Baptism of Children of Believers
(To be conducted during the regular Sunday Service)
An appropriate hymn or psalm may be sung.
During the singing, the minister comes to the font, together with the parents of the child (father carrying the child).
The minister says:
In Matthew's Gospel, we read how the risen Lord came to his disciples and said:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
The New Testament also teaches us that Baptism is the sign and seal of the covenant of grace, God's promise to forgive our sins and renew us by the Spirit, for Peter proclaimed:
Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call. (Acts 2:38,39)
Members of the church:
We ourselves trusted Christ for our salvation; we ourselves were baptised. As we remember these facts, we rejoice in the help that a physical sign and seal like baptism can be to our faith.
Still today, the water of Baptism is the sign of God's promise of spiritual washing and forgiveness, of a new birth into eternal life, and of the Holy Spirit continually refreshing us.
The minister shall then say to the parents: Do you believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Response: I do .
Do you trust in the righteousness of Christ alone for your salvation?
Response: I do.
Our Lord Jesus has commanded us to teach those whom we baptise in his name. Do you promise to teach N....... from the Scriptures how to trust in Christ as his Saviour, to pray for him, and to set him a godly example in your actions, that, by God's grace, he may be a faithful follower of our Lord Jesus Christ all his days?
Response: I do.
Then the minister shall say:
May God bless you and give you grace to be faithful to your promises.
Then, addressing the congregation, he shall say:
This sacrament lays special responsibilities upon you, the people of God. Will you be faithful to your calling as members of the Church of Christ, so that, by God's grace, this child may grow up in the knowledge and love of Christ?
If you accept this responsibility, please say: I will.
The minister asks the father/mother to present the child, and baptises him:
N......., I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The minister may say:
May the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be on you and in your heart forever. Amen.
Taking the child in his arms the minister stands before the Congregation and proclaims:
By his Baptism N....... is now received into the membership of the visible Church, and commended to the love and care of all believers, for Jesus said:
Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me.
The congregation sings the Aaronic Blessing (Rejoice! 352)
Returning the child to its mother the minister says:
May God bless you in the great and wonderful privilege He has given you.
The minister then calls all to prayer with words such as:
Let us pray:
O God, as you led your people Israel through the wilderness to the Promised Land by the pillar of cloud and fire, so lead N....... safely to your heavenly kingdom.
Give him a tender conscience that is sensitive to evil's slightest touch, and help him to mourn for his sin. Show him that you are a God who is rich in mercy, and that the blood of your Son can cleanse him from every sin. Lead him by your Spirit to subdue all sinful desires, and may he live in fellowship with you through faith in your great and precious promises.
As he journeys on, may he never rest content with his spiritual progress, but add to his faith goodness, knowledge, perseverance and love. Help him to possess these qualities in increasing measure so that he will be fruitful in his knowledge of our Lord Jesus.
Lord, we also pray that you would protect him from the powers of the Devil who will wage war against his soul.
Guard him with the armour of truth, righteousness and the spirit of prayer, so that, when the day of evil comes, he will stand.
And help his parents so to direct and pray for him that he will be a witness to Christ throughout his life on earth, and arrive safely in the world to come. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The minister, or elder shall present the Baptismal Certificate to the parents, and the minister may say:
Your child's Baptismal Certificate is not only the evidence of that which we have shared today, but will be the reminder to you of the promises made today – by you.
We pray that the day will come when he will embrace this faith for himself, and it will be your joy to present him with this, his own Baptismal Certificate. May God bless you and your child. Amen.
A hymn or psalm may be sung.