Outline

Introduction
The Covenant of Baptism
The Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Baptism
The Declaration

Introduction

[Option 1]
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
      the sacrament of baptism reminds and assures us that
      we share in the death and resurrection of Christ,
      and are incorporated into Christ’s holy church.
Baptism proclaims the faith of the church.
The water of baptism is a sign and seal of God’s promise to cleanse us from sin,
     renew us, and reconcile all things to himself in Christ.
In baptism God’s people are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit
     as a pledge of this reconciliation.
The same Spirit binds us to each other
      and joins us to Christ’s ministry
      of love, peace, and justice.

[Option 2]
Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:
      “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
      baptizing them in the name of the Father
      and of the Son
      and of the Holy Spirit, and
      teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.
And remember, I am with you always,
      to the end of the age.” (from Matt. 28:18-20)

[Option 3]
In baptism God seals the promises he gave when he made his covenant with us, calling us and our children to put our trust for life and death in Christ our Savior, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him in obedience and love. God graciously includes our children in his covenant, and all his promises are for them as well as us (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39). Jesus himself embraced little children and blessed them (Mark 10:16), and the apostle Paul said that children of -believers are holy (1 Cor. 7:14). So, just as children of the old covenant received the sign of circumcision, our children are given the sign of baptism. We are therefore always to teach our little ones that they have been set apart by baptism as God’s own children.

Hear also these words from holy Scripture:
“All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (from Rom. 6:3-4)

Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s promises to this covenant people.
In baptism God promises by grace alone
      to forgive our sins,
      to adopt us into the body of Christ, the church,
      to send the Holy Spirit daily to renew and cleanse us, and
      to resurrect us to eternal life.
This promise is made visible in the water of baptism.

[Water may be poured into the font at this time or during the Prayer of Thanksgiving.]
Water cleanses,
      purifies,
      refreshes,
      sustains;
Jesus Christ is living water.
Through baptism Christ calls us to new obedience:
      to love and trust God completely,
      to forsake the evil of the world, and
      to live a new and holy life.
Yet, when we fall into sin,
      we must not despair of God’s mercy,
      nor continue in sin,
      for baptism is the sign and seal
of God’s eternal covenant of grace with us.

The Covenant of Baptism

Minister: [Name/s of parent/s,] Since you have presented [name/s of child/ren] for baptism, we ask you the following questions before God and his people.

[The minister addresses the parent/s:]

[Renunciations option 1]
Beloved of God,
      I ask you before God and Christ’s church
      to reject evil,
      to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, and
      to confess the faith of the church.
Do you renounce sin and the power of evil
      in your life and in the world?
We/I renounce them.

Who is your Lord and Savior?
Jesus Christ is my/our Lord and Savior.

Will you be a faithful member of this congregation, and,
      through worship and service,
      seek to advance God’s purposes
      here and throughout the world?
We/I will, God helping us/me.

Do you profess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and affirm the promises of God made to you and your children in his Word?
We/I do, God helping us/me.

[Renunciations option 2]
Beloved of God,
I ask you before God and Christ’s church
to reject evil,
to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, and
to confess the faith of the church.
Do you renounce sin and the power of evil
in your life and in the world?
We/I renounce them.

Who is your Lord and Savior?
Jesus Christ is my/our Lord and Savior.

[Vows option 1]
Do you promise
to instruct these children/this child
in the truth of God’s Word,
in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ;
to pray for them, to teach them to pray, and
to train them in Christ’s way by your example,
through worship, and
in the nurture of the church?
We/I do, God helping us/me.

[Vows option 2]
Do you believe that your children, though sinful by nature, are received by God in Christ as members of his covenant, and therefore ought to be baptized?
And do you promise, in reliance on the Holy Spirit and with the help of the Christian community, to do all in your power to instruct these children in the Christian faith and to lead them by your example into the life of Christian discipleship?
We/I do, God helping us/me.

[The congregation is asked to rise in order to make their promises. The minister, or an elder, addresses the members of the congregation:]
Do you promise to love, encourage, and support
these brothers and sisters
by teaching the gospel of God’s love,
by being an example of Christian faith and character, and
by giving the strong support of God’s family
in fellowship, prayer, and service?
We do.

[The minister may invite the congregation to join the parents in reciting the Apostles’ Creed.]
Let us join with the whole baptized church of God in professing the faith of the church and renewing our own baptismal covenant.

[The questions may be omitted.]
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty?
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
I 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.

The Prayer of Thanksgiving

Minister: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
People: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks,
O holy and gracious God,
for the gift of water.
In the beginning of creation your Spirit moved over the waters.
In the waters of the flood you destroyed evil.
You led the children of Israel through the sea
into the freedom of the promised land.
In the river Jordan, John baptized our Lord,
and your Spirit anointed him.
By his death and resurrection
Jesus Christ, the living water,
forgives us,
frees us from sin and death,
and opens the way to life everlasting.
We thank you, O God, for the gift of baptism.
In this water you confirm to us
that we are buried with Christ in his death,
are raised to share in his resurrection,
are being renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and
are united to Christ in mission.

[The minister may pour or touch the water.]
Send your Holy Spirit, we pray,
upon those baptized here today [minister may prefer to use the names of the candidates],
that this water may be a spring gushing up to eternal life.
Wash away their sin,
raise them to new life, and
graft them to the body of Christ.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon them, that they may have
wisdom to discern their gifts,
strength to obey your will,
and joy in answering your call.
To you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God,
be all praise, honor, and glory, now and forever. Amen.

The Baptism

[The minister may ask the parent/s of each child:]
What is the name of this child?

[The parents shall give the given or first name; the minister may hold infants or small children, addressing each:]
[Name], for you Jesus came into the world;
for you he died and conquered death;
all this he did for you, little one,
though you know nothing of it as yet.
We love because God first loved us.

[The minister shall immerse the child or pour/sprinkle water visibly and generously at the declaration of each name of the three persons of the Trinity, saying:]
      [Name],
      I baptize you
      in the name of the Father,
      and of the Son,
      and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

[The minister may mark the sign of the cross on the forehead with a gesture or using oil, saying to each:]
      [Name],
      The Lord bless you and keep you;
      the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
      the Lord turn his face to you and give you peace.

      [The minister may offer this or a similar prayer:]
      Gracious Lord,
      look with kindness upon these parents.
      May they ever rejoice in the gift you have given them.
      Grant them the presence of your Holy Spirit,
      that they may bring up these children
      to know you, to love you, and to serve you. Amen.

The Declaration

[The minister shall make the following declaration concerning those just baptized:]
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the only King and Head of the church,
[Name/s] is/are now
received into the membership of the holy catholic church,
engaged to confess Christ and
to be God’s faithful servant/s until life’s end.