Holy Baptism

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into
Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism
is indissoluble.

Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the
chief service on a Sunday or other feast.

The bishop, when present, is the celebrant; and is expected to preach the
Word and preside at Baptism and the Eucharist. At Baptism, the bishop
officiates at the Presentation and Examination of Candidates;
says the Thanksgiving over the Water; [consecrates the Chrism;] reads the
prayer, “Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit;” and officiates at what follows.

In the absence of a bishop, a priest is the celebrant and presides at the
service. If a priest uses Chrism in signing the newly baptized, it must have
been previously consecrated by the bishop.

Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more
baptized persons.

Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and
thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention
to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of
infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make
promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their

It is fitting that parents be included among the godparents of their own
children. Parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of
Baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge
and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church.

Additional Directions are on page 312.

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A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.

The people standing, the Celebrant says

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
PeopleAnd blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost

CelebrantAlleluia. Christ is risen.
PeopleThe Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

In Lent and on other penitential occasions

CelebrantBless the Lord who forgives all our sins;
PeopleHis mercy endures forever.

The Celebrant then continues

There is one Body and one Spirit;
PeopleThere is one hope in God’s call to us;
CelebrantOne Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;
PeopleOne God and Father of all.
CelebrantThe Lord be with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.
CelebrantLet us pray.

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The Collect of the Day


At the principal service on a Sunday or other feast, the Collect and
Lessons are properly those of the Day. On other occasions, they are
selected from “At Baptism.” (See Additional Directions, page 312.)

The Lessons

The people sit. One or two Lessons, as appointed, are read,
the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ______________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Reading, the Reader may say

The Word of the Lord.
PeopleThanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Reading (Epistle).

Silence may follow.

A Psalm, hymn, or anthem may follow each Reading.

Then, all standing, the Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to _____________.
PeopleGlory to you, Lord Christ.

After the Gospel, the Reader says

The Gospel of the Lord.
PeoplePraise to you, Lord Christ.

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The Sermon

Or the Sermon may be preached after the Peace.

Presentation and Examination
of the Candidates

The Celebrant says

The Candidate(s) for Holy Baptism will now be presented.

Adults and Older Children

The candidates who are able to answer for themselves are presented
individually by their Sponsors, as follows

SponsorI present N. to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

The Celebrant asks each candidate when presented

Do you desire to be baptized?
CandidateI do.

Infants and Younger Children

Then the candidates who are unable to answer for themselves are presented
individually by their Parents and Godparents, as follows

Parents and Godparents

I present N. to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

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When all have been presented the Celebrant asks the parents and

Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present
is brought up in the Christian faith and life?

Parents and Godparents

I will, with God’s help.


Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow
into the full stature of Christ?

Parents and Godparents

I will, with God’s help.

Then the Celebrant asks the following questions of the candidates who
can speak for themselves, and of the parents and godparents who speak
on behalf of the infants and younger children

QuestionDo you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces
of wickedness that rebel against God?
AnswerI renounce them.
QuestionDo you renounce the evil powers of this world
which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
AnswerI renounce them.
QuestionDo you renounce all sinful desires that draw you
from the love of God?
AnswerI renounce them.
QuestionDo you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your
AnswerI do.
QuestionDo you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
AnswerI do.

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QuestionDo you promise to follow and obey him as your
AnswerI do.
When there are others to be presented, the Bishop says
The other Candidate(s) will now be presented.
PresentersI present these persons for Confirmation.
OrI present these persons to be received into this
OrI present these persons who desire to reaffirm their
baptismal vows.
The Bishop asks the candidates
Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil.
CandidateI do.
Do you renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?
I do, and with God’s grace I will follow him as my Savior
and Lord.
After all have been presented, the Celebrant addresses the congregation,
Will you who witness these vows do all in your
power to support these persons in their life in Christ?
PeopleWe will.
The Celebrant then says these or similar words
Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ
and renew our own baptismal covenant.

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The Baptismal Covenant

CelebrantDo you believe in God the Father?
PeopleI believe in God, the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth.
CelebrantDo you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
PeopleI believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
        and born of the Virgin Mary.
    He 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,
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
CelebrantDo you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
PeopleI 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.
CelebrantWill you continue in the apostles’ teaching and
fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
CelebrantWill you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.

