February 6, 2017

An Order for the Sacrament of Baptism

INTRODUCTION & INSTITUTION
Brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus Christ was first affirmed by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God at his baptism. And on the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter promised God’s forgiveness and the gift of that same Spirit to all who repented and were themselves baptized. “This assurance,” he said, “is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls.”

The sacrament of baptism is the outward and visible sign of the fulfillment of this promise, through which Christians act on the words of our Lord Jesus, “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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”

Though the promise is ours, baptism is not: it belongs to the church. And yet it is not the church or its pastor who baptizes, but Christ himself, who, in making us members of his body, assures us and our children that he is with us always, to the end of the age.


PROFESSION
Jesus called for the children, and said, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you: whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’

In presenting your child for baptism, desiring that she/he may be grafted into Christ as a member of his body, the Church, do you receive the teaching of the Christian faith as this church professes it?
I/we do.

Do you promise to teach that faith to your children by word and example.
I/we do, with God's help.

Will the congregation please rise in body or spirit. Let us affirm the faith. by turning to number 885 in the hymnal.


We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify: You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death. You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races. You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end. Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you. Amen.  

INTERCESSORY PRAYER
We thank you, gracious God, for your kingdom, and for our place in it. We pray for the child now before you, that being buried with Christ in baptism, she may rise with him to newness of life; and being born anew of water and the Holy Spirit, she may ever remain for ever among the number of your faithful children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns as one God, forever and ever. Amen.

NAMING
NAME, for you Jesus Christ came into the world: for you he lived and showed God’s love; for you he suffered the pain of the cross, and for you he died; for you he triumphed over death and rose in newness of life; and over you he gently reigns. All this he did for you, NAME, though you do not know it yet. And so the word of Scripture is fulfilled: ‘We love because God loved us first.’ 

BAPTISM
NAME, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

NAME, your home is now in the family Christ. There will always be a place for you here. May the Holy Spirit unfold to you the treasure you have been given today, and may God give you the grace to one day affirm this gift in your own heart with your own words. Amen

PRESENTATION
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I present to you NAME, our new sister/brother in the family of God. As you welcome him/her, do you renew your commitment to live before him/her and all God’s children in a kindly and Christian way, and to share the knowledge and love of Christ?
We do, with God's help.

BLESSING
NAME, the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.

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