Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church

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The General Introduction to Christian Initiation and the Introduction to the Baptism of Children can be found in the Readings for Baptism found in the ‘Rites’ section of the iBreviary.


Reception of the Child


Readings and Homily


Invocation of the Saints



Anointing after Baptism (L)

Clothing with the White Garment

Lighted Candle

Ephphetha or Prayer over Ears and Mouth


Lord’s Prayer


This rite is followed even when the baptized child is brought to the church after other difficulties (such as persecution, disagreement between parents) which prevented the celebration of baptism in the church. In such cases, the celebrant should adapt the explanations, readings, intentions in the prayer of the faithful and other parts of the rite to the child’s circumstances.


165. The people may sing a psalm or hymn suitable for the occasion. Meanwhile the celebrating priest or deacon, vested in alb or surplice, with a stole (with or without a cope) of festive color, and accompanied by the ministers, goes to the entrance of the church or to that part of the church where the parents and godparents are waiting with the child.

166. The celebrant greets all present, and especially the parents and godparents. He praises them for having had the child baptized without delay and thanks God and congratulates the parents on the child’s return to health.

167. First the celebrant questions the parents:

Celebrant: What name have you given the child?

Parents: N.

Celebrant: What do you ask of God’s Church, now that your child has been baptized?

Parents: We ask that the whole community will know that he (she) has been received into the Church.

The celebrant may choose other words for this dialogue. The first reply may be given by someone other than the parents if local custom gives him the right to name the child. “that he/she is a Christian,” or “that he/she has been baptized.”

168. Then the celebrant speaks to the parents in these or similar words:

Do you realize that in bringing your child to the Church, you are accepting the duty of raising him (her) in the faith, so that by observing the commandments he (she) will love God and neighbor as Christ taught us?

Parents: We do.

169. Then the celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:

Are you ready to help the mother and the father of this child in their duty as Christian parents?

Godparents: We are.

170. The celebrant continues:

N., the Christian community welcomes you with great joy, now that you have recovered your health. We now bear witness that you have been received as a member of the Church. In the name of the community I sign you with the cross of Christ, who gave you a new life in baptism and made you a member of his Church. I invite your parents (and godparents) to do the same.

He signs the child on the forehead, in silence. Then he invites the parents and (if it seems appropriate) the godparents to do the same.

171. The celebrant invites the parents, godparents, and the others to take part in the Liturgy of the Word. If circumstances permit, there is a procession to the place where this will be celebrated, during which a song is sung e.g., Psalm 85: 7, 8, 9ab.

Will you not give us life;
and shall not your people rejoice in you?
Show us, O Lord, your kindness,
and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the Lord—for he proclaims peace to his people.



172. One or even two of the following gospel passages are read, during which all may sit, if convenient. Additional options may be found in Readings for Baptism, found in the ‘Rites’ Section of the iBreviary

John 3: 1-6: The meeting with Nicodemus.

Matthew 28: 18-20: The apostles are sent to preach the gospel and to baptize.

Mark 1: 9-11: The baptism of Jesus.

Mark 10: 13-16: Let the little children come to me.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
Jn 3: 1-6

No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
He came to Jesus at night and said to him,
   “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God,
   for no one can do these signs that you are doing
   unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
   “Amen, amen, I say to you,
   unless one is born from above,
   he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to him,
   “How can a man once grown old be born again?
Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”
Jesus answered,
   “Amen, amen, I say to you,
   unless one is born of water and Spirit
   he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Mt 28:18-20

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Then Jesus said to the Eleven disciples:
   “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
   baptizing them in the name of the Father,
   and of the Son,
   and of the Holy Spirit,
   teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
Mk 1:9-11

Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John.

Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
   and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
   and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
   “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
Mk 10:13-16

Let the children come to me; do not prevent them.

People were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
   but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
   “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them,
   for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
   whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child
   will not enter it.”
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
   placing his hands on them.

The Gospel of the Lord.

The passages listed in nos. 186-194 and 204-215 may be chosen. Other passages which better meet the wishes or needs of the parents, such as the following:

1 Kgs 17:17-24

A reading from the first Book of Kings

Some time later the son of the mistress of the house fell sick, and his sickness grew more severe until he stopped breathing. So she said to Elijah, “Why have you done this to me, O man of God? Have you come to me to call attention to my guilt and to kill my son?” “Give me your son,” Elijah said to her. Taking him from her lap, he carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. He called out to the LORD: “O LORD, my God, will you afflict even the widow with whom I am staying by killing her son?” Then he stretched himself out upon the child three times and called out to the LORD: “O LORD, my God, let the life breath return to the body of this child.” The LORD heard the prayer of Elijah; the life breath returned to the child’s body and he revived. Taking the child, Elijah brought him down into the house from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “See!” Elijah said to her, “your son is alive.” “Now indeed I know that you are a man of God,” the woman replied to Elijah. “The word of the LORD comes truly from your mouth.”

