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SECT. I. — The Public Baptism of Infants.

Previous chapter
THE service of Holy Baptism differs from other rites inasmuch as it has its origin in a definite formula of baptism, which our Lord Himself prescribed for the Church.1 This formed at once a nucleus for the development of a more elaborate service. One of the first, additions to be made was a profession of faith: the earliest extant form is that which was inserted at a very early date into the record of the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch;2 this is simply a profession of belief in Jesus as the Son of God; but from very early times the profession took a triple form, expressive of a belief in the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity and corresponding to the baptismal formula. To this positive profession an addition was further made corresponding to it on the negative side, viz., a renunciation of the Devil with all his pomps and works. Thus in these three acts — the renunciation of Satan, the profession of faith and the baptism by water with the use of our Lord’s formula — the rite of Christian initiation was carried out.

Public Baptism.

Primitive custom.

Something more however was considered, from the very earliest times, to be necessary for its completion. The new birth of water and the Spirit was only consummated by the laying on of apostolic hands, conveying in its fulness the gift of the Holy Ghost. This practice is in fact the essential corollary of the act of baptism: it came into prominence. in the first days of the gospel in a case where baptism was administered by Philip the deacon, who was not an apostle, and where in consequence the laying on of apostolic hands was a separate ceremony.3 Elsewhere it is assumed to be an integral part of the rites of baptism practised by the apostles. In one other case only is separate emphasis laid upon it in the Acts of the Apostles, and the reason there is clear: it is the case of converts who had received only the baptism of S. John Baptist, and had’ not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost,’ and who therefore needed to have clearly brought home to them both the distinctively Christian Baptism and the further Gift of the Spirit.4
including Confirmation,

It is important also to consider the preparation for the rite which was customary in early times,5 There are many signs that a very small measure of preparation was at first exacted, and this no doubt the circumstances justified. The circumstances of the day of Pentecost were exceptional: there was urgency in the case of the Ethiopian Eunuch and of the jailor at Philippi: moreover a large proportion at least of the early converts had already had the training of Judaism as their schoolmaster to bring them unto Christ.

But under other circumstances another policy was necessary, and it soon became customary to demand special preparation for Holy Baptism of longer or shorter duration.6

and preceded by a preparation.
Here then is already a baptismal system existing in outline: the actual rite with the renunciation and profession, preceded by a preparation and followed by the Gift of the Spirit. It is possible here, as in the case of the Eucharist, to detect the primitive outline: indeed in the case of baptism the task is easier than in the case of the Eucharist, for in some ways the practice is more uniform and the evidence which is forthcoming is more abundant.
Development of the early nucleus.

The descriptions of the Didache7 and of S. Justin Martyr8 do little more than describe first the preliminary preparation and fasting in general terms, and then the baptism by immersion or triple affusion in the name of the Holy Trinity. But in the early par of the third century there is considerable evidence available, from which a general idea may be formed of the baptismal customs of that date: and in the middle of the fourth century a still more wide survey of the baptismal customs of various churches is possible, which confirms the impressions gathered from the earlier picture and brings out very clearly the primitive unit of model, which underlies them all.

At the former epoch, i.e. early in the third century the following points are clear.

Patristic evidence.
1. The selection and preparation of candidates was made with care and caution: instruction was given in the renunciation necessary: candidates both men and women were called upon to give up occupations and habits inconsistent with a Christian profession: forty days were spent in special preparation, in teaching and exorcisms, and the candidates, after finally satisfying the Bishop as to their suitability, made their final arrangements on the Thursday in Holy Week, fasted on the Friday, and presented themselves before the Bishop on the Saturday morning for the last stage of their preparation. It consisted of three acts. First the closing exorcism — the Bishop stretching his hands over them as they knelt facing eastwards, prayed for the last time for the ejection of the evil spirit from them; secondly, the exsufflation — he breathed in their faces; thirdly, the Effeta — he touched each candidate on the mouth, ears, &c., with spittle or oil, after the example of our Lord’s action in; healing the deaf and dumb man.9

At the be-ginning of the third century.



the last stage.

2. The actual baptism took place at night after the lessons and prayers of the Vigil. The holy oils have been already blessed by the Bishop and the water in the baptistery hallowed for use10: the candidates finally renounce Satan, facing westwards, and then, descending into the water, face eastwards and make their profession of faith; thereupon they are baptized by triple immersion.
3. On coming up out of the water the Bishop anoints them with the chrism, signs them with the sign of the cross, and lays his hands upon them. The ceremonies being thus completed, the candidates pass on to the altar to receive their first communion: and after it milk and honey are given to them, as emblematical of their entry into the Promised Land and of the childlike nature now renewed in them, &c.
This very full outline of the service, which may be gathered alike from Tertullian11 and from the Hippolytean Canons,12 reappears again in the writers of the middle of the fourth century. The picture then obtainable is the same, though the details are better filled in, and in particular there are now actual formularies available for study, which form part of the Sacramentary of Serapion. Some small additions, which have been made in one or other place, disturb to a small degree the unanimity; but the general impression is that of one uniform baptismal system throughout Christendom, and alike among orthodox and heretics, catholics and schismatics.

In the fourth century.

