presume a low-church readership.
Thirdly, it is theologically grounded in scripture and assumes an inclusive, generous, diverse and engaged approach to faith. In other words, this is not a formulaic or doctrinaire approach to Christian teaching but one based on enquiry and reciprocal learning. Leaders are there to lead but also to learn.
Each chapter or session of Being God’s People consists of two halves, one written by each of the two authors. The first covers the session content and the second deals with the practicalities of the session with plenty of ideas for how to handle the content. This approach works really well but is by no means ‘off the shelf’. So there’s a lot of preparation work involved for the leaders – at least for the first time the course is run – and this could be problematic in communities with limited leadership resources. The upside of this is that the material is easily adapted to different communities, which is excellent.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book and hope it will be widely used.
All the book’s appendices are available on the excellent web site

Visit the author's website:www.stmarysmonkseaton.co.uk/being-gods-people/

Review by David Ford  (31/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-281-06361-1
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Moving Images Changing Lives

- Exploring the Christian Life with Young people Through Film

by Sarah Brush and Paul Greig


I have a great fondness for the medium of film and these days a strange addiction to the wonder of Youtube, with it's collection of short clips and other things, and I rather think I am anything but alone in these likes. Indeed that is why this confirmation resource is so good, because it keys into this medium and really uses it to demonstrate and communicate the structures and foundations of our faith and our active call to discipleship in a way that makes it seem living and vibrant and easily digestible to the visual media generations.
The book is laid out in a fun way, but the import of the material in it is not lessened by this, instead it provides really strong and detailed material and insights for those doing the catechesis lessons, there are also some excellent action sheets for those taking lessons, and I certainly think this would be one confirmation class I wouldn't try to get out of.
If you want something new, fun, sure and easy to do then this is definitely going to be one for you, you can just do it as it is in the book and have a great confirmation study, or you can add your own slant to it by using the clips you think would work best and still have a great confirmation class.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (05/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Church House Publishing (CHP) part of Hymns Ancient & Modern
Published: Spring 2011
ISBN: 978-0-715-14207-3
A4 Paperback
Price: £19.99

Your Godchild

- How to be a Catholic Godparent

by Bairbre Cahill


This A4 28 page book is typical of the Redemptorist charism of explaining what being a Catholic means in a way that is informative, supportive and does not dumb down our Faith and practices.
The potential Catholic Godparent finds out what is expected, and is encouraged to take this opportunity to develop their own relationship with God. We are taken through the Sacrament of Baptism step by step; we hear from parents, Godparents and the Godchildren about their feelings. There are suitable prayers, web links and suggestions as to how Godparents can help their Godchildren as they grow up.
The Godparent is not an honorary or social appointment. We clergy have probably become too lax ourselves when Godparents are mentioned; this booklet will give us all who are involved in a baby's Baptism, the confidence to restore this ministry within the Church.

Review by J.Nicholas Latham  (19/01/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Redemptorist Publications
Published: 10 October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-852-31364-0
Stapled A4 Paperback.
Price: £3.75

My First Holy Communion



Written and compiled by Sophie Piper, illustrated by Angelo Ruta


Now children from many denominations are being considered for their first communion at a young age, a first communion book is not just for Roman Catholics. This is a gift book that is sure to be used. It has a presentation page and a marker ribbon and is a book of prayers compiled from many sources and some written especially for this book. These are not babyish prayers but they are child friendly, in fact they say exactly what we need to say, all of us, particularly the prayers asking for forgiveness, I thought these were some of the best I have read. Highly recommended.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (22/07/10)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-745-94955-0
Hardback
Price: £8.99

Baby’s Tiny Bible and Prayers



by Sarah Toulmin, illustrated by Kristina Stephenson


Baby Bible and Baby Prayers were originally published separately in 2006 and 2007. Ideal to welcome new baby or as a Christening gift. Publisher.

Lion are very good at producing quality gift books and although they have done the children’s bible and prayer book sets before this is a nice addition to the range.
It is compact in size but the print is still nice and clear. The illustrations are bright and fun without being too cartoon like as some young children’s books tend to be.
Some of the bible stories are a little bit on the short side but overall they are good and my two year old son enjoyed listening to them. I particularly like the prayer book as it is separated into prayers for different occasions and times of the day.
At £7.99 it is good value for money and would make an excellent gift.