The word of the Lord.

2 2 Kgs 4:8-37

A reading from the second Book of Kings

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine. So she said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.” Some time later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight. Then he said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” He did so, and when she stood before Elisha, he told Gehazi, “Say to her, ‘You have lavished all this care on us; what can we do for you? Can we say a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?’ “ She replied, “I am living among my own people.” Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” “Yes!” Gehazi answered. “She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.” “Call her,” said Elisha. When she had been called, and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.” “Please, my lord,” she protested, “you are a man of God; do not deceive your servant.” Yet the woman conceived, and by the same time the following year she had given birth to a son, as Elisha promised.

The day came when the child was old enough to go out to his father among the reapers. “My head hurts!” he complained to his father. “Carry him to his mother,” the father said to a servant. The servant picked him up and carried him to his mother; he stayed with her until noon, when he died in her lap. The mother took him upstairs and laid him on the bed of the man of God. Closing the door on him, she went out and called to her husband, “Let me have a servant and a donkey. I must go quickly to the man of God, and I will be back.” “Why are you going to him today?” he asked. “It is neither the new moon nor the sabbath.” But she bade him good-bye, and when the donkey was saddled, said to her servant: “Lead on! Do not stop my donkey unless I tell you to.” She kept going till she reached the man of God on Mount Carmel. When he spied her at a distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi: “There is the Shunammite! Hurry to meet her, and ask if all is well with her, with her husband, and with the boy.” “Greetings,” she replied. But when she reached the man of God on the mountain, she clasped his feet. Gehazi came near to push her away, but the man of God said: “Let her alone, she is in bitter anguish; the LORD hid it from me and did not let me know.” “Did I ask my lord for a son?” she cried out. “Did I not beg you not to deceive me?” “Gird your loins,” Elisha said to Gehazi, “take my staff with you and be off; if you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff upon the boy.” But the boy’s mother cried out: “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not release you.” So he started to go back with her.

Meanwhile, Gehazi had gone on ahead and had laid the staff upon the boy, but there was no sound or sign of life. He returned to meet Elisha and informed him that the boy had not awakened. When Elisha reached the house, he found the boy lying dead. He went in, closed the door on them both, and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay upon the child on the bed, placing his mouth upon the child’s mouth, his eyes upon the eyes, and his hands upon the hands. As Elisha stretched himself over the child, the body became warm. He arose, paced up and down the room, and then once more lay down upon the boy, who now sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” She came at his call, and Elisha said to her, “Take your son.” She came in and fell at his feet in gratitude; then she took her son and left the room.

The word of the Lord.

Between the readings, responsorial psalms or verses may be sung as given in nos. 195-203.

173. After the reading, the celebrant gives a short homily, explaining to those present the significance of what has been read. His purpose will be to lead them to a deeper understanding of the mystery of baptism and to encourage the parents and godparents to ready acceptance of the responsibilities which arise from the sacrament.

174. After the homily, or in the course of or after the litany, it is desirable to have a period of silence while all pray at the invitation of the celebrant. If convenient, a suitable song follows, such as one chosen from nos. 225-245.

Go to the Acclamations and Hymns


175. Then the general intercessions are said:


Let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look lovingly on this child, on his (her) parents and godparents, and on all the baptized.

Assisting Minister: May this child always show gratitude to God for his (her) baptism and recovery.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting Minister: Help him (her) always to be a living member of your Church.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting Minister: Inspire him (her) to hear, follow, and witness to your gospel.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting Minister: May he (she) come with joy to the table of your sacrifice.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting Minister: Help him (her) to love God and neighbor as you have taught us.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting Minister: May he (she) grow in holiness and wisdom by listening to his (her) fellow Christians and following their example.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting Minister: Keep all your followers united in faith and love for ever.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.


176. The celebrant next invites all present to invoke the saints:

Holy Mary, Mother of God.
All: Pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist.
All: Pray for us.

Saint Joseph.
All: Pray for us.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
All: Pray for us.

The names of other saints may be added, especially the patrons of the child to be baptized, and of the church or locality. The litany concludes:

All holy men and women.
All: Pray for us.


177. Then the celebrant says:

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
source of all life and love,
you are glorified by the loving care shown this child.
You rescue children from danger
and save them in baptism.

Your Church thanks you
and prays for your child N.
You have brought him (her) out of the kingdom of darkness
and into your marvelous light.
You have made her your adopted child
and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Help him (her) in all the dangers of this life
and strengthen him (her) in the constant effort to reach your kingdom,
through the power of Christ our Savior.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.


