Canon Law, which is Catholic church law, puts it clearly:
Can. 865 §1. For an adult to be baptized, the person must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, have been instructed sufficiently about the truths of the faith and Christian obligations, and have been tested in the Christian life through the catechumenate. The adult is also to be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.
§2. An adult in danger of death can be baptized if, having some knowledge of the principal truths of the faith, the person has manifested in any way at all the intention to receive baptism and promises to observe the commandments of the Christian religion.
So why I am bringing up this matter? It is because of two situations which have crop up which people should understand. What matter am I talking about? In a nutshell, it concerns a keyword: convenience.
- Some families have come to me asking that their dad or mum be baptised because most of them are Catholics and Christians, and they do not know how to go about conducting a non-Christian funeral, should dad or mum pass away. So, for their convenience, they ask that their dad or mum be baptised. Sometimes, they even go to the extent of convincing, coercing or even arm-twisting their dad or mum to be baptised.
- As some of us may know or have heard, conducting a funeral according to certain other rites could be quite an expensive endeavour. This is because the cost of the coffin, the funeral arrangements, getting the religious leader to conduct the rites, and other factors, could cause the funeral costs to become astronomical. Some members of certain families had told me: "It seems cheaper to have a Christian funeral."
Therefore, we should be vigilant when it comes to matters like this. May those who are to be baptised do so with full intention, full desire, happily, willingly and joyfully, not to please certain family members or for the convenience of such family members.