The Rite of Baptism is divided into four parts:

  • Reception of the Child
  • Celebration of God's Word
  • Celebration of the Sacrament
  • Conclusion of the Rite



If possible, baptism should take place on Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates the paschal mystery.  It should be conferred in a communal celebration in the presence of the faithful, or at least of relatives, friends, and neighbours, who are all to take an active part in the rite.  It is the role of the father and mother, accompanied by the godparents, to present the child for baptism.  The people may sing a psalm or hymn suitable for the occasion.  Meanwhile the celebrant, vested in alb or surplice, with stole (with or without a cope) of festive colour, and accompanied by ministers, goes to the entrance of the church or to that part of the church where the parents and godparents are waiting with the child. 


The celebrant greets all present, and especially the parents and godparents, reminding them briefly of the joy with which the parents welcomed the child as a gift from God, the source of life, who now wishes to bestow life on this little one.


First the celebrant questions the parents:


Celebrant:  What name do you give your child?

Parents:      N.


Celebrant:  What do you ask of Gods church for N..?

Parents:      Baptism.


The Celebrant addresses the parents in these or similar words:


Celebrant:  You have asked to have your child baptised.  In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practise of the faith.  It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour.  Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

Parents:     We do.


Then the Celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:


Celebrant:  Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?

Godparents:   We are.


Celebrant:  N., the Christian community welcomes you with great joy.  In its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of the cross.  I now trace the cross on your forehead, and invite your parents (and godparents) to do the same. 


                        He signs the Child on the forehead, in silence. Then he invites the parents and (if it seems appropriate) the godparents to do the same.  The celebrant invites the parents, godparents, and the others to take part in the liturgy of the Word.



Scriptural Readings and Homily


One or more scripture passages are read, during which all may sit if convenient.


Celebrant:   The Lord be with you.

All:              And also with you.


Celebrant:   A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John      (3:1-6)

All:              Glory to you O Lord.


There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew, who came to Jesus by night saying “ Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.  Jesus answered:


 “I tell you most solemnly,

unless man is born from above,

he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”


Nicodemus said “How can a grown man be born?  Can he go back into the mother’s womb and be born again?  Jesus replied


 “I tell you most solemnly,

unless a man is born through water and the Spirit,

he cannot enter the kingdom of God,

what is born of the flesh is flesh,

what is born of the Spirit is spirit.”


 Celebrant:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.


 All:  Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ


After the reading the celebrant gives a short homily, explaining to those present the significance of what has been read.  His purpose will be to lead them to a deeper understanding of the mystery of baptism and to encourage the parents to a ready acceptance of the responsibilities which arise from the sacrament.


After the homily, or in the course of or after the liturgy, it is desirable to have a period of silence while all pray at the invitation of the celebrant.  If convenient, a suitable hymn may follow.

Intercessions (Prayer of the Faithful)


Celebrant:  My brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look   lovingly on this child who is to be baptized, on his (her) parents and   godparents, and on all the baptized.


 #1:   By the mystery of your death and resurrection, bathe this child in   light, give him (her) the new life of baptism and welcome him (her)   into your holy Church.  Lord hear us.

All:  Lord graciously hear us.


 #2:   Through baptism and confirmation, make him (her) your faithful   follower and witness to your gospel.  Lord hear us.

All:  Lord graciously hear us.


 #3:   Lead him (her) by a holy life to the joys of God's kingdom.  

  Lord hear us.

All:  Lord graciously hear us.


 #4:   Make the lives of his (her) parents and godparents examples of faith   to inspire this child. Lord hear us.

All:  Lord graciously hear us.


 #5:   Keep his (her) family always in your love.  Lord hear us.

All:  Lord graciously hear us.


 #6:   Renew the grace of our baptism in each one of us.  Lord hear us.

All:  Lord graciously hear us.


The celebrant next invites all present to invoke the saints.


Holy Mary, Mother of God  All:   pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist           All:   pray for us.

Saint Joseph                         All:   pray for us.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul     All:   pray for us.

St. N.                                   All:   pray for us.


The names of other saints may be added, especially the patrons of the child to be baptised, and of the church or locality.  The litany concludes.


All you saints of God            All:   pray for us.



