Diocese of Portsmouth

Baptism, Confirmation, Renewal of Bapstismal Faith, Reception into the Communion of the Church of England

Diocese of Portsmouth

* PLEASE NOTE: The Bishop does not normally use ‘The Commission’, ‘The Welcome’ or Intercessions at Baptism / Confirmation services.

The Order for Celebration of Holy Communion with Baptism and Confirmation together with Affirmation of Baptismal Faith and Reception into the Communion of the Church of England

Preparation

At the entry of the ministers, a hymn may be sung.

THE GREETING

The bishop greets the people, using these or other suitable words

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

or from Easter Day to Pentecost
Alleluia Christ is risen
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

There is one body and one spirit.
There is one hope to which we were called;one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all.

Peace be with you.
And also with you.

The bishop may introduce the service.

Gloria in excelsis may be used.

THE COLLECT

The bishop introduces a period of silent prayer with the words Let us pray or a more specific bidding.

The Collect of the Day is normally used on Sundays and on Principal Festivals. On other occasions a seasonal Collect from the service for Holy Baptism or this prayer is used

Heavenly Father,
by the power of your Holy Spirit
you give to your faithful people new life in the water of baptism.
Guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit,
that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love,
and grow into the full stature of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit
now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

The readings of the day are normally used on Sundays and Principal Festivals. For other occasions a Table of Readings is provided.

Either one or two readings from Scripture may precede the Gospel reading. At the end of each the reader may say

his is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The psalm or canticle follows the first reading; other hymns and songs may be used between the readings.

GOSPEL READING

An acclamation may herald the Gospel reading.

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.
Glory to you, O Lord.

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON

The Liturgy of Initiation

PRESENTATION OF THE CANDIDATES

The candidates may be presented to the congregation. Where appropriate, they may be presented by their godparents or sponsors. If there are infants for baptism, the direction in Note 1 is followed.

The bishop asks those who are candidates for baptism

Do you wish to be baptised?
I do.

The bishop asks the candidates for confirmation who have been baptised (together with those who wish to affirm their baptismal faith and/or those who are to be received into the communion of the Church of England)

Have you been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?
I have.

The bishop asks all the candidates

Are you ready with your own mouth and from your own heart to affirm your faith in Jesus Christ?
I am.

Testimony by the candidates may follow.

The bishop addresses the whole congregation

Faith is the gift of God to his people.
In baptism the Lord is adding to our number those whom he is calling.
People of God, will you welcome these candidates and uphold them in their life in Christ?
With the help of God, we will.

If children are to be baptized, the questions to parents and godparents in the service for Holy Baptism are used.

THE DECISION

A large candle may be lit. The bishop addresses all the candidates

In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him.
Therefore I ask:

Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.

Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.

Where there are strong pastoral reasons, the alternative form of the Decision may be used.

SIGNING WITH THE CROSS

The bishop or another minister makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of each candidate for baptism, saying

Christ claims you for his own.
Receive the sign of his cross.

The bishop may invite their sponsors to sign the candidates with the sign of the cross.

When all the candidates for baptism have been signed, the bishop says to them

Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ
against sin, the world and the devil,
and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.

The bishop says

May almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness,
restore in you the image of his glory,
and lead you in the light and obedience of Christ. Amen.

or when there are no candidates for baptism he may say

May God who has given you the desire to follow Christ
give you strength to continue in the Way. Amen.

PRAYER OVER THE WATER

The ministers and candidates for baptism, together with candidates for confirmation, affirmation of baptismal faith and reception into the communion of the Church of England, gather at the baptismal font. A canticle, psalm, hymn or a litany may be used.

When there are candidates for baptism, the bishop stands before the water of baptism and says (optional seasonal and responsive forms are provided in the appendices to the service for Holy Baptism)

Praise God who made heaven and earth,
who keeps his promise for ever.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water
to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life.
Over water the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation.

Through water you led the children of Israel
from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land.
In water your Son Jesus received the baptism of John
and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ,
to lead us from the death of sin to newness of 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 baptise into his fellowship those who come to him in faith.

Now sanctify this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit,
they may be cleansed from sin and born again.
Renewed in your image, may they walk by the light of faith
and continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

PROFESSION OF FAITH

The bishop addresses the congregation

Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess
together with these candidates
the faith of the Church.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
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,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe and trust 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.

Where there are strong pastoral reasons the Alternative Profession of Faith may be used.

BAPTISM

The bishop may address each candidate for baptism by name, saying

N, is this your faith?

and candidates answer in their own words, or

This is my faith.

The bishop or another minister dips each candidate in water, or pours water on them, saying

N, I baptise you
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If the newly baptised are clothed with a white robe, a hymn or song may be used, and a minister may say

You have been clothed with Christ.
As many as are baptised into Christ have put on Christ.

If those who have been baptised were not signed with the cross immediately after the Decision, the bishop signs each one now.

The bishop says

May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church,
pour upon you the riches of his grace,
that within the company of Christ’s pilgrim people
you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit,
and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory. Amen.

DECLARATION FOR AFFIRMATION

Those who are to affirm their baptismal faith stand before the bishop, who says

I call upon those who are affirming their baptismal faith to renew their commitment to Jesus Christ.

These candidates face the people and make this declaration

I answer the call of God my creator.
I trust in Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
I seek new life from the Holy Spirit.

The congregation responds

God, who has called you, is faithful.
Rejoice in your baptism into Jesus Christ.
Walk with us in the life of the Spirit.

DECLARATION FOR RECEPTION

Those who are to be received into the communion of the Church of England stand before the bishop to make this declaration.

The bishop says

You are here to be received into the communion of the Church of England.

