Chapter 1: Baptism

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A. Dedication of Infants

5500. (When the parents, guardians or other sponsors have presented themselves with their children before the minister, the minister shall say:)

Dear friends, you have brought these children* whom God has given you to be dedicated to God and to His service. By this act you testify to your faith in the Christian religion, and also your desire that your children shall receive the benefits of consecration to God, and of the prayers of the church, and may early learn to know and follow the will of God; and therefore may live a Christian life.

In order for this to happen, it will be your duty as parents to teach your children early the fear of the Lord; to watch over their education, that they may not be led astray by false teachings or doctrines, to direct their minds to the Holy Scriptures as expressing the will and authority of God for all people, and to direct their feet to the sanctuary, to restrain them from evil associates and habits; and, as much as you are able, to bring them up in the Lord’s discipline and instruction. Will you endeavor to do so, by the help of the Lord?

(Then the parents or guardians shall answer:)

We will.

(Then the minister shall read the following Scripture lesson:)

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16).

(Then the minister shall ask the parents or guardians the name of each child to be dedicated, take each child in arms, lay a hand upon the child’s head, and say:)

____________ ___________, in behalf of your parents and of this congregation, I dedicate you unto the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Then the minister may pray.)

_______________________
*Throughout the ritual, whenever instructions are given to the officiating minister, or a word may change form due to the gender or number of persons involved in the ritual on a given occasion, that word(s) is printed in italics to alert the minister who reads. “These children” may become “this child,” “he” may become “she” or “they,” etc.”

B. Baptism of Infants

5510. (When the parents, guardians or other sponsors have presented themselves with their children before the minister, the minister shall say:)

Dear friends, you have brought these children whom God has given you to be baptized, thereby testifying to your own commitment of faith in Christ and the assurance you hold that the grace of God is even now at work in their lives. Forasmuch as these children are now presented by you, it will be your duty as parents to teach them as soon as they are able to learn, the nature and meaning of this sacrament. In order to testify to your faith and to your desire to nurture your children within this faith, please respond to these questions.

Do you present your children for baptism as a sign of the grace of God which is extended even now to your children through the atoning work of Christ and declares them to be a part of the family of God? And,

Do you promise with the help of God to bring your children up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord, to pray with them and for them, and to make every effort to so order your own life that you will not cause these little ones to stumble? And,

Do you intend to encourage your children as soon as they are able to comprehend its significance to acknowledge personally their own faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to serve God faithfully in the fellowship of His Church?

(Then the parents will respond:)


We do, God being our helper.


(Then the minister shall ask the parents or guardians the name of each child, take it in arms, and baptize each child saying:)

____________ ____________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Then the minister may pray.)

C. Baptism of Believers

5515. (When the candidates for baptism have presented themselves before the minister, the minister shall say:)

Dear friends, in keeping with the example of Jesus, you have presented yourselves this day that you might receive the sacrament of baptism. Baptism is not itself the door to salvation, but rather is an outward sign of the new birth which God has wrought in your heart. It proclaims to all the world that you have taken Christ Jesus as the Lord of your lives, and that it is your purpose always to obey Him. In order that we may hear your testimony of what God has done for you, and that we may know that you understand the significance of the step you are taking, we want to ask you these questions:

Do you believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? That Jesus Christ the Son suffered in your place on the cross, that He died but rose again, that He now sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all people at the last day? And do you believe in the Holy Scriptures as the inspired Word of God? That by the grace of God every person has the ability and responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and that those who repent of their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified by faith?

Answer: All this I steadfastly believe.

Do you intend by this act to testify to all the world that you are a Christian and that you will be a loyal follower of Christ?

Answer: I do.

(Then the minister shall ask the name of each candidate and shall immerse the candidate in water, or if desired, sprinkle or pour water, saying:) ____________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Then the minister shall pray.)

D. Affirmation of Parental Vows

5530. (Persons who were baptized as infants, upon coming to maturity and being converted, and desiring to make personal the vows earlier taken in their behalf by their parents, may do so by publicly answering the questions in the ritual of baptism as given in 5515 and as directed by the pastor.)

Dear friends, ______________ were presented by their parents for baptism as children. They now desire to make personal the vows made in their behalf by publicly declaring their commitment to the faith in which they were baptized.
(Then the minister shall address the candidate:)

Do you believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? That Jesus Christ the Son suffered in your place on the cross, that He died but rose again, that He now sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all people at the last day? And do you believe in the Holy Scriptures as the inspired Word of God? That by the grace of God every person has the ability and responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and that those who repent of their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified by faith?

Answer: All this I steadfastly believe.

Do you affirm the act of your parents as they presented you for baptism and do you hereby testify to all the world that you are a Christian and that you will be a loyal follower of Christ?

Answer: I do.

(Then the minister shall pray.)