The form of baptism is the same in each case, namely dipping or immersing in water or pouring water over the person in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). However, the options below vary in the degree to which the congregation is involved in welcoming the candidates. 4.1 and 4.2 are the most simple, with all the words being spoken by the minister. 4.3 and 4.4 are more expansive.

4.1

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

We receive this person into the congregation of Christ's flock and sign him with the sign of the cross, to show that he will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and to fight bravely under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant until his life's end. Amen.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for birth from above and for the remission of sins. May almighty God, according to his gracious promise, finish the work of salvation begun in you, bringing you to the joyful resurrection and to the fulfilment of his eternal kingdom. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 1)

4.2

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

We receive you into the congregation of Christ's flock and sign you with the sign of the cross, to show that you are to be true to Christ crucified until your life's end. Amen.

We praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for new spiritual life. May God fulfil his promise and complete his saving work in you. May he bring you into all the joys of his eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Services

4.3

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

God has called you into his Church.
We therefore receive and welcome you
as a fellow member of the body of Christ,
as a child of the same heavenly Father,
and as an inheritor with us of the kingdom of God.

I sign you with the sign of the cross
to show that you are to be true to Christ crucified
and that you are not to be ashamed
to confess your faith in him.
Fight bravely under his banner
against sin, the world, and the devil,
and continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant
to your life's end.

God has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 2)

4.4

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

N, I sign you with the sign of the cross to show that you are marked as Christ's own for ever.

Live as a disciple of Christ:
fight the good fight,
finish the race,
keep the faith.
Confess Christ crucified,
proclaim his resurrection,
look for his coming in glory.

God has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.

God has called you into his Church.
We therefore receive and welcome you
as a member with us of the body of Christ,
as a child of the one heavenly Father,
and as an inheritor of the kingdom of God.

A Prayer Book for Australia

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

We receive you into the congregation of Christ's flock and sign you with the sign of the cross, to show that you are to be true to Christ crucified until your life's end. Amen.

Praise God for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of his Holy Spirit. May he fulfil his promise and complete his saving work in you, bringing you into the joys of his eternal kingdom. Amen.
Sunday Services (modified)

 

5.1 Almighty God, our heavenly Father, whose Son Jesus Christ shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home: bless our homes, we pray. Help parents to impart the knowledge of you and of your love; and children to respond with love and obedience. May our homes be blessed with peace and joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.2 O God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified: preserve in the new-born children of your family the fulness of your grace. Grant that, having died and been buried with Christ, they may know the power of his risen life in their daily living. Keep us all fervent in the faith, and strong to endure to the end in your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.3 Lord God our Father, maker of heaven and earth, we thank you that you have been pleased to give this person new birth with your Holy Spirit, to adopt him for your own, and to receive him into the fellowship of your Church. Being buried with Christ in his death, may he die to sin, walk in newness of life, and be united with Christ in his resurrection. May he grow in the faith into which he has been baptised, and come to profess it for himself; and may all things belonging to the Spirit live and grow in him. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.4 Heavenly Father, we pray for the parents of this child; give them the spirit of wisdom and love, that their children may grow up to love and reverence you and their home may share in the joy of your eternal kingdom. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.5 God of truth and love, we pray for the godparents of him whom we have baptised in your name, that they may desire to share with their godchild what you have revealed to us in your holy gospel. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.6 Almighty God, we thank you for our fellowship in the household of faith with all those who have been baptised in your name. Help us to live in obedience to the promises made in our baptism and hasten that day when the whole creation shall be made perfect in your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.7 Gracious God,
in your Son Jesus Christ
you have brought us from death to life,
and we dedicate ourselves to you.
Produce in us the fruit of your Spirit.
Equip us to serve your people and advance your gospel in the world.
Enable us to live holy and righteous lives and to please you in all that we do;
in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

Sunday Services (modified)
5.8 Heavenly Father, we pray for the parents and godparents of these children.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and love, that they may teach them by word and example to know you.
Grant us in our homes the joy that comes from knowing you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday Services
5.9 Merciful God,
in your infinite love you have made a new covenant with us
in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
promising to be our God and the God of our children.
Enable all who are baptised in your name
to live as a covenant people.
Fulfil your promises to this person, we pray,
and grant that he/she may grow in faith and in your service
until his/her life's end;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer Book for Australia


There are five prayers for the candidate before baptism in The Book of Common Prayer, and one of these consists of four short prayers! In modern versions, the prayer content before baptism has been reduced and intercessions for the candidate and sponsors have sometimes been added after the baptism and reception. However, prayer before baptism expressing dependence on God to wash away sin and work by his Spirit to bring new life in Christ is important. Without such prayer, the focus would simply be on the sacramental action, and the implication might be that baptism has some automatic effect. 2.1 and 2.2 are two different versions of the same prayer, inviting the congregation to give thanks for their own baptism and praying for themselves, while interceding for those about to be baptised. 2.3 picks up some of the language of another prayer from The Book of Common Prayer, linking salvation under the Old Covenant with salvation under the New Covenant. 2.4 is a prayer that is particularly suitable for the baptism of infants.

