FAQ-3 The Sacrament of Baptism

Can a child be baptized privately?

Sacraments are by their very nature public and communal - indeed, the very name Catholic Church derives from the Greek adjective katholikos meaning "universal" and also has roots in the term "all-embracing" thus so are the sacraments.  They are never private actions.  When one is baptized, the whole Church celebrates and rejoices.  Therefore, the communal nature of the sacrament should be reflected in the manner it is celebrated. We normally do not allow private baptisms (outside of the cathedral or parish churches) except in special circumstances which are usually performed in emergency situations such as in the hospital or nursing home. Even the baptisms celebrated after Mass are public and all the faithful are invited to attend.