Common Worship texts

Christian Initiation Baptism and Confirmation

Holy Baptism

Structure

Preparation

The Greeting
Thanksgiving Prayer for a Child
Introduction *
Presentation of the Candidates
The Collect *

The Liturgy of the Word

Readings and Psalm
Gospel Reading
Sermon

The Liturgy of Baptism

Presentation of the Candidates
The Decision
Signing with the Cross
Prayer over the Water *
Profession of Faith *
Baptism
Commission
Prayers of Intercession *
The Welcome and Peace *
Prayers of Intercession *

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Preparation of the Table
Taking of the Bread and Wine
The Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord's Prayer
Breaking of the Bread
Giving of Communion
Prayer after Communion *

The Sending Out

The Blessing *
Giving of a Lighted Candle
The Dismissal

indicates alternative position allowed and shown indented in italics

* indicates alternative texts are provided

Pastoral Introduction

This may be read by those present before the service begins.

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

Preparation

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
Alland also with you.

Words of welcome or introduction may be said.

The president may use the prayer of thanksgiving (see page 166)

Introduction

The president may use 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.

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.
AllAmen.

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 here and here.

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.
AllThanks 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.
AllGlory to you, O Lord.

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
AllPraise 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 old enough to answer for themselves

Do you wish to be baptized?

I do.

Testimony by the candidates 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?
AllWith 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 ( here) 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.
AllFight 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.
AllAmen.

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).

The president stands before the water of baptism and says

(optional seasonal and responsive forms are provided on pages 150-165 and 177)

Praise God who made heaven and earth,
Allwho keeps his promise for ever.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
AllIt 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.
AllAmen.

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?
AllI believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
AllI 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?
AllI 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 (page 178) 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.
AllAmen.

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.
AllAmen.

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.
AllAmen.

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.
AllAmen.

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.
AllAmen.

Prayers of Intercession

Intercessions may be led by the president or others. These or other suitable words may be used. For seasonal forms and an alternative form, see pages 150-165 and 179. The intercession concludes with the Lord's Prayer.

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.
AllYour 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.
AllYour kingdom come.

Deliver the oppressed, strengthen the weak,
heal and restore your creation.
Especially for …
Your name be hallowed.
AllYour 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.
AllYour 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.
AllWe 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. (For seasonal Introductions to the Peace, 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
Alland 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 (page 77).

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Hymn

The gifts of the people may be gathered and presented.

The president takes the bread and wine.

The Eucharistic Prayer

An authorized Eucharistic Prayer is used

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

AllOur 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.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.

AllThough we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

AllLamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

The president says the invitation to communion

Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you,
and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink
in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts
by faith with thanksgiving.

AllWe do not presume
to come to this your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.
But you are the same Lord
whose nature is always to have mercy.
Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ
and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.
Amen.

The president and people receive communion.

Authorized words of distribution are used (see here) and the communicant replies

Amen.

During the distribution hymns and anthems may be sung.

Any consecrated bread and wine which is not required for purposes of communion is consumed at the end of the distribution or after the service.

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

The authorized Post Communion of the Day, or a seasonal Post Communion (see pages 150-165), 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.
AllAmen.

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.
AllAmen.

Giving of a Lighted Candle

The bishop or another person may give all candidates a lighted candle. These may be lit from the candle used at the Decision.

When all have received a candle, the bishop 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.
AllShine as a light in the world
to the glory of God the Father.

The Dismissal

Go in the light and peace of Christ.
AllThanks be to God.

From Easter Day to Pentecost Alleluia, alleluia may be added to both the versicle and the response.