Initiation Services

    Holy Baptism
     
  Preparation
     
    At the entry of the ministers a hymn may be sung.
     
    The Greeting  
     
    The president says
     
    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    the love of God
    and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
    be with you all
All
  and also with you.
     
    Words of welcome or introduction may be said.
     
    The president may use the prayer of thanksgiving (see Note 1).
     
    Introduction  
     
    The president may use these or other words
     
    Our Lord Jesus Christ has told us
    that to enter the kingdom of heaven
    we must be born again of water and the Spirit,
    and has given us baptism as the sign and seal of this new birth.
    Here we are washed by the Holy Spirit and made clean.
    Here we are clothed with Christ,
    dying to sin that we may live his risen life.
    As children of God, we have a new dignity
    and God calls us to fullness of life.
     
    The Gloria in excelsis may be used.
    The Collect  
     
    The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words 'Let us pray' or a more specific bidding.
     
    Either the Collect of the Day, or this Collect is said
     
    Heavenly Father,
    by the power of your Holy Spirit
    you give to your faithful people new life in the water of baptism.
    Guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit,
    that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love,
    and grow into the full stature of your Son, Jesus Christ,
    who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit
    now and for ever.
All
  Amen.
     
  The Liturgy of the Word
     
    Readings  
     
    The readings of the day are normally used on Sundays and Principal Festivals.
     
    Either one or two readings from Scripture may precede the Gospel reading.
     
    At the end of each the reader may say
     
    This is the word of the Lord.
All
  Thanks be to God.
     
    The psalm or canticle follows the first reading; other hymns and songs may be used between the readings.
     
    Gospel Reading  
     
    An acclamation may herald the Gospel reading.
     
    When the Gospel is announced the reader says
     
    Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.
All
  Glory to you, O Lord.
     
    At the end
     
    This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All
  Praise to you, O Christ.
     
    Sermon  
     
  The Liturgy of Baptism
     
    Presentation of the Candidates  
     
    The candidates may be presented to the congregation. Where appropriate, they may be presented by their godparents or sponsors.
     
    The president asks those candidates for baptism who are able to answer for themselves
     
    Do you wish to be baptized?
    I do.
     
    Testimony by the candidate(s) may follow.
     
    The president addresses the whole congregation
     
    Faith is the gift of God to his people.
    In baptism the Lord is adding to our number
         those whom he is calling.
    People of God, will you welcome these children/candidates
        and uphold them in their new life in Christ?
All
  With the help of God, we will.
     
    At the baptism of children, the president then says to the parents and godparents
     
    Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy.
    Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith.
    Will you pray for them,
    draw them by your example into the community of faith
    and walk with them in the way of Christ?
    With the help of God, we will.
     
    In baptism these children begin their journey in faith.
    You speak for them today.
    Will you care for them,
    and help them to take their place
    within the life and worship of Christ's Church?
    With the help of God, we will.
     
    The Decision  
     
    A large candle may be lit. The president addresses the candidates directly, or through their parents, godparents and sponsors
     
    In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
    To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him.
    Therefore I ask:
     
    Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
    I reject them.
     
    Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
    I renounce them.
     
    Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
    I repent of them.
     
    Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
    I turn to Christ.
     
    Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
    I submit to Christ.
     
    Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
    I come to Christ.
     
    Where there are strong pastoral reasons, the alternative form of the Decision may be used.
     
    Signing with the Cross  
     
    The president or another minister makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of each candidate, saying
     
    Christ claims you for his own.
    Receive the sign of his cross.
     
    The president may invite parents, godparents and sponsors to sign the candidates with the cross. When all the candidates have been signed, the president says
     
    Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
All
  Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ
    against sin, the world and the devil,
    and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.
     
    May almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness,
    restore in you the image of his glory,
    and lead you in the light and obedience of Christ.
All
  Amen.
     
    Prayer over the Water  
     
    The ministers and candidates gather at the baptismal font. A canticle, psalm, hymn or litany may be used (see here).
     
  The president stands before the water of baptism and says(optional seasonal and responsive forms are provided)
     
    Praise God who made heaven and earth,
All
  who keeps his promise for ever.
     
