The Order of Worship
for the Baptism of an Infant

This is the Order of Worship for Baptism approved for use within the Uniting Church in Australia and as always used within Wollongong Wesley Church, the Church on the Mall. Items marked with the  sign must be included on all occasions.
 

PRESENTATION AND WELCOME

      The child to be baptised and the family are introduced by an Elder of the Congregation. The Elder then says:

Friends, the Church Council of this congregation has received a request for baptism from N and N (the parents) for their son/daughter,N (the child).

This important decision has been prayerfully and carefully considered, and I am glad to welcome them here today.    

      The minister says to the parents:

N and N, what do you ask of God’s Church for N?

      The parent(s) reply:

We ask that N be baptised into the faith and family of Jesus Christ.

      The Minister says to all:

N has been brought for baptism that he/she may be grafted into Christ as a member of his body, the Church, to grow up into the faith of Jesus Christ and become his faithful witness and servant.

      The minister touches the child’s ear and mouth and says:

N, May your ears be open to receive God’s word, and your mouth be ready to proclaim God’s praise.
 

‡ SCRIPTURE

Hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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, And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (St Matthew 28: 18–20)

The apostle Paul said: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6: 3–4)

‡ THE MEANING OF BAPTISM

Baptism is Christ’s gift. It is the sign by which the Spirit of God joins people to Jesus Christ and incorporates them into his body, the Church.

In his own baptism in the Jordan by John, Jesus identified himself with humanity in brokenness and sin; that baptism was completed in his death and resurrection.

By God’s grace, baptism plunges us into the faith of Jesus Christ, so that whatever is his may be called ours. By water and the Spirit we are claimed as God’s own and set free from the power of sin and death.

Thus, claimed by God, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit that we may live as witnesses to Jesus Christ, share his ministry in the world and grow to maturity, awaiting with hope the day of our Lord Jesus.

 

‡ CONFESSION OF FAITH

      The Minister says to everyone:

The Uniting Church, in baptising children, takes responsibility for their instruction and nourishment in the faith.

      The Minister says to the parent(s):

That we may know that you hold the Christian faith and claim your membership in Christ’s Church, we ask you:
Do you repent of your sins?

      Each of the parent(s) replies:

I repent of my sins.

      The Minister says to the parent(s):

Do you turn to Jesus Christ, who has defeated the power of sin and death and brought us new life?

      Each of the parent(s) replies:

I turn to Christ.

      The Minister says to the parent(s):

Do you commit yourself to God, trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour, and in the Holy Spirit as God’s power and presence along the way?

      Each of the parent(s) replies:

I commit myself to God.

      The people stand. The Minister says to the people:

Do you believe in God?

      The people say together:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

      The Minister says to the people:

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

      The people say together:

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

      The Minister says to the people:

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?

      The people say together:

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.
 
 (The Apostles’ Creed)
 

‡ PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

      Water is poured into the font by the Elder. The Minister then says:

Holy God, faithful One, we thank you for your gifts of water and the Holy Spirit. In the beginning, your Spirit moved over the waters and brought life out of the chaos of nothingness. In the days of Noah you rescued those on the ark from the great flood.

You saved the infant Moses from the waters of the Nile, so that he could lead your people through the sea to the promised land. Your Son, Jesus, was baptised by John in the Jordan and annointed by the Spirit. By the baptism of his death, Christ sets us free from our captivity to sin and enables us to share in his resurrection life.

By the power of your Holy Spirit, bless this water, that those who are baptised into the death of Christ, having been buried with him, may rise with him to walk in newness of life; and, set free from enslavement to sin, may live to God in Christ Jesus, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

‡ THE BAPTISM

      The Minister says to the child:

N, for you Jesus Christ has come, has lived, has suffered;
    for you, he has endured the agony of Gethsemane and the darkness of Calvary;
    for you, he has uttered the cry, ‘It is accomplished!’
    For you, he has triumphed over death;
    for you, he prays at God’s right hand.
All for you, N, even before you were born.


In baptism, the word of the apostle is fulfilled: ‘We love, because God first loved us’.
 (1 John 4: 19)

      Water is poured visibly and generously over the child’s head three times,
      once at each name of the Trinity, as the minister says:

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

Amen.

      The Minister marks the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead. The minister says:

N, from this time on the sign of the cross is upon you.

      The minister presents the newly-baptised child to the people, saying:

NN is now received into the Holy Catholic Church according to Christ’s command.

THE AARONIC BLESSING

      The minister and people together say to the child:

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.
 (Numbers 6: 24-26)
 

‡ RESPONSE TO THE BAPTISM

      The Minister says to the parent(s) (and godparents or sponsors):

N and N, I ask you now to respond to God’s graciousness to N by making these solemn promises:

Will you encourage N’s growth within the Christian community, guiding him/her through participation in the worship, nurture and fellowship of the Church to a mature Christian faith?

      The parent(s) (and godparents or sponsors) reply:

With God’s help we will.

      The Minister says to the parent(s) (and godparents or sponsors):

Will you, by word and example, teach him/her the way of Christ until the Spirit draws him/her to make his/her own response in faith and love?

      The parent(s) (and godparents or sponsors) reply:

With God’s help we will.

      The Minister says to the people:

Friends in Christ, will you promise to maintain a life of worship and teaching, witness and service, so that N may grow to maturity in Christ?

      The people say together:

With God’s help we will live out our Baptism as a loving community in Christ; nurturing one another in faith, upholding one another in prayer, and encouraging one another in service, until Christ comes.
 

‡ THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

      The Minister offers prayer:

Loving Father, you have filled the world with joy by giving us your Son. Bless this newly-baptised child, N; may he/she never be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.

Bless his/her parents, N and N; may they always show their gratitude for the life you have given them by loving and caring for their child. Bless your faithful people; unite us in the peace of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

      All say together:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

THE BAPTISMAL CANDLE

      The Elder lights a candle from the Easter Candle and presents it to the child (or to the parents on behalf of the child), saying:

N, you belong to Christ, the light of the world. Let your light so shine before the world that all may see your good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven.

      A certificate of baptism may be presented to the parent(s) at this point, or may be taken later to the parents’ home by the elder.

BLESSING AND DISMISSAL

      The Minister offers a final blessing to all.