The Book of Common Prayer
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    A Melanesian English Prayer Book

 

BAPTISM OF A BABY

    The priest should prepare the parents and god parents before baptising any child, testing their faith and explaining to them their duties.
    Baptism must be done in front of the people and the godparents in church.
    At the beginning of the service a short address may be given.

All stand.

Priest:
The Lord be with you.
Answer: And with you.
Priest: The Gospel according to St. John, chapter 3 verse 1.
Answer: Glory be to you O Lord.

THERE was a man named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. One night he came to Jesus and said to him: "We know, Rabbi, that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could do the mighty works you are doing unless God were with him." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a grown man be born again?" Nicodemus asked. "He certainly cannot enter his motherís womb and be born a second time!" "I tell you the truth," replied Jesus, "that no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, and Spirit gives birth to spirit. Do not be surprised because I tell you, ĎYou must all be born again.í The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same way with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Answer: Praise be to you O Christ.
Priest: Dear friends, we nave come to carry out our Lordís command by baptising this child so that being washed clean from sin he may be born into the Kingdom of God and serve Christ with us in the world.

 The priest-then speaks to the parents and godparents:

You have brought this child to be baptised. You must now say that you take Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and that you turn your back on all that is evil, for this is the way in which you must bring up this child. Therefore I ask: - Do you repent of your sins and turn away from evil?

Answer: I do.
Priest: Do you turn to Christ?
Answer: I turn to Christ.
Priest: We have been given the Apostlesí Creed to keep us in the Faith: let us who are baptised say it togetheró
 

THE APOSTLESí CREED.

I BELIEVE in God, the Father who rules over all, maker of heaven and earth.
    And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary; he suffered in the time of Pontius Pilate, was nailed to a cross, died and was buried. He went down to the world of the dead. On the third day he rose again from the dead, he went up to Heaven and sits on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; From there be will come to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Catholic Church; the fellowship of the Saints, the forgiveness of Sins, the rising again of the body and the life everlasting. Amen..

Priest Do you desire to have this child baptised, and do you intend to bring him up in this faith?
Answer: I do, and may God keep me faithful.
Priest: Do you believe in God the Father, Maker of all things?
Answer: I believe and trust in him, and so I will teach this child.
Priest: Do you believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the world?
Answer: I believe and trust in him as my Saviour, and so I will teach this child.
Priest: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, giver of life and truth?
Answer: I believe and trust in him, and so I will teach this child.
Priest: Will you teach this child to serve the Lord all the days of his life?
Answer: I will, and may God keep me faithful.

Let us pray.

MERCIFUL Father, grant that those who in baptism are made your children and members of Christ may be strengthened with the Holy Spirit and serve you faithfully for ever, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

THE BLESSING OF THE WATER AND THE BAPTISM

Priest: The Lord be with you.
Answer: And with you.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
Answer: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Answer: It is good and right to do so.

Priest:

LORD GOD, Maker and Ruler of the whole world, we thank you for creating water to give life and to refresh and cleanse all creatures;
    We thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to be baptised for us by John in the River Jordan and to die for us upon the Cross;
    We thank you for his glorious resurrection and ascension and for sending his apostles to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;
    We thank you that this child has been brought to receive baptism of water and of the Holy Spirit, and we pray you to hear our prayers and send forth your Holy Spirit to bless this water for the spiritual washing away of sin so that this child may die to sin with Jesus and be raised with him to walk in the new life; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.

 
 

   Then the priest baptises each child in turn, dipping the child in the water or pouring water upon him, first saying, "Name this child".

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

Then all the people shall say: Amen.

Priest and People:
We welcome this child into the family of the  Church, praying that he may grow in the faith of Christ crucified, and always fight boldly against self, sin, and Satan, so that to the end of his life he may be a faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Priest:
We sign you with the sign of the Cross of Christ our Lord, and may he give you eternal life.

 All the people shall say: Amen.

The priest will bless the parents and godparents:

MAY GOD bless you with his wisdom and his love and may this child find in you, your homes and families, Christís love and understanding. Amen.

Let us say together the family prayer.

OUR FATHER in heaven, holy be your Name, your rule come, your will be done, in the world as it is in heaven. Give us this day our food for today. Forgive us what we do wrong as we forgive those who do wrong to us. Bring us not into trouble to try us, but save us from evil. For yours is the rule and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    LET us thank God for the baptism of this child.

MOST kind Father, we thank you from our hearts that you have made this child to be born again by your Holy Spirit and have received him for your own child by taking him into your family and bringing him into your Holy Church. For this may you receive glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Speaking to the parents and godparents, the priest says:

    You are to take care that this child is brought to the Bishop to be confirmed when he has been given teaching in the faith as set out in the Church Catechism and can say in his own language the Apostlesí Creed, the Lordís Prayer and the Ten Commandments.

No blessing is printed here as Baptism is to take place at a public service.
 

 

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