Do you acknowledge the Church of England as part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church?
I do.

Do you accept the teaching, discipline and authority of the Church of England?
I do.

Will you take part with us in worship and mission?
I will.

The candidates for confirmation who have previously been baptised (together with those affirming their baptismal faith or seeking reception) may come forward to the font and sign themselves with water, or the bishop may sprinkle them.

Then the bishop says

Almighty God,
we thank you for our fellowship in the household of faith
with all who have been baptised into your name.
Keep us faithful to our baptism,
and so make us ready for that day
when the whole creation shall be made perfect in your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The bishop and the candidates gather at the place of confirmation. A hymn, chant or litany may be used.

CONFIRMATION

The bishop stands before those who are to be confirmed, and says

Our help is in the name of the Lord
who has made heaven and earth.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
now and for ever. Amen.

The bishop extends his hands towards those to be confirmed and says

Almighty and ever-living God,
you have given these your servants new birth
in baptism by water and the Spirit,
and have forgiven them all their sins.
Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them:
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding;
the Spirit of counsel and inward strength;
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness;
and let their delight be in the fear of the Lord. Amen.

The bishop addresses each candidate by name

N, God has called you by name and made you his own.

He then lays his hand on the head of each, saying

Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit. Amen.

AFFIRMATION OF BAPTISMAL FAITH

The bishop extends his hands towards those who seek to affirm their baptismal faith and says

God of mercy and love,
in baptism you welcome the sinner
and restore the dead to life.
You create a clean heart in those who repent,
and give your Holy Spirit to those who ask.
Grant that these your servants may grow
into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
Equip them with the gifts of your Holy Spirit,
and fill them with faith in Jesus Christ
and with love for all your people,
in the service of your kingdom. Amen.

The bishop lays his hand on each one, saying

N, may God renew his life within you
that you may confess his name this day and for ever. Amen.

RECEPTION INTO THE COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

The bishop extends his hands towards those who are to be received and says

God of mercy and love,
by one Spirit we have all been baptised into one body
and made to drink of the one Spirit;
we thank you for the gifts you have given to these your servants
for the building up of the body of Christ.
Grant that they may continue in the life of the Spirit
and walk with us in the light and obedience of Christ.
By the same Spirit, fill the whole Church
with your overflowing love;
give us knowledge and discernment of your will,
and steadfastness in your service,
until we all come to the unity of the faith,
to the measure of the full stature of Christ,
through whom we make our prayer. Amen.

The bishop takes the hand of each person to be received, saying

N, we recognize you as a member of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church;
and we receive you into the communion of the Church of England
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The bishop invites the congregation to pray for all those on whom hands have been laid

Defend, O Lord, these your servants with your heavenly grace,
that they may continue yours for ever,
and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more
until they come to your everlasting kingdom. Amen.

COMMISSION

The bishop may use this Commission

Those who are baptised are called to worship and serve God.

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you persevere in resisting evil,
and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you proclaim by word and example
the good news of God in Christ?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all people,
loving your neighbour as yourself?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you acknowledge Christ’s authority over human society,
by prayer for the world and its leaders,
by defending the weak, and by seeking peace and justice?
With the help of God, I will.

May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith,
that you may be rooted and grounded in love
and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. Amen.

The Prayers of Intercession may follow. It is appropriate that the newly baptised and confirmed take their part in leading the prayers. The prayers provided in the service for Holy Baptism may be used. If the rest of the Holy Communion does not follow, these prayers may be used after the Welcome and Peace.

THE WELCOME AND PEACE

The bishop may address the newly baptized

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
N and N, by one Spirit we are all baptised into one body.
We welcome you in the fellowship of faith;
we are children of the same heavenly Father;
we welcome you.

The congregation may greet the newly baptised.

The bishop introduces the Peace in these or other suitable words (seasonal forms are provided in the service for Holy Baptism)

God has made us one in Christ.
He has set his seal upon us
and, as a pledge of what is to come,
has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

A minister may say

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

All may exchange a sign of peace.

If the Liturgy of the Sacrament does not follow immediately, the service concludes with suitable prayers, ending with the Lord’s Prayer and the Sending Out.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Order for Celebration of Holy Communion continues with

PREPARATION OF THE TABLE

TAKING OF THE BREAD AND WINE

THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

This Short Proper Preface may be used

And now we give you thanks
because by water and the Holy Spirit
you have made us a holy people in Jesus Christ our Lord;
you raise us to new life in him
and renew in us the image of your glory.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

GIVING OF COMMUNION

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

The authorized Post Communion for the Day is normally used on Sundays and on Principal Festivals. On other occasions a seasonal prayer from the service for Holy Baptism or this prayer is used

God of mercy,
by whose grace alone we are accepted
and equipped for your service:
stir up in us the gifts of your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Sending Out

THE BLESSING

The bishop may use a seasonal blessing from the service for Holy Baptism, or another suitable blessing, or

The God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus,
establish, strengthen and settle you in the faith;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

GIVING OF A LIGHTED CANDLE

A hymn may be sung.

The bishop or another person may give all candidates a lighted candle. These candles may be lit from the candle used at the Decision.

When all have received a candle, the bishop says

God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and has given us a place with the saints in light.

You have received the light of Christ;
walk in this light all the days of your life.
Shine as a light in the world
to the glory of God the Father.

THE DISMISSAL

Go in the light and peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

From Easter to Pentecost Alleluia Alleluia may be added after both the versicle and response.

The bishop may lead the newly baptised and confirmed through the church.

©The Archbishops’ Council 2000.

Texts for this service can also be found on the Common Worship website.