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CelebrantWill you proclaim by word and example the Good
News of God in Christ?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
CelebrantWill you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbor as yourself?
PeopleI will, with God’s help.
CelebrantWill you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
PeopleI will, with God’s help.

Prayers for the Candidates

The Celebrant then says to the congregation

Let us now pray for these persons who are to receive the
Sacrament of new birth [and for those (this person) who
have renewed their commitment to Christ.]

A Person appointed leads the following petitions

LeaderDeliver them, O Lord, from the way of sin and
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.
LeaderOpen their hearts to your grace and truth.
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.
LeaderFill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.
LeaderKeep them in the faith and communion of your holy
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.
LeaderTeach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.

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LeaderSend them into the world in witness to your love.
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.
LeaderBring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.
PeopleLord, hear our prayer.

The Celebrant says

Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death
of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his
resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who
lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

Thanksgiving over the Water

The Celebrant blesses the water, first saying

The Lord be with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.
CelebrantLet us give thanks to the Lord our God.
PeopleIt is right to give him thanks and praise.


We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water.
Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation.
Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage
in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus
received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy
Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death
and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting 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 bring into his

306    Holy Baptism

fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

At the following words, the Celebrant touches the water

Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your
Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and
born again may continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus
Christ our Savior.

To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and
glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Consecration of the Chrism

The Bishop may then consecrate oil of Chrism, placing a hand on the
vessel of oil, and saying

Eternal Father, whose blessed Son was anointed by the
Holy Spirit to be the Savior and servant of all, we pray you to
consecrate this oil, that those who are sealed with it may
share in the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ; who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Baptism

Each candidate is presented by name to the Celebrant, or to an assisting
priest or deacon, who then immerses, or pours water upon, the
candidate, saying

N., I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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When this action has been completed for all candidates, the Bishop or
Priest, at a place in full sight of the congregation, prays over them, saying

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the
forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of
grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them
an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to
persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy
and wonder in all your works. Amen.

Then the Bishop or Priest places a hand on the person’s head, marking
on the forehead the sign of the cross [using Chrism if desired] and saying to
each one

N., you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked
as Christ’s own for ever. Amen.

Or this action may be done immediately after the administration of the
water and before the preceding prayer.

When all have been baptized, the Celebrant says

Let us welcome the newly baptized.

Celebrant and People

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith
of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with
us in his eternal priesthood.

If Confirmation, Reception, or the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows is
not to follow, the Peace is now exchanged

CelebrantThe peace of the Lord be always with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.

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At Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation

The Bishop says to the congregation

Let us now pray for these persons who have renewed
their commitment to Christ.

Silence may be kept.

Then the Bishop says

Almighty God, we thank you that by the death and
resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ you have overcome sin
and brought us to yourself, and that by the sealing of your
Holy Spirit you have bound us to your service. Renew in
these your servants the covenant you made with them at their
Baptism. Send them forth in the power of the Spirit to
perform the service you set before them; through Jesus Christ
your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Confirmation

The Bishop lays hands upon each one and says

Strengthen, O Lord, your servant N. with your Holy Spirit;
empower him for your service; and sustain him all the days
of his life. Amen.

or this

Defend, O Lord, your servant N. with your heavenly grace,
that he may continue yours forever, and daily increase in
your Holy Spirit more and more, until he comes to your
everlasting kingdom. Amen.

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For Reception

N., we recognize you as a member of the one holy catholic
and apostolic Church, and we receive you into the fellowship
of this Communion. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve, and keep you. Amen.

For Reaffirmation

N., may the Holy Spirit, who has begun a good work in you,
direct and uphold you in the service of Christ and his
kingdom. Amen.

Then the Bishop says

Almighty and everliving God, let your fatherly hand ever be
over these your servants; let your Holy Spirit ever be with
them; and so lead them in the knowledge and obedience of
your Word, that they may serve you in this life, and dwell
with you in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Peace is then exchanged

CelebrantThe peace of the Lord be always with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.