Review by David Rose  (30/10/09)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: 23 October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-745-96205-4
Boxed set
Price: £7.99

On My First Holy Communion



by Angela M.Burrin illustrated by Maria Christina Lo Cascio


A book to present to a young person receiving their first Holy Communion, with presentation page at the front and pages at the back to list those who attended, special memories and photos of the occasion.
Told as if by Jesus himself, the stories of the Bible are set out from the Creation, Abraham, and the Exodus to the birth of Jesus, His life on earth, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and His Resurrection, all are illustrated tastefully and graphically by watercolours sketched in with ink, always an attractive format.
The final pages set out useful prayers and the Apostles Creed.
A welcome addition to the Redemptorist list.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (02/06/09)
Jacket
Publisher: Redemptorist Publications
Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-852-31356-5
Hardback
Price: £5.99

My First Communion



by Angela Burrin with Sue Doggett


At first glance, this sweet book appears to be aimed at the Catholic market. It is a beautifully illustrated children's book which is meant as a presentation gift. It includes blank pages for photos and memories of this very special day. Having said it is primarily of Catholic ethos, the book has some helpful text and bible passages explaining the background to communion and would clearly help any child preparing for confirmation and a first communion. As more and more children are being encouraged to participate, this book would be a helpful way of making a young person feel welcome and comfortable with this significant act of worship.

Review by Hilary Morgan  (01/06/10)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-841-01687-0
Hardback
Price: £6.99

Your Confirmation

- A Journey of Questions and Answers

Revised edition edited by Jane Williams


Originally published in 1996
In a magazine format familiar to youngsters, this slim book is for giving to those contemplating Confirmation; answers to many of the questions going round their heads, and answers to some questions they had not thought of yet! It is in no sense a Confirmation course, but a preparation, so that those who come to a course have had the chance to think through for themselves what they are undertaking and why. Some will reject the answers given, others will approach the learning involved in the course with a much more determined effort, as they understand more fully the big step into maturity and adulthood Confirmation involves.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (18/10/08)
Jacket
Publisher: Redemptorist Publications
Published: 06 June 2006
ISBN: 978-0-852-31322-0
Stapled A4 Paperback.
Price: £3.50

Confirmation Book for Adults



by Sharon Swain


Not just a handbook to use for adult confirmation classes, but also a very useful book to give to adults who may be considering taking confirmation and not knowing enough about it, and perhaps are afraid to ask. Detailed chapters deal with what we understand by the call to baptism and confirmation and goes into detail about belief, the creedal statements we know are part of that belief, and what commitment as a Christian means for the future life. Needless to say every chapter that introduces a topic is backed up by biblical resource and discussion notes, so this book can be used very successfully as the basis for a confirmation course as well as the use of an individual. The language is easily understood and the arguments are sound, with plenty of chance to dig deeper if wanted to. The author has herself been in many church situations and realise the need for a book that can be understood by all.

Review by Ian Gibson  (27/02/08)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: January 2008
ISBN: 978-0-281-05955-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

How to be a Great Godparent

- Your Guide to Fulfilling a Wonderful Role

by Susan Hardwick


The ‘great’ here is not a generational category like ‘great-grandparent’ but a qualitative judgement. How can I be great in my role as a godparent to my godchild? Here is an attempted answer. Non-denominational, or rather, inclusive of many denominations, the author’s suggested prayer routines make the god-parenting role far more of a commitment than it would otherwise be – even life-long. Thus there are prayers and themes for each day of the week, e.g. ‘Monday - My godchild’s wisdom and learning’. Events in the life-cycle are also marked - the day of the Baptism, birthdays, anniversary of Baptism and so on. Prayers for the god-parent are also included to highlight this unique relationship and its responsibilities.

Review by Ian Gibbs  (06/12/07)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: Spring 2007
ISBN: 978-1-844-17152-1
Hardback
Price: £5.99

On Your First Holy Communion



Selected by Andrew Moore


A book to give on this vitally important occasion for the young Christian. Andrew Moore Hs included simple attractive illustrations to point up the themes that arise from this moment of First Communion with the Risen Lord. The Bible quotations and prayers from contemporary sources, including the Roman Missal, help the young reader to look more deeply into the mysteries of the Eucharist, so that the food of and for ‘eternal life’ is also the food for daily life and daily understanding of the sacramental encounter with Jesus Christ. This can be part of a firm foundation for a Christian’s devotional development.

