The Church of Scotland plays an essential role in providing worship and spiritual guidance for key life events, from child blessings and baptisms to marriage and funerals.
Baptism is one of the two sacraments recognised by the Church of Scotland, the other being the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In the case of infant baptism the Church expects at least one parent or other close family member either to be a member of the Church or willing to become a member.
In the baptismal service those appropriate adults profess their own faith and promise to give the child a Christian upbringing.
In the case of adult baptism the person himself or herself makes the appropriate promises.
Baptism is normally administered at Sunday worship in front of the congregation. This emphasises the nature of the sacrament as incorporation into the body of Christ and the life of the Church. There is a little more flexibility in the case of genuine emergencies, normally in a hospital situation.
The thanksgiving and blessing of a child
Since 2003, the Church has provided orders for the thanksgiving for, and blessing of, a child. The blessing ceremony takes place at morning worship following the same pattern as that for Baptism, except the wording and promises are different, and no water is used. Nothing is required of the parents in either commitment or belief. Our guide on the blessing of a child includes more information and a suggested order of service for the thanksgiving and blessing of a child.
Ministers of the Church of Scotland are authorised to perform marriages. The Church does not regard marriage as a sacrament and ministers are free to marry people who are not members of the Church of Scotland. However, if neither the bride nor groom is a member of the Church, the first approach should be to minister of the parish in which one or other of them resides. In places where parish boundaries are not obvious, the local presbytery clerk should be able to advise.
In certain circumstances the Church of Scotland permits the re-marriage of divorced people in church. Our guide to marriage includes some frequently asked questions about getting married in the Church of Scotland.
Through its parish system and territorial ministry the Church of Scotland seeks to serve all the people of Scotland and not just the membership of the Church. Nobody in the situation of bereavement should hesitate to seek the services of the parish minister, either directly or through the undertaker.
Arrange A Service
To make arrangments for any these services, please contact the Locum Minister, Philip Majcher at PMajcher@churchofscotland.org,uk or call the church office on 01738 633 192.
Please note that the Church office is not manned regularly, but voicemail messages may be left, which may take 2-3 days for a response. Emails should get a response in 24-48 hours.
Birth, baptism, marriage and death certificates
If you would like to know how to obtain a copy of archived certificates for researching your family tree, please visit our section on historical records.