Prayer of Exorcism and Anointing Before Baptism


After the invocation, the celebrant says:


Celebrant:  We anoint you with the oil of salvation in the name of Christ our Saviour; may he strengthen you with his power, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


All:  Amen.


He anoints the child on the breast with the Oil of Catechumens.


Then they go to the baptistery, or to the sanctuary when baptism is celebrated there on occasion.



                                Then they come to the font, the celebrant briefly reminds the congregation of the wonderful work of God whose plan it is to sanctify man, body and soul, through water.  He may use these or similar words:



Blessing and Invocation of God over Baptismal Water


Then, turning to the font, he says the following blessing (Outside the Easter Season):




Celebrant:    Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs, which tells   us the wonders of your unseen power.

In Baptism we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you give us in this sacrament. 

At the very dawn of creation your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness.

The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of Baptism, that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.

Through the waters of the Red Sea you led Israel out of slavery, to be an image of God's holy people, set free from sin by Baptism. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit.  Your Son willed that water and blood should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross.  After his resurrection he told his disciples: “Go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of Baptism.  By the power of the Spirit give to the water of this font the grace of your Son. You created man in your own likeness: cleanse him from sin in a new birth to innocence by water and the Spirit.


The celebrant touches the water with his right hand and continues:


Celebrant:    We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon   the water of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the   death of Baptism rise also with him to newness of life. (We ask   this) through Christ our Lord.




Celebrant:    Praise to you, almighty God and Father, for you have created water   to cleanse and to give life.

All:                Blessed be God.


Celebrant:    Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s only Son, for you   offered yourself on the cross, that in the blood and water flowing   from your side, and through your death and resurrection, the Church   might be born.

All:                Blessed be God.


Celebrant:    Praise to you, God the Holy Spirit, for you anointed Christ at his   baptism in the waters of Jordan, so that we might all be baptized in   you.

All:                Blessed be God.


Celebrant:    Come to, Lord, Father of all, and make holy this water which you have created, so that all who are baptised in it may be washed clean of sin and be born again to live as your children.

All:               Hear us, Lord.


Celebrant:    Make this water holy, Lord, so that all who are baptised in it may be washed clean of sin and be born again to live as your children.

All:                Hear us, Lord.


The celebrant touches the water with his right hand and continues:


Celebrant:    Lord, make holy this water which you have created, so that all those whom you have chosen may be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, and may take their place among your holy people.

All:               Hear us, Lord.


If the baptismal water has already been blessed, the celebrant omits the invocation ‘Come to us, Lord’ and those that follow it, and says:


Celebrant:    You called your child N. to this cleansing water that he (she) may   share in the faith of your Church and eternal life.  By the mystery of   this consecrated water lead him (her) to a new and spiritual birth.

(We ask this) through Christ our Lord.

 All:   Amen. 


(c) During the Easter season, if there is baptismal water which was consecrated at the Easter Vigil, the blessing and invocation of God over the water are nevertheless included, so that the theme of thanksgiving and petition may find a place in the baptism.


Celebrant:    Father, God of mercy, through these waters of baptism you have   filled us with new life as your very own children.

All:               Blessed be God.


Celebrant:  From all who are baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, you have   formed one people, united in your Son, Jesus Christ.

All:              Blessed be God.


Celebrant:  You have set us free and filled our hearts with the Spirit of your   love, that we may live in your peace.

All:              Blessed be God.


Celebrant:  You call those who have been baptized to announce the Good News   of Jesus Christ to people everywhere.

All:              Blessed be God.


If the baptismal water has already been blessed, the celebrant omits this last prayer and says:


Celebrant:  You have called your children, N. & N., to this cleansing water,

  that they may share in the faith of your Church and have eternal   life. By the mystery of this consecrated water lead them to a new   and spiritual birth.

  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All:  Amen.


Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith.


Celebrant:    Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present this child for baptism.  By water and the Holy Spirit he (she) is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love.


 On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring him (her) up in the faith. See that the divine life which God gives him (her) is kept safe from poison of sin, to grow always stronger in his (her) heart.


 If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your baptism.  Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus.  This is the faith of the Church.  This is the faith in which this child is about to be baptised.


The celebrant questions the parents and godparents.