2.1 Lord God, our heavenly Father,
we thank you for your great goodness
in calling us to know you and to put our trust in you.
Increase this knowledge and strengthen our faith.
Give your Holy Spirit to this person,
that he may be born again and made an heir of everlasting salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 1 [Infants])

2.2

Heavenly Father,
we thank you that in your great love
you have called us to know you
and to trust you.
Increase this knowledge and strengthen our faith.
Give your Holy Spirit to this person
that he may be born again,
cleansed from all sin,
and inherit your eternal Kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 2 [Infants] modified)

2.3 Almighty God, you delivered your chosen people from slavery in Egypt,
through the waters of the Red Sea,
and established with them a covenant of your unfailing love;
mercifully grant that this person
may be delivered from the slavery of sin through the new covenant,
and obtain the promise of eternal life
which you have given us in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 1 [Adults] modified)

2.4 Lord, our merciful God,
you have promised in Christ to be our God
and the God and Father of our children.
Fulfil your promise to us,
and for Jesus Christ's sake
receive these children as members of your family.
Grant that they may receive the fullness of your grace
and the washing away of all their sins,
for without these blessings no one can enter your kingdom.
May your Spirit live and work in them,
that they may be yours forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Services

 

An explanation of the significance of baptism for the candidates, their sponsors and the congregation is an appropriate way to introduce the service. The Book of Common Prayer baptismal services began by exhorting the congregation to pray for the regeneration of the candidate by the Holy Spirit. This was set within the context of allusions to John 3:5-8. Modern revisions such as 1.4 have moved away from this emphasis. It is preserved in the final paragraph of 1.1 and more fully in 1.3. Such exhortations should be followed by a suitable prayer for the candidate (as in 2.1 and 2.2).

The emphasis in 1.1 and 1.4 is on the command to baptize given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19 and the call of Peter to repent and be baptised in Acts 2:38-39. Peter's words highlight the benefits of baptism faithfully received, and suggest a justification for baptising the children of believers. 1.2 emphasizes the responsibility of parents and godparents in sponsoring children for baptism. 1.4 combines this with the scriptural emphases of 1.1. Only 1.1 can be easily used at the baptism of an adult.

1.1 God in his love has acted through Jesus Christ to free us from our slavery to sin. When Jesus had risen from the dead, he said to his disciples, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make all nations my disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.'

Soon after, the apostle Peter began preaching, 'Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.'

Let us then pray that God will grant to this person that which by nature he cannot have, that he may be baptised with water and the Holy Spirit, and received into Christ's holy church, and be made a living member of his body.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 1)

1.2 Children are baptised on the understanding that they will be brought up as faithful members of the Church, to follow Christ and to fight against evil; and that they will be brought to the bishop to be confirmed by him, when they are of age to take upon themselves the promises you are about to make on their behalf.

As they grow up they need encouragement, teaching, and the help of a good example, so that they may learn to worship God, to pray to him, to put their faith and trust in him, and to take their place in the life of the Church.

Parents and godparents, this child depends chiefly on you for the help and encouragement he needs. Are you willing to give him this help and encouragement by every means in your power?

I am willing.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 2)

1.3 God is the creator of all things, and he gives to parents the work and joy of bringing children to birth and nurturing them. Yet, Jesus tells us, those who are born of human parents need to be born anew. 'What is born of flesh,' he says, 'is flesh; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.' And again he says, 'Unless one is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God.'

Because of our sinfulness, God calls us to a new birth and life in union with himself. Baptism is the sign and seal of this new birth. Jesus commanded his disciples to preach the gospel to all nations and to baptize those who believe.

They obeyed this command, and we read of Saint Peter preaching in these words, 'Repent, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are afar off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.' In obedience to that same command we ourselves were baptised and now bring this child to baptism.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 2)

1.4 When our Lord Jesus Christ had risen from the dead, he commanded his disciples to preach the gospel to all nations and to baptise those who believe. They obeyed his command and we read of the apostle Peter preaching in these words, 'Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.'

We read here the promise of God to give forgiveness and his Holy Spirit to all who turn to Christ. This promise also embraces the children of God's people. The risen Jesus is willing to give the blessing of eternal life to our children whom we bring to him in faith. Children must themselves express their faith in God when they are able to do so. They must turn away from sin and put their trust in Jesus Christ.

You who already trust in Christ are asked to make the baptismal promises on behalf of these children. You must also undertake to teach and encourage them in the same faith.

Sunday Services

 

Whether candidates are able to respond for themselves, or parents and godparents respond on behalf of infants, the demands should be the same: a renunciation of evil, an expression of belief in God as Trinity (preparing for baptism in the name of the Trinity), and a promise to be a faithful disciple. In modern versions, the questions and answers are generally more extensive. Additionally, in the case of infants, modern versions have tended to add questions to parents and godparents about their own faith and their willingness to sponsor and support the children. In 3.2 the congregation joins with the sponsors in confessing the faith into which the person is being baptised. 3.3 provides the same pattern of responses for those able to answer for themselves. 3.4 combines elements of 3.1 and 3.2 in a more simplified form. This version makes following Jesus more explicitly the context in which to obey God's commands. 3.5 is a version of 3.4 for candidates able to answer for themselves. 3.6 expands the questions and answers and asks the congregation to support the candidates in their response to Christ. It also offers the Baptismal Creed in an interrogative form.

