Concerning the Service
Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into
Christ's Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism
Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the
chief service on a Sunday or other feast.
The bishop, when present, is the celebrant; and is expected to preach the
Word and preside at Baptism and the Eucharist. At Baptism, the bishop
officiates at the Presentation and Examination of Candidates;
says the Thanksgiving over the Water; [consecrates the Chrism;] reads the
prayer, "Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit;" and officiates at what follows.
In the absence of a bishop, a priest is the celebrant and presides at the
service. If a priest uses Chrism in signing the newly baptized, it must have
been previously consecrated by the bishop.
Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more
Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and
thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention
to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of
infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make
promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their
It is fitting that parents be included among the godparents of their own
children. Parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of
Baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge
and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church.
Additional Directions are on page 312.
298 Holy Baptism