Celebrant:    Do you reject Satan?

Parents & Godparents:  I do.


Celebrant:    And all his works?

Parents & Godparents:  I do.


Celebrant:    And all his empty promises?

Parents & Godparents:  I do.


Next the celebrant asks for the threefold profession of faith from the parents and godparents.


Celebrant:    Do you believe in the God the Father, almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

Parents & Godparents:  I do.


Celebrant:    Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

Parents & Godparents:  I do.


Celebrant:   Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

Parents & Godparents:  I do.


The celebrant and the congregation give their assent to this profession of faith:


Celebrant:   This is our faith.  This is the faith of the Church, we are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All:  Amen.



The celebrant invites the family to the font and questions the parents and godparents:


Celebrant:   Is it your will that N. be baptised in the faith of the Church, which we have all professed with you? 

Parents:  It is.


He baptises the child, saying:




He immerses the child or pours water upon it.


Celebrant:    AND OF THE SON


He immerses the child or pours water upon it a second time.




He immerses the child or pours water upon it a third time.


After the child is baptised, it is appropriate for the people to sing a short acclamation:


This is the fountain of life,

water made holy by the suffering of Christ, washing all the world.

You who are washed in this water have hope of heaven’s kingdom.


Anointing After Baptism

Celebrant:    God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as members of his body, sharing everlasting life.

All:   Amen.


Then the celebrant anoints the child on the crown of the head with the sacred chrism, in silence.


Clothing with the White Garment

Celebrant:    N., you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ.  See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity.  With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.

All:   Amen.


The white garment is put on the child.  A different colour is not permitted unless demanded by local custom.  It is desirable that the family provide the garment.


The Lighted Candle

The Celebrant takes the Easter Candle and says:


Celebrant:   Receive the light of Christ.


Someone from the family (such as the father or godfather) lights the child’s candle from the Easter Candle.  The Celebrant then says:


Celebrant:   Parents and Godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.  This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ.  He (she) is to walk always as a child of the light. May he (she) keep the flame of faith alive in his (her) heart.   When the Lord comes, may he (she) go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.



The rite of Ephphetha follows.  The celebrant touches the ears and mouth of the child with his thumb, saying:


Celebrant:    The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak.  May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith. To the praise and glory of God the Father.

All:   Amen.




Next there is a procession to the altar, unless the baptism was performed in the sanctuary.  The lighted candle is carried for the child.


A baptismal song is appropriate at this time, e.g.:.


You have put on Christ,

in him you have been baptised.

Alleluia, alleluia.


The Lord’s Prayer

The celebrant stands in front of the altar and addresses the parents, godparents, and the whole assembly in these or similar words:


Celebrant:    Dearly beloved, this child has been reborn in baptism. He (she) is now called the child of God, for so indeed he (she) is.   In confirmation he (she) will receive the fullness of God's Spirit. In holy communion he (she) will share the banquet of Christ's sacrifice, calling God his (her) Father in the midst of the Church. In the  name of this child, in the Spirit of our common sonship, let us pray together in the words our Lord has given us:

All present join the celebrant in singing or saying:


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.


Blessing and Dismissal

The celebrant first blesses the mother, who holds the child in her arms, then the father, and lastly the entire assembly:


Celebrant:  God the Father, through his Son, the Virgin Mary's child, has brought joy to all Christian mothers, as they see the hope of eternal life shine on their children. May he bless the mothers of this child. They now thank God for the gift of their children. May they be one with them in thanking him for ever in heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All:             Amen.


Celebrant:  God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May he bless the fathers of this child. With their wives they will be the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith. May they be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All:             Amen.


Celebrant:  By God's gift, through water and the Holy Spirit, we are reborn to everlasting life. In his goodness, may he continue to pour out his blessing upon all present, who are his sons and daughters. May he make them always, wherever they may be, faithful members of his holy people. May he send his peace upon all who are gathered here, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All:             Amen.


Celebrant:  May almighty God, the Father, and the Son X and the Holy Spirit, bless you and remain with you forever.

All:              Amen.


Celebrant:  Go in peace.

All:              Thanks be to God.


Where there is the practice of bringing the baptised child to the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this custom may be observed if appropriate.



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