3.1

Are you yourself a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of his church, sincerely believing the promises of God?
I am.
Are you willing to sponsor this child, answering for him now, and accepting responsibility for his Christian upbringing?
I am willing.

I ask you now to answer in the name of this child:
Do you renounce the devil and all his works,
the empty display and false values of the world,
and the sinful desires of the flesh,
so that you will not follow nor be led by them?
I renounce them all.
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord?
And that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary;
that he suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
that he went down to the place of the dead,
and also rose again the third day?
That he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty,
and from there shall come to judge the living and the dead?
And do you 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?
All this I firmly believe.
Will you keep God's holy will and commandments, and serve him faithfully throughout your life?
With his help I intend to do so.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 1 [Infants])

3.2

Those who bring young children to be baptised must declare, on behalf of the children, allegiance to Christ and rejection of all that is evil: the devil and all his works, the empty display and false values of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh.
Therefore I ask you to answer on behalf of this child,
Do you turn to Christ?
I turn to Christ.
Do you repent of your sins?
I repent of my sins.
Do you renounce evil?
I renounce evil.
Almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness, and lead you in the light of Christ to his everlasting kingdom. Amen.

This child has been brought for baptism. Let us all now profess the faith into which he is to be baptised and in which he is to be brought up.

I 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 is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
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.

I now ask you to answer in the name of this child,
Do you profess this faith?
I do.
Do you ask for baptism in this faith?
I do.
Will you, with God's help, strive to keep his holy will and commandments
and serve him faithfully throughout your life?
I will.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 2 [Infants])

3.3

Those who are to be baptised [and confirmed] must declare their allegiance to Christ and their rejection of all that is evil: the devil and all his works, the empty display and false values of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh.
Therefore I ask you,
Do you turn to Christ?
I turn to Christ.
Do you repent of your sins?
I repent of my sins.
Do you renounce evil?
I renounce evil.
Almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness, and lead you in the light of Christ to his everlasting kingdom. Amen.

You have come here to be baptised [and confirmed]. You must now profess the faith into which you are to be baptised, as we all confess together:
I 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 is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
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.

I now ask you
Do you profess this faith?
I do.
Will you, with God's help, strive to keep his holy will and commandments
and serve him faithfully throughout your life?
I will.
Do you ask for baptism in the faith you have professed?
I do.

An Australian Prayer Book (Order 2 [Adults] modified)

3.4

Are you yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, trusting the gracious promises of God?
I am.
Are you willing to sponsor these children, answering for them now and accepting responsibility for their Christian upbringing in the life of the Church?
I am willing.
I ask you now to answer in the name of these children:
Do you turn away from your sins, the Devil and all evil?
I turn away from them all.
Do you turn to Christ?
I turn to Christ.

These children have been brought for baptism. Let us all profess the faith into which they are to be baptised and nurtured.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived of 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 from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
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.

I ask you now to answer in the name of these children.
Do you profess this faith?
I do.
Will you follow Jesus faithfully, and obey his commands throughout your life?
With his help, I intend to do so.

Sunday Services

3.5

Those who present themselves for baptism must declare their allegiance to Christ and their rejection of all that is evil. So I ask:
Do you turn away from your sins, the Devil and all evil?
I turn away from them all.
Do you turn to Christ?
I turn to Christ.

You have come here to be baptised. You must now profess the faith into which you are to be baptised, as we all confess together:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived of 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 from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
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.

I ask you now
Do you profess this faith?
I do.
Will you follow Jesus faithfully, and obey his commands throughout your life?
With his help, I intend to do so.

Sunday Services (modified)

3.6

I invite the sponsors of these persons to present them for baptism.
We present name(s) to be baptised.
Will you accept the responsibilities placed upon you in bringing name/this child for baptism?
I will.
Are you willing to answer on behalf of name/this child?
I am.
By your prayers and example, by your friendship and love, will you encourage name/this child in the life and faith of the Christian community?
I will, with God's help.

Before God and this congregation, you must affirm that you turn to Christ and reject all that is evil:
Do you turn to Christ?
I turn to Christ.
Do you repent of your sins?
I repent of my sins.
Do you reject selfish living, and all that is false and unjust?
I reject them all.
Do you renounce Satan and all evil?
I renounce all that is evil.
Almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness, and lead you in the light of Christ to his everlasting kingdom. Amen.

Will you each, by God's grace, strive to live as a disciple of Christ, loving God with your whole heart, and your neighbour as yourself, until your life's end?
I will, with God's help.

You have heard these our brothers and sisters respond to Christ.
Will you support them in this calling?
We will.

I now ask you now to affirm as yours the faith of the Church.
Do you believe in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in God the Son?
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived of 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 from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God 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.

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith:
We believe in one God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A Prayer Book for Australia

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