Review by Ian Gibbs  (06/12/07)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: Spring 2007
ISBN: 978-1-844-17710-3
Hardback
Price: £5.99

The Confirmation Experience

- A Prayer Book for Young People 11 to 18

by Susan Sayers


I have always been impressed by the output of this author and the quality of the end result. This little book, especially for the youngsters being confirmed and being prepared, is perfect as a gift or as a memento of the big occasion. The prayers are heartfelt, simple, yet very effective and easy to understand – by all age groups. The content does not over simplify for the age group, but presents some very directed prayers especially for those sometimes tricky moments of understanding of the initiation process and for their growth afterwards.
Also available, The Confirmation Experience - Adult, £4.99, ISBN 1-844-17609-6

Review by Ian Gibson  (16/11/06)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1-844-17610-X
Hardback
Price: £4.99

My Baptism Book



by Sophie Piper, illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic


An ideal gift book for a relative or Godparent to give to commemorate the special occasion of a little ones Baptism. With a ribbon to mark places, prayers, blessings and gentle illustrations, this is a lovely little book that will be kept by children to show to their own.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (07/06/06)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: Summer 2006
ISBN: 0-745-94964-9
Paperback
Price: £7.99

My Baptism Book

- A Child’s Guide to Baptism

by Dianna Murrie


In the publisher’s words – ‘This book aims to help children understand Baptism. It may be read by an adult and child together, or be used in more formal Baptism preparation with a family or an older child. It also serves as a reminder of a child’s baptism – one which a child may wish to return to again and again.’
For suggested follow-up activities on ways to use this material, please visit www.chpublishing.co.uk/mybaptismbook
An attractive book to read through with the very young but equally good for those learning to read to look at for themselves. When so many children are brought for Baptism by non church going parents, it is important that they be helped to understand what is going on. Equally, for those who are in church Sunday by Sunday, they may also need further time spent with them so that they realise the importance of the occasion and that something very special is happening.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (22/03/06)
Jacket
Publisher: Church House Publishing (CHP) part of Hymns Ancient & Modern
Published: 17 February 2006
ISBN: 0-715-14076-0
Paperback
Price: £6.99

See, Here is Water

- A Case for Believers Baptism

by Mark Anderson


An impassioned and clearly argued case for Baptism by immersion, of repentant believing adults, rather than the traditional infant Baptism of some churches. Part one is A case from scripture, Part two, A case from Church History. Mark Anderson sets out his case with biblical references and shows how the tradition for infant baptism grew, accompanied by quotations from Martin Luther and John Calvin. He then poses and answers the most commonly asked questions and in the Appendix teaches about Repentance and what repentance involves. I am an Anglican, used to Infant Baptism, I found this book helpful and enlightening.
To purchase, email the author: markrjzz@yahoo.co.uk

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (14/02/05)
Jacket
Publisher: Barratt Ministries Publications from Gardners Books
Published: 2004
ISBN: 1-904-59210-4
Paperback
Price: £4.00

Being Confirmed



by Nick Aiken


Originally published in 1991 by Marshall Pickering, this title has been reprinted with a foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Written ‘for young people preparing for confirmation, and also older readers who wish to be reminded of the promises they made at the time of their own public commitment to Christ.’ Nick Aiken talks through what God has done for some of the people in the Bible, reminds us of the person of Jesus and tells of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. Only then does he talk of the significance of Confirmation, the gift of Holy Communion, and the resources of the Bible and prayer to help us with our Christian living. Clear and easy reading.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (01/03/04)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 01 February 2004
ISBN: 0-281-05631-5
Paperback
Price: £6.99

How to be a Great Godparent

- Your Guide to Fulfilling a Wonderful Role

by Susan Hardwick


A slim booklet but just the job to set out what being a Godparent is all about. For those who do not know or understand the commitment they are taking on, this is intended to help, not intimidate.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (07/02/04)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: Spring 2004
ISBN: 1-844-17152-3
Paperback
Price: £1.99

Being Baptised

- The Handbook to Believers Baptism

by Stephen Gaukroger


This book is a ‘straight down the middle’, clear and easy to read book which explains what being baptised is all about. This is a book to recommend as its informal style really helps the new believer understand what they are doing. Stephen again manages to put across this theological issue in a lively and fresh manner. I would recommend this book to any Christian as it helps to promote the significance of Baptism as a clear sign of a change in someone’s life and as such as a means to reach other people. This is a good book. It’s not dry, it’s mildly witty and achieves much in a short space where others have tended to over complicate the issue.

Review by Andrew Elliott  (07/09/03)
Jacket
Publisher: Scripture Union (SU)
Published: Spring 2003
ISBN: 1-859-99768-6
Paperback
Price: £4.99

The Gifts of Baptism

- An essential guide for parents, sponsors and leaders

by Margaret Withers


For any family with a young child old enough to understand what is going on and who needs to have baptism explained to them, this title will really help. By following through this book with a youngster, any adult will benefit too. As it works through the service, suggestions are given for visual aids and other ways of introducing ‘Joe’ to the reasons behind the various actions and words that he will encounter. This is a book that greatly appealed to me, and I am sure it is going to help a lot of people, regular churchgoers and others.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (21/08/03)
Jacket
Publisher: BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published: 16 May 2003
ISBN: 1-841-01208-4
Paperback
Price: £4.99