Fons omis vitae et dilectiónis, Deus,
Pater Dómini nostril Iesu Christi,
qui in sollicitudínibus paréntum te gloríficas,
 in perículis infántium providéntem te maniféstas
et in Baptísmate illórum te salvántem revélas:
pro fámulo tuo N.,
Ecclésia, grátias agens, te óbsecrat,
ut quem e regno tenebrárum in admirábile lumen tuum transtulísti,
fílium adoptiónis templúmque Spíritus Sancti
sacraménto Baptísmi constituísti,
in perículis huius vitae semper ádiuves
et in certámine ad capesséndum regnum tuum
virtúte Christi Salvatóris semper múnias.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Omnes: Amen.]



178. Then the celebrant says:

The God of power and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
has freed you from sin,
given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit,
and welcomed you into his holy people.
He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation.
As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King,
so may you live always as a member of his body,
sharing everlasting life.
All: Amen.


Deus omnípotens, Pater Dómini nostri Iesu Christi,
qui te a peccáto liberávit
et regenerávit ex aqua et Spíritu Sancto,
ipse te linit chrísmate salutis,
ut, eius aggregátus pópulo, Christi sacerdótis, prophétae et regis
membrum permáneas in vitam ætérnam.
Omnes: Amen.]

Then the celebrant anoints the child on the crown of the head with the sacred chrism, in silence.


179. The celebrant says:

N., you have become a new creation,
and have clothed yourself in Christ.
See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity.
With your family and friends to help you by word and example,
bring that dignity unstained
into the everlasting life of heaven.
All: Amen.


180. The celebrant takes the Easter candle and says:

Receive the light of Christ.

[Latin: Lumen Christi accipiter.]

Someone from the family (such as the father or godfather) lights the child’s candle from the Easter candle.

The celebrant then says:

Parents and godparents,
this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.
This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ.
He (she) is to walk always as a child of the light.
May he (she) keep the flame of faith alive in his (her) heart.
When the Lord comes, may he (she) go out to meet him
with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.

A baptismal song is appropriate at this time, e.g.:

You have put on Christ,
in him you have been baptized.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Other songs may be chosen from nos. 225-245.

Go to the Acclamations and Hymns



181. The celebrant stands in front of the altar and addresses the parents, godparents, and the whole assembly in these or similar words:

Dearly beloved, this child has been reborn in baptism.
He (she) is now called the child of God, for so indeed he (she) is.
In confirmation he (she) will receive the fullness of God’s Spirit.
In holy communion he (she) will share the banquet of Christ’s sacrifice,
calling God his (her) Father in the midst of the Church.
In the name of this child, in the Spirit of our common sonship,
let us pray together in the words our Lord has given us:

182. All present join the celebrant in singing or saying:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


Form B    Form C    Form D

183. The celebrant first blesses the mothers, who hold the children in their arms, then the fathers, and lastly the entire assembly:



God the Father, through his Son, the Virgin Mary’s child, has brought joy to all Christian mothers, as they see the hope of eternal life shine on their children. May he bless the mothers of these children. They now thank God for the gift of their children. May they be one with them in thanking him for ever in heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.


God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May he bless the fathers of this children. With their wives they will be the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith. May they be also the best of teachers,
bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.


By God’s gift, through water and the Holy Spirit, we are reborn to everlasting life. In his goodness,
may he continue to pour out his blessings upon these sons and daughters of his. May he make them always, wherever they may be, faithful members of his holy people. May he send his peace upon all who are gathered here, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.


May almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,
bless you.
All: Amen.

B 247 Celebrant:

May God the almighty Father, who filled the world with joy by giving us his only Son, bless these newly-baptized children. May they grow to be more fully like Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.


May almighty God, who gives life on earth and in heaven, bless the parents of these children. They thank him now for the gift he has given them. May they always show that gratitude in action by loving and caring for their children.

All: Amen.


May almighty God, who has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, generously bless all of us who are his faithful children. May we always live as his people, and may he bless all here present with his peace.

All: Amen.


May almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, bless you.

All: Amen.

C 248 Celebrant:

May God, the source of life and love, who fills the hearts of mothers with love for their children, bless the mothers of these newly-baptized children. As they thank God for a safe delivery, may they find joy in the love, growth, and holiness of her children.

All: Amen.


May God, the Father and model of all fathers, help these fathers to give good example, so that their children will grow to be mature Christians in all the fullness of Jesus Christ.

All: Amen.


May God, who loves all people, bless all the relatives and friends who are gathered here. In his mercy, may he guard them from evil and give them his abundant peace.

All: Amen.


And may almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, bless you.

All: Amen.

D 249


My brothers and sisters, we entrust you all to the mercy and help of God the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit. May he watch over your life, and may we all walk by the light of faith, and attain the good things he has promised us.

Go in peace, and may almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, bless you.

All: Amen.