    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All
  It is right to give thanks and praise.
     
    We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water
    to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life.
    Over water the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation.
    Through water you led the children of Israel
    from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.
    In water your Son Jesus received the baptism of John
    and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ,
    to lead us from the death of sin to newness of life.
    We thank you, Father, for the water of baptism.
    In it we are buried with Christ in his death.
    By it we share in his resurrection.
    Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.
    Therefore, in joyful obedience to your Son,
    we baptize into his fellowship those who come to him in faith.
    Now sanctify this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit,
    they may be cleansed from sin and born again.
    Renewed in your image, may they walk by the light of faith
    and continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord;
    to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
    be all honour and glory, now and for ever.
All
  Amen.
     
    Profession of Faith  
     
    The president addresses the congregation
     
    Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess
    together with these candidates
    the faith of the Church.
     
    Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
All
  I believe in God, the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth.
     
    Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
All
  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried;
    he descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again;
    he ascended into heaven,
    he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
    and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
     
    Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
All
  I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. 
    Amen.
     
    Where there are strong pastoral reasons the alternative Profession of Faith may be used.
     
    Baptism  
     
    If the candidate(s) can answer for themselves, the president may say to each one
     
    N, is this your faith?
     
    Each candidate answers in their own words, or
     
    This is my faith.
     
    The president or another minister dips each candidate in water, or pours water on them, saying
     
    N, I baptize you
    in the name of the Father,
    and of the Son,
    and of the Holy Spirit.
All
  Amen.
     
    If the newly baptized are clothed with a white robe, a hymn or song may be used, and then a minister may say
     
    You have been clothed with Christ.
    As many as are baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
     
    If those who have been baptized were not signed with the cross immediately after the Decision, the president signs each one now.
     
    The president says
     
    May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church,
    pour upon you the riches of his grace,
    that within the company of Christ's pilgrim people
    you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit,
    and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory.
All
  Amen.
     
    The president and those who have been baptized may return from the font.
     
    Commission  
     
Either
   
     
    Where the newly baptized are unable to answer for themselves, a minister addresses the congregation, parents and godparents, using these or similar words
     
    We have brought these children to baptism knowing that Jesus died and rose again for them and trusting in the promise that God hears and answers prayer. We have prayed that in Jesus Christ they will know the forgiveness of their sins and the new life of the Spirit.
     
    As they grow up, they will need the help and encouragement of the Christian community, so that they may learn to know God in public worship and private prayer, follow Jesus Christ in the life of faith, serve their neighbour after the example of Christ, and in due course come to confirmation.
     
    As part of the Church of Christ, we all have a duty to support them by prayer, example and teaching. As their parents and godparents, you have the prime responsibility for guiding and helping them in their early years. This is a demanding task for which you will need the help and grace of God. Therefore let us now pray for grace in guiding these children in the way of faith.
     
    One or more of the following prayers may be used
     
    Faithful and loving God,
    bless those who care for these children
    and grant them your gifts of love, wisdom and faith.
    Pour upon them your healing and reconciling love,
    and protect their home from all evil.
    Fill them with the light of your presence
    and establish them in the joy of your kingdom,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All   
  Amen.
     
    God of grace and life,
    in your love you have given us
    a place among your people;
    keep us faithful to our baptism,
    and prepare us for that glorious day
    when the whole creation will be made perfect
    in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
All   
  Amen.
     
    These words may be added
     
    N and N,
    today God has touched you with his love
    and given you a place among his people.
    God promises to be with you
    in joy and in sorrow,
    to be your guide in life,
    and to bring you safely to heaven.
    In baptism God invites you on a life-long journey.
    Together with all God's people
    you must explore the way of Jesus
    and grow in friendship with God,
    in love for his people,
    and in serving others.
    With us you will listen to the word of God
    and receive the gifts of God.
     
or
   
    Here or at the beginning of the Sending Out, a minister may say to the newly baptized who are able to answer for themselves
   
    Those who are baptized are called to worship and serve God.
     
    Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship,
    in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
    With the help of God, I will.
     
