Baptism: The Service - Page 3
During the Baptism, as babies are too young to speak for themselves, their Godparents act on their behalf and speak for them. In Common Worship parents and Godparents speak for them. We’ll look now at the main parts of the Baptism of a baby – Elizabeth – following the order of events in Common Worship. (3) Elizabeth’s parish priest is baptising her.
Presentation of Elizabeth
Elizabeth’s godparents and parents declare that they will support her in her life as a Christian.
The Decision (Baptismal Promises)
The Promises made on Elizabeth’s behalf involve renouncing the Devil and all that is evil and a declaration of turning to Christ.
Signing with the Cross
The priest makes the sign of the Cross on Elizabeth’s forehead. The Cross is the badge of a Christian soldier and it shows that Elizabeth belongs to Christ.
Prayer over the water
The priest says a prayer over the water in the font. At one time the water was kept in the font from one Baptism to another. A flat wooden cover acted as a lid to keep the dust out, but in the 13th century the Archbishop of Canterbury ordered locks to be put on them. This was to stop people from stealing the water and using it for magical purposes. On some old fonts you can still see the staples used in the locking of the font. The prayer over the water includes these words,
“Now sanctify this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit,
they (the candidates) may be cleansed from sin and born again”. (4)