Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Baptismal Covenant

In Chapter 12 (which I will quote from in the next couple of days) Sara Miles describes her experience of baptism. One of the things she quotes from in the book is the Book of Common Prayer's Baptismal Covenant.

The Baptismal Covenant is the part of the baptism service where the candidate (the person wanting to be baptized), is asked questions about their beliefs and desires when it comes to becoming a Christian. Not only does the candidate answer the questions, the whole community who is present answers as well, signifying the community and the solidarity of being in the body of Christ together. You'll also notice, nothing is done without God being involved. God is always present.

The Baptismal Covenant goes like this:

Celebrant (fancy word for priest): Do you believe in God the Father?
People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People: 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.

Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?
People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People: I will, with God's help.

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People: I will, with God's help.

These questions can be found in the Book of Common Prayer starting on page 304, or online at BCPOnline.