    Will you persevere in resisting evil,
    and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
    With the help of God, I will.
     
    Will you proclaim by word and example
    the good news of God in Christ?
    With the help of God, I will.
     
    Will you seek and serve Christ in all people,
    loving your neighbour as yourself?
    With the help of God, I will.
     
    Will you acknowledge Christ's authority over human society,
    by prayer for the world and its leaders,
    by defending the weak, and by seeking peace and justice?
    With the help of God, I will.
     
    May Christ dwell in your heart(s) through faith,
    that you may be rooted and grounded in love
    and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
    Amen.
     
    Prayers of Intercession  
     
    Either here or after the Welcome and Peace, intercessions may be led by the president or others. These or other suitable words may be used. The intercession may conclude with a Collect.
     
    As a royal priesthood, let us pray to the Father
    through Christ who ever lives to intercede for us.
     
    Reveal your kingdom among the nations;
    may peace abound and justice flourish.
    Especially for …
    Your name be hallowed.
All
  Your kingdom come.
     
    Send down upon us the gift of the Spirit
    and renew your Church with power from on high.
    Especially for …
    Your name be hallowed.
All
  Your kingdom come.
     
    Deliver the oppressed, strengthen the weak,
    heal and restore your creation.
    Especially for …
    Your name be hallowed.
All
  Your kingdom come.
     
    Rejoicing in the fellowship of the Church on earth,
    we join our prayers with all the saints in glory.
    Your name be hallowed.
All
  Your kingdom come.
   
    The Welcome and Peace  
     
    There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism:
    N and N, by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.
All
  We welcome you into the fellowship of faith;
    we are children of the same heavenly Father;
    we welcome you.
     
    The congregation may greet the newly baptized.
     
    The president introduces the Peace in these or other suitable words
     
    We are all one in Christ Jesus.
    We belong to him through faith,
    heirs of the promise of the Spirit of peace.
     
    The peace of the Lord be always with you
All
  and also with you.
     
    A minister may say
    Let us offer one another a sign of peace.
     
    All may exchange a sign of peace.
     
    If the Liturgy of the Eucharist does not follow immediately, the service continues with suitable prayers, ending with the Lord's Prayer and the Sending Out.
     
  The Liturgy of the Eucharist 
     
    The Order for Celebration of Holy Communion continues with
     
    Preparation of the Table  
     
    Taking of the Bread and Wine  
     
    The Eucharistic Prayer  
     
    This short Proper Preface may be used
     
    And now we give you thanks
    because by water and the Holy Spirit
    you have made us a holy people in Jesus Christ our Lord;
    you raise us to new life in him
    and renew in us the image of your glory.
     
    The Lord's Prayer  
     
    Breaking of the Bread  
     
    Giving of Communion  
     
    Prayer after Communion  
     
    The authorized Post Communion of the Day, or a seasonal form, or the following is used
     
    Eternal God, our beginning and our end,
    preserve in your people the new life of baptism;
    as Christ receives us on earth,
    so may he guide us through the trials of this world
    and enfold us in the joy of heaven,
    where you live and reign,
    one God for ever and ever.
All
  Amen.
     
   The Sending Out
     
    If the words on page 359 have not been used earlier, a minister may address the newly baptized who are able to answer for themselves, using those words.
     
    The Blessing  
     
    The president may use a seasonal blessing, or another suitable blessing, or
     
    The God of all grace,
    who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus,
    establish, strengthen and settle you in the faith;
    and the blessing of God almighty,
    the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
    be among you and remain with you always.
All
  Amen.
     
    Giving of a Lighted Candle  
     
    The president or another person may give each of the newly baptized a lighted candle. These may be lit from the candle used at the Decision.
     
    When all the newly baptized have received a candle, the president says
     
    God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness
    and has given us a place with the saints in light.
     
    You have received the light of Christ;
    walk in this light all the days of your life.
All
  Shine as a light in the world
    to the glory of God the Father.
     
   The Dismissal
     
    Go in the light and peace of Christ.
All
  Thanks be to God.
     
    From Easter Day to Pentecost Alleluia, alleluia may be added to both the versicle and the response.