Holy Baptism

Structure

* Indicates alternative texts

            Preparation

The Greeting

[Optional Thanksgiving Prayer and Presentation of a Gospel]

Introduction

The Collect [of the day or as printed]

            The Liturgy of the Word

Reading(s)

Gospel Reading

Sermon [see note]

            The Liturgy of Baptism

Presentation of the Candidates*

The Decision*

Signing with the Cross* [alternative position below]

Prayer over the Water* [two alternatives]

Profession of Faith [two alternatives]

Baptism

[Signing with the Cross may take place at this point]

Commission*

The Welcome and Peace

Prayers of Intercession [two alternatives provided;

others may be used]

The Lord’s Prayer

            The Sending Out

The Blessing

Giving of a Lighted Candle

The Dismissal

When these texts are used in conjunction with Holy Communion or Morning and Evening Prayer, see Common Worship: Initiation Services for details.

Pastoral Introduction

Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God’s love. For all involved, particularly the candidates but also parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring the faith. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress made on that journey, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.

The service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way. There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith in the Christian journey, which reminds us of Christ’s death for us. Our ‘drowning’ in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ’s dying and rising, a picture that can be brought home vividly by the way the baptism is administered. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit. This reminds us of Jesus’ baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there may be a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil. Everyone who is baptized walks in that light for the rest of their lives.

As you pray for the candidates, picture them with yourself and the whole Church throughout the ages, journeying into the fullness of God’s love.

Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’

John 10.10

Holy Baptism

A Sample Service using the Additional Texts

    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 this prayer of thanksgiving

God our Creator,

we thank you for the wonder of new life

and for the mystery of human love.

We give thanks for all whose support and skill

surround and sustain the beginning of life.

As Jesus knew love and discipline within a human family,

may these children grow in strength and wisdom.

As Mary knew the joys and pains of motherhood,

give these parents your sustaining grace and love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All    

Amen.

Where parents wish to recognize the role of supporting friends it may be appropriate for them to stand with the parents. One of them may present the children to the minister, and informal words may be said.

The minister says

Do you receive these children as a gift from God?

We do.

Do you wish to give thanks to God and seek his blessing?

We do.

Will you do all that you can to help and support

N and N in the bringing up of N?

With the help of God we will.

A copy of a Gospel is presented, with these words

Receive this book.

It is the good news of God’s love.

Take it as your guide.

Introduction

The president introduces the sacrament of baptism,

using these or other words.

(For seasonal Introductions, see pages 150–165.)

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 at Holy Communion.

(The candidates may be presented at this point.)

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. (For seasonal Collects, see pages 150–165.)

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,

Principal Feasts, other Principal Holy Days and Festivals.

(For other occasions, see pages 150–165 and 167.)

Either one or two readings from Scripture may precede the

Gospel reading.

At the end the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All    

Thanks be to God.

A psalm or canticle may follow 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

(See note)

    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.

Either    At the baptism of infants, the president addresses the whole congregation

Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Do not stop them’.

We thank God for N and N who have come to be baptized today.

Christ loves them and welcomes them into his Church.

So I ask you all:

Will you support these children as they begin their journey of faith?

All    

We will.

Will you help them to live and grow within God’s family?

All    

We will.

The president then addresses the parents and godparents

God knows each of us by name and we are his.

Parents and godparents, you speak for N and N today.

Will you pray for them,

and help them to follow Christ?

We will.

Or          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

We thank God for N and N who have come to be baptized today.

Christ loves them and welcomes them into his Church.

Will you support them on their journey of faith?

All    

We will.

The Decision

The president addresses the candidates directly, or through their parents, godparents and sponsors

We all wander far from God and lose our way:

Christ comes to find us and welcomes us home.

In baptism we respond to his call.

Therefore I ask:

Do you turn away from sin?

I do.

Do you reject evil?

I do.

The candidates, together with their parents, godparents and sponsors, may turn at this point.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?

I do.

Do you trust in him as Lord?

I do.

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 of Christ.

You are his for ever.

All    

Stand bravely with him

against all the powers of evil,

and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.

May almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness,

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 pages 169–176).

(Optional seasonal and responsive forms of the Prayer are provided on pages 150–165 and 177.)

The president stands before the water of baptism and says one of the following prayers

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.

Either

Loving Father,

we thank you for your servant Moses,

who led your people through the waters of the Red Sea

to freedom in the Promised Land.

We thank you for your Son Jesus,

who has passed through the deep waters of death

and opened for all the way of salvation.

Now send your Spirit,

that those who are washed in this water

may die with Christ and rise with him,

to find true freedom as your children,

alive in Christ for ever.

All    

Amen.

Or

We praise you, loving Father,

for the gift of your Son Jesus.

He was baptized in the River Jordan,

where your Spirit came upon him

and revealed him as the Son you love.

He sent his followers

to baptize all who turn to him.

Now, Father, we ask you to bless this water,

that those who are baptized in it

may be cleansed in the water of life,

and, filled with your Spirit,

may know that they are loved as your children,

safe in Christ for ever.

All    

Amen.

Profession of Faith

One of the following professions of faith is used.

The president addresses the congregation

Either

Let us affirm,

together with these who are being baptized,

our common faith in Jesus Christ.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,

source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist?

All    

I believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,

who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again?

All    

I believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,

who gives life to the people of God

and makes Christ known in the world?

All    

I believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

All    

This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Or

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.

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 says

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

A minister (or another person) addresses the congregation,

parents and godparents

Either    Where the newly baptized are unable to answer for themselves, the address includes

¶    The welcome of the Church, local and universal

¶    The importance of belonging to the Christian community

¶    The responsibilities of parents and godparents

¶    The challenge to grow in Christian discipleship

Or          Where the newly baptized are able to answer for themselves, a minister addresses them.

The address includes

¶    The welcome of the Church, local and universal

¶    The importance of belonging to the Christian community

¶    The challenge to grow in Christian discipleship

¶    The call to share God’s love

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 homes 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.

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 seasonal words (see pages 150–165)

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.

Prayers of Intercession

Intercessions may be led by the president or others.

Either of the following or other suitable words may be used.

(For seasonal forms, see pages 150–165.)

1.

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.

2.

We thank you that you have claimed for yourself

those who have been washed in the waters of rebirth.

Uphold them in this new life,

that they may ever remain steadfast in faith,

joyful in hope, and rooted in your love.

Father of life,

All    

make known your glory.

Pour your blessing on all your people.

May our hearts ever praise you,

and find their perfect rest in you.

Grant us the freedom of your service

and peace in doing your will.

Father of life,

All    

make known your glory.

The whole creation is filled with the light of your grace.

Dispel the darkness of our hearts, and forgive our sins

and negligences,

that we may come at last to the light of your glory.

Father of life,

All    

make known your glory.

The Lord’s Prayer

As your children, born again in Christ, we say

Either

All    

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

Or

All    

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

    The Sending Out

The Blessing

The president may use a seasonal blessing (pages 150–165), 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 minister or another person may give all the newly baptized a lighted candle. These may be lit from the candle used at the Decision.

When all have received a candle, the minister 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

Go in the light and peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.

All    

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.