Dóminus Deus omnípotens,
qui per Fílium suum natum ex María Vírgine
christiánas laetíficat matres aetérnae spe vitae,
quae suis affúlget infántibus, dignétur matrem huius benedícere infántis,
ut, quae de sóbole grátias nunc agit accépta,
perpétuo cum ipsa gratiárum máneat actióne,
in Christo Iesu Dómino nostro.
Omnes: Amen.

Dóminus Deus omnípotens,
qui vitam terrénam largítur et caeléstem,
patrem huius infántis benedícat,
ut, una cum cóniuge sua,
verbo et exémplo proli priórem se fídei testem exhíbeat,
in Christo Iesu Dómino nostro.
Omnes: Amen.

Dóminus Deus omnípotens,
qui nos ex aqua et Spíritu Sancto in vitam regenerávit aetérnam,
hos fidéles suos muníficus benedícat,
ut semper et ubíque vívida sint membra pópuli sui,
et pacem suam ómnibus hic praeséntibus largiátur,
in Christo Iesu Dómino nostro.
Omnes: Amen.

Benedícat vos omnípotens Deus,
Pater, + et Fílius, et Spíritus Sanctus.
Omnes: Amen.]

184. After the blessing, all may sing a hymn which suitably expresses thanksgiving and Easter joy, or they may sing the song of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Magnificat. Where there is the practice of bringing the baptized child to the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this custom is observed if appropriate.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now
and will be forever. Amen.


Magnificat ánima mea Dóminum.
Et exsultávit spíritus meus:
in Deo, salutári meo.

Quia respéxit humilitátem ancíllæ suæ:
ecce enim ex hoc beátam me dicent omnes generatiónes.
Quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est:
et sanctum nomen eius.

Et misericórdia eius, a progénie in progénies:
timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo:
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui.

Depósuit poténtes de sede:
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis:
et dívites dimísit inánes.

Suscépit Israël púerum suum:
recordátus misericórdiæ suæ.
Sicut locútus est ad patres nostros:
Abraham, et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.]

185. The above rite is followed even when the baptized child is brought to the church after other difficulties (such as persecution, disagreement between parents) which prevented the celebration of baptism in the church. In such cases, the celebrant should adapt the explanations, readings, intentions in the Prayer of the Faithful and other parts of the rite to the child’s circumstances.


Acclamations from Sacred Scripture
225 Exodus 15:11

Lord God, who is your equal?
Strong, majestic, and holy!
Worthy of praise, worker of wonders!

226 1 John 1:5

God is light: in him there is no darkness.

227 1 John 4:16

God is love: he who lives in love,
lives in God.

228 Ephesians 4:6

There is one God, one Father of all:
he is over all, and through all:
he lives in all of us.

229 Psalm 34:6

Come to him and receive his light!

230 see Ephesians 1:4

Blessed be God
who chose you in Christ.

231 Ephesians 2:10

You are God’s work of art,
created in Christ Jesus.

232 1 John 3:2

You are now God’s children,
my dearest friends.
What you shall be in his glory
has not yet been revealed.

233 1 John 3:1

Think of how God loves you!
He calls you his own children,
and that is what you are.

234 Revelation 22:14

Happy are those who have
washed their robes clean:
washed in the blood of the Lamb!

235 Galatians 3:28

All of you are one:
united in Christ Jesus.

236 Ephesians 5:1-2

Imitate God, walk in his love,
just as Christ loves us.

Hymns in the Style of the New Testament

237 1 Peter 1:3-5

Praised be the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ:
a God so merciful and kind!
He has given us a new birth, a living hope,
by raising Jesus his Son from death.
Salvation is our undying inheritance,
preserved for us in heaven,
salvation at the end of time.


How great the sign of God’s love for us,
Jesus Christ our Lord:
promised before all time began,
revealed in these last days.
He lived and suffered and died for us,
but the Spirit raised him to life.

People everywhere have heard his message
and placed their faith in him.
What wonderful blessings he gives his people:
living in the Father’s glory,
he fills all creation
and guides it to perfection.

Songs from Ancient Liturgies


We believe in you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Fill our hearts with your radiance,
and make us the children of light!


We come to you, Lord Jesus.
Fill us with your life,
make us children of the Father,
and one in you.


Lord Jesus, from your wounded side
flowed streams of cleansing water:
the world was washed of all its sin,
all life made new again!


The Father’s voice calls us above the waters,
the glory of the Son shines on us,
the love of the Spirit fills us with life.


Holy Church of God, stretch out your hand
and welcome your children
newborn of water
and of the Spirit of God.


Rejoice, you newly baptized,
chosen members of the kingdom.
Buried with Christ in death,
you are reborn in him by faith.


This is the fountain of life,
water made holy by the suffering of Christ,
washing all the world.
You who are washed in this water
have hope of heaven’s kingdom.

Return to the Intercessions

Return to the Anointing After Baptism

Return to the Lord’s Prayer

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