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Baptism Service

Written by Wayne Fraser

Welcome to this service

God’s Love 
Priest: Dear friends, God is love. We love because God first loved us and in baptism we respond to that love.

A Reading from the book of Matthew:
 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’  ‘If any of you cause one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. It is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’  Then little children were brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come unto me and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ And he laid his hands on them and blessed them and went on his way.
  Hear what the Spirit is saying to Her people.

People: Thanks be to God.

The Presentation for Baptism
  (The parents and godparent, holding the child, stand before the priest at the font. Family and friends remain seated.)

Priest: The candidate for baptism will now be presented.

Parents and godparents: We present Name to receive the sacrament of baptism.

Priest: We thank you God for your covenant with your people Israel; through the Red Sea waters you led them to freedom in the promised land. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Holy Spirit. Through the deep waters of death Jesus fulfilled his baptism and was raised to be exalted Lord of all. It is Christ who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

The priest asks the parents and godparent:
 Will you be responsible for seeing that Name is nurtured in the faith and life of a loving community?

Parents and godparent: We will.

The priest asks the parents and godparent: Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the fullness of wisdom and kindness?

Parents and godparent: We will.

The priest asks the parents and godparent: Do you renounce all that separates you from spiritual life?

Parents and godparent: We do.

The priest asks the parents and godparent: Do you trust the Creator’s wisdom and healing love to bring abundant life to this child?

Parents and godparents: We will hold strong to the way of truth and life, as we care for this child.

The priest asks the assembled family and friends: Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support Name and her parents?

People: We will.

The Affirmation

Priest: Praise to God who has given us life.

People: Blessed be the gift of life.

Priest: Praise to God who has given us love.

People: Blessed be the gift of love.

Priest: How then will you care for this child?

People: We will love her and share our faith with her.

Prayer for Child: Let us pray.
On this happy day, we give you thanks for bringing Name into our midst. She is our joy and our hope. Let us now pray for her as she receives the sacrament of new birth. Deliver her, O Lord, from the shadow of death. Open her heart to your grace and truth. Fill her with your holy and life-giving Spirit. Teach her to love others as a witness to your love and bring her to the fullness of your peace
 and glory.

People: Amen.

The Celebration of Baptism  
(Family and friends stand and face the font.)

Priest: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

The priest blesses the water, saying: We thank you, God, for your love in all creation, especially for your gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life. We thank you that through the waters of baptism you cleanse us. Renew us by your Spirit and raise us to new life.

People: Praise be the Creator for ever. Amen.

Priest (to parents and godparent): Name this child.

Parents and godparent:  Name

The priest baptizes the child, saying: Name, I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Child, and of the Spirit.

The priest makes the sign of the cross on the child, saying: I mark you with the sign of the cross, God’s own forever.

(The priest presents the child to the family and friends and hands her to the parents who turn to face the congregation. The family and friends are seated.)

Priest: Let us pray.

Heavenly Creator, we thank you that by water and the Spirit you have bestowed upon Name your accepting love and have raised her to the new life of grace. Sustain her, O Lord. Give her an inquiring mind and a discerning heart, the courage to persevere, a spirit to know, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.

People: God receives you by baptism. Child of God, blessed in Spirit, welcome to our family. Amen.

The Giving of the Light

The priest gives a lighted candle to the parents, saying: Receive this gift, to show that you have passed from darkness into light.

People: Let your light so shine before others that they may see your goodness and truth.

Priest: Let us welcome the newly baptised.

People: We receive you into our hearts and our home.

The Peace

Priest: The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People: And also with you.

Priest: May God bless this young family with wisdom and compassion.  
May Name find in her home love and understanding.
  Help us, her family and friends, to nurture Name in our faith.
  May she grow to love, worship and bring life to the world.

As Christ has taught us, let us pray:

People: Our Creator 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 forever. Amen.

Priest: Let us depart in peace.

People: In the name of the Lord.

 

Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Baptism. Rituals: Baptism. Resource Types: Ceremony and Full Service Liturgies.

Review & Commentary