Common Worship texts

  Amendments to the
    Common Worship Initiation Services
    Common Worship: Initiation Services was published, as an interim edition, in 1998. A definitive edition, entitled Common Worship: Christian Initiation, was published in 2006. Common Worship: Christian Initiation incorporates a number of amendments made to the initiation services in 2000 and 2005, as detailed below.
    Amendments made in 2000/2005
    The General Synod approved a number of amendments to the Baptism service with effect from 3 December 2000. Those amendments:
  • make the Introduction optional;
  • make readings other than the Gospel reading optional;
  • require that a sermon should be preached whenever baptism is administered;
  • make the Presentation of the Candidates to the Congregation optional;
  • permit the use of the ASB form of the Decision, where there are strong pastoral reasons;
  • permit the minister to paraphrase the first text provided for the Commission, if pastoral circumstances require, or include its content in the sermon;
  • allow the first of the two alternative forms of words after the optional prayers in the Commission to be used even where the newly baptized are not old enough to understand;
  • make the second of the two alternative forms of words at that point optional;
  • permit the use of the seasonal forms of the Prayer over the Water on any occasion to meet pastoral circumstances;
  • permit use of the Litany of the Resurrection in two parts, reserving the clauses following the Gloria for a return procession from the place of baptism.
    These amendments were incorporated in the text of the Baptism service published in the main volume, Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000).
    One further amendment made the Welcome at Confirmation services optional.
    The amendments made to the Baptism service in 2000 applied to all other initiation services that included baptism, but not to those at which there were no baptisms. However, in 2005 the General Synod approved their application to all initiation services.
    Further Amendment in 2005
    A further amendment made in 2005 permitted the Commission to be deferred, in the case of Baptism (where the newly baptized are able to answer for themselves) and Confirmation, to the beginning of the Sending Out.
    In its Commentary in Common Worship: Christian Initiation, the Liturgical Commission comments as follows:
    '[The Sending Out] has proved a fruitful position in which to use the question-and-answer Commission for the newly baptized who are able to answer for themselves (page 119). The Commission begins the Sending Out, and the end of the Commission may be adapted to lead directly into the blessing, as follows:

            May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith,
            that you may be rooted and grounded in love
            and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit,
            and the blessing...

This is then followed by the Giving of a Lighted Candle and the Dismissal.'
    The following consequential amendments will be made to the relevant rubrics in the service of Holy Baptism in future editions of the main volume, Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England:
    p. 359: The second rubric to read: 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
    p. 363: Insert a new rubric under the heading 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.
    Common Worship: Christian Initiation
    As indicated above, all of the amendments detailed in this note have been incorporated in the definitive edition, Common Worship: Christian Initiation, published in January 2006.