Baptism is a sacrament open to all believers, affirmed by Scripture and the Holy Spirit, and modeled by Jesus himself. The Foundry’s new release, Baptism: Celebrating Your New Life in Christ, explains the history and practice of Christian baptism, answers common questions about baptism, and provides liturgies. Below are two liturgies included in Baptism, to be used during baptismal services.
The Baptism of Believers*
Dearly Beloved: Christian baptism is a sacrament signifying participation by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and incorporation into his body, the church. It is a means of grace proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The apostle Paul declares that all who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into his death. We are buried with him through baptism so that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too are raised to walk in newness of life. As we have been united with him in his death, we will also be united with him in his resurrection.
The Christian faith, into which you now come to be baptized, is affirmed in the Apostles’ Creed, which we confess:
The minister leads the congregation in the affirmation of the confession of faith.
We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and 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, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy church of Jesus Christ, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Will you be baptized into this faith?
Response: I will.
Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and do you believe that he saves you now?
Response: I do by faith.
As a member of the church of Jesus Christ, will you follow him all the days of your life, growing in grace and the love of God and neighbor?
Response: I will with God’s help.
The minister, giving the full name of the person and using the preferred form of baptism—sprinkling, pouring, or immersion—shall say:
_________________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Baptism of Infants or Young Children
When the sponsors shall have presented themselves with the child (or children) the minister shall say:
Dearly Beloved: The sacrament of baptism is the sign and seal of the new covenant of grace. While we do not hold that baptism imparts the regenerating grace of God, we do believe that Christian baptism signifies for this young child God’s acceptance within the community of Christian faith on the basis of prevenient grace. It anticipates his (her) personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ.
In presenting this child for baptism you are hereby witnessing to your own personal Christian faith and to your purpose to guide him (her) early in life to a knowledge of Christ as Savior. To this end it is your duty to teach him (her), as soon as he (she) shall be able to learn, the nature and end of this holy sacrament; to watch over his (her) education, that he (she) may not be led astray; to direct his (her) feet to the sanctuary; to restrain him (her) from evil associates and habits; and as much as in you lies, to bring him (her) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Will you endeavor to do so by the help of God? If so, answer, “I will.”
The minister may then ask the parents or guardians to name the child, and shall then baptize the child, repeating his (her) full name and saying:
___________________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Pastor: Baptism also signifies the acceptance of this child into the community of Christian faith. I now ask you, the congregation; will you commit yourself as the body of Christ to support and encourage these parents as they endeavor to fulfill their responsibilities to this child and to assist by nurturing his (her) growth toward spiritual maturity?
Response: We will.
The minister may then offer the following prayer or may use an extemporary prayer.
Heavenly Father, we humbly pray that you will take this child into your loving care. Abundantly enrich him (her) with your heavenly grace; bring him (her) safely through the perils of childhood; deliver him (her) from the temptations of youth; lead him (her) to a personal knowledge of Christ as Savior; help him (her) to grow in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and all people, and to persevere therein to the end. Uphold the parents with loving care, that with wise counsel and holy example they may faithfully discharge their responsibilities to both this child and to you. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*Taken from the Church of the Nazarene Manual: 2017–2021 (Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Publishing House, 2017), 264–68.
My Baptism Story is available in discounted packs of 5 for $19.99. My Baptism Story also comes with free downloads, including a leader’s guide, a baptism certificate, and graphics. Baptism: Celebrating Your new Life in Christ is also available in discounted packs of 5 for $24.99.