At the Eucharist

The service then continues with the Prayers of the People or the
Offertory of the Eucharist, at which the Bishop, when present, should be
the principal Celebrant.

Except on Principal Feasts, the Proper Preface of Baptism may be used.

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Alternative Ending

If there is no celebration of the Eucharist, the service continues with
the Lord’s Prayer.

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,
    and the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever. Amen.
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.
Save us from the time of trial,
    and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours,
    now and for ever. Amen.

The celebrant then says

All praise and thanks to you, most merciful Father, for
adopting us as your own children, for incorporating us into
your holy Church, and for making us worthy to share in the
inheritance of the saints in light; through Jesus Christ your
Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alms may be received and presented, and other prayers may be added,
concluding with this prayer

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from
whom every family in heaven and earth is named, grant you
to be strengthened with might by his Holy Spirit, that, Christ
dwelling in your hearts by faith, you may be filled with all the
fullness of God. Amen.

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Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, on the
Day of Pentecost, on All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’
Day, and on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday
after the Epiphany). It is recommended that, as far as possible,
Baptisms be reserved for these occasions or when a bishop is

If on any one of the above-named days the ministry of a bishop or
priest cannot be obtained, the bishop may specially authorize a
deacon to preside. In that case, the deacon omits the prayer over
the candidates, page 308, and the formula and action which follow.

These omitted portions of the rite may be administered on some
subsequent occasion of public baptism at which a bishop or priest

If on the four days listed above there are no candidates for Baptism,
the Renewal of Baptismal vows, page 292, may take the place of the
Nicene Creed at the Eucharist.

If desired, the hymn Gloria in excelsis may be sung immediately after
the opening versicles and before the salutation “The Lord be with you.”

When a bishop is present, or on other occasions for sufficient reason,
the Collect (page 203 or 254) and one or more of the Lessons provided
for use at Baptism (page 928) may be substituted for the Proper of the

Lay persons may act as readers, and it is appropriate for sponsors to be
assigned this function. The petitions (page 305) may also be led by one of
the sponsors.

The Nicene Creed is not used at this service.

If the Presentation of the Candidates does not take place at the font, then
before or during the petitions (page 305), the ministers, candidates, and
sponsors go to the font for the Thanksgiving over the Water.

If the movement to the font is a formal procession, a suitable psalm, such
as Psalm 42, or a hymn or anthem, may be sung.

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Where practicable, the font is to be filled with clean water immediately
before the Thanksgiving over the Water.

At the Thanksgiving over the Water, and at the administration of
Baptism, the celebrant, whenever possible, should face the people across
the font, and the sponsors should be so grouped that the people may have
a clear view of the action.

After the Baptism, a candle (which may be lighted from the Paschal
Candle) may be given to each of the newly baptized or to a godparent.

It may be found desirable to return to the front of the church for the
prayer, “Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit,”
and the ceremonies that follow it. A suitable psalm, such as Psalm 23, or a
hymn or anthem, may be sung during the procession.

The oblations of bread and wine at the baptismal Eucharist may be
presented by the newly baptized or their godparents.

Conditional Baptism

If there is reasonable doubt that a person has been baptized with water,
“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
(which are the essential parts of Baptism), the person is baptized in the
usual manner, but this form of words is used

If you are not already baptized, N., I baptize you in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Emergency Baptism

In case of emergency, any baptized person may administer Baptism
according to the following form.

Using the given name of the one to be baptized (if known), pour water on
him or her, saying

I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Spirit.

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The Lord’s Prayer is then said.

Other prayers, such as the following, may be added

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit you have bestowed on upon this your servant the
forgiveness of sin and have raised him to the new life of
grace. Strengthen him, O Lord, with your presence, enfold
him in the arms of your mercy, and keep him safe forever.

The person who administers emergency Baptism should inform the priest
of the appropriate parish, so that the fact can be properly recorded.

If the baptized person recovers, the Baptism should be recognized
at a public celebration of the Sacrament with a bishop or priest
presiding, and the person baptized under emergency conditions,
together with the sponsors or godparents, taking part in everything
except the administration of the water.

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