A similar view,

The chief developments which had taken place in this scheme of the early part of the third century since the apostolic times were, (i) the introduction of the use of oil, as a literal interpretation of the unction of the Spirt spoken of in the New Testament, and (ii) the custom of hallowing the water. The subsequent development which becomes evident in the rites of the fourth century concerns mainly the system of preparation immediately preceding baptism.
but contrasted,
When the peace of the Church was established at the beginning of the fourth century, Church services and discipline came more into the open, and numbers of converts pressed in to the Church. It is natural therefore to find clearer evidence of systematic procedure in the preparation for baptism. The position of a catechumen, or postulant for baptism, had become a regular status: he was admitted to the catechumenate by a definite service and thenceforward ranked as a Christian. The length of the remoter period of probation varied with circumstances, but in any case there was always the nearer preparation for baptism itself, carried on during the forty days previous to Easter, as has been already seen. Here too there was more system: the candidate gave in his name at the beginning of the period to the Bishop, and was enrolled among the competentes or applicants. The training which followed was minute and careful, and varied at different times and places; but the chief features which it is important to notice here were two.
Development in the catechu-menate.

Probation, remoter,


and more immediate.



There was a series of services, called not unfrequently scrutinia or Testings, which all the competentes were bound to attend; and these served a double purpose. First, they were the occasion of repeated ceremonies of exorcism, such as those employed at the original admission to the catechumenate, or that described above as the final exorcism by the Bishop on the eve of baptism. Secondly, they were the occasion of a systematic instruction in faith and worship, and especially of the learning and recital by the candidates of the Creed and of the Lord’s Prayer.

The scrutinies

for(a) exorcism;

and (b) instruction;


The systematic catechumenate of the fourth century, while differing in different places in detail, was substantially the same everywhere; the same, for example, in Jerusalem as in Africa or in Rome.13 It came however to maturity only to decay again with great rapidity: for, as the West became Christian, the number of infant candidates came to overpower the adults, and the whole system needed modification in view of this change. The modification was made very slowly and on conservative lines: the infants were treated as though they were adults, were admitted as solemnly as ever to the catechumenate, were called up to recite their creed and make their profession by deputy; and generally speaking the whole procedure was kept up, though much of it became symbolical and representative rather than actually and literally applicable. The part of the system which chiefly disappeared was the system of instruction: the ‘scrutinies’ were retained, but chiefly for the ceremonies of exorcism; and soon all that remained of the systematic instruction was the teaching and recital of the Creed, the exposition of the Lord’s Prayer, and in conservative Rome a brief exposition of the opening passage of each of the four gospels.14
The decay of the system.

This is the point of the history which is represented in the earliest Roman Service books which bear witness to the use of the seventh century.15 1. The preparator rites for baptism are there reduced to a series of seven ‘scrutinies,’ beginning in the third week of Lent16 with the admission to the catechumenate and ending with the final exorcism, imposition of hands, and Effeta early on Easter Even. The instruction was all given at the third scrutiny, and the recitation of the Creed took place at the final one. In this preparation, as in other parts of the series of rites, the Roman use had its own peculiarities, and points of contrast are noticeable with the Gallica or non-Roman Western use as a whole or with the peculiarities of individual local Churches.17

2. The consecration of the font followed the Vigil Service of Easter Even: this was performed with great solemnity by the Pope himself, who went with his clergy in solemn procession to the baptistery with lights and incense and the chant of litanies; a preliminary benediction was said, then a long consecratory prayer, at the close of which the chrism was poured into the font in the form of a cross.

3· The baptisms followed with triple immersion corresponding to a triple profession of faith, and each neophyte was anointed with chrism on coming up out of the water, and clad in new clothes.

4· The Pope performed only a few baptisms and then retired from the baptistery to his throne in the church, where the neophytes received their new dress from him. Then as they stood in a circle before him he invoked upon them the sevenfold gift of the Spirit and confirmed them in turn, anointing with his thumb in the form of a cross the forehead of each with the chrism.

From this they passed on to the Mass and to their first communion, and the subsequent food of milk and honey.

The service at Rome in the seventh Century.
Two points are especially noticeable: first, the fact that, though the candidates are children, they are still treated throughout as much as possible like adults, and are communicated at the end: secondly, while the Bishop is still in theory the minister of the whole, the functions have in fact been delegated: the consecration of the chrism has universally, in the West as in the East, been retained in the Bishop’s hands: and in the West the invocation of the Holy Spirit and Signing with the chrism as ‘confirmation’, is also not delegated18: but the rest of the service has been conceded to priests and even deacons to perform as a normal function.

Note, the candidates;

the minister.

From this early mediæval Roman service it is a very small step to the later mediæval service of the Sarum Use. The Roman baptismal customs, as brought by S. Augustine, found themselves confronted with other customs to which the Celtic Church passionately clung: the difference between the two uses was a great bone of contention, but it is not clear in what it consisted.19 It is improbable that any concession was made to the customs of the Celts in this respect, for the difference seems to have been serious, and to have involved in the Roman minds some doubts as to the validity of the Celtic baptism. Consequently such modifications of the service, as took place, may be assigned to two causes independent of this dispute. First, to the adoption of some Gallican customs: the signing on the right hand at the close of the admission to the catechumenate.20 the solemn triple formularies of impregnating the font with the oil and chrism,21 and the presentation of a candle22 as well as the chrysom robe after the baptism.23 these are features of Gallican origin.
The growth of the Sarum Rite

by adoption of Gallican customs,



But apart from borrowing, other changes came about in the service to meet the altered circumstances: the catechumenate, as a period of probation, faded out of existence, and the rites were compressed so as to form a mere introduction to the baptism itself, though a separate title was still retained for this section of the series of baptismal services to denote that its object was ‘the making of a catechumen’24: the exorcisms, which had been repeated at each scrutiny, now figured only once, and the system of instruction only survived in the form of the reading of a Gospel; but otherwise the outline remained unchanged, except that the preliminary anointing and the renunciation of Satan were transferred to a later point, so as to precede immediately the act of baptism. On the other hand, the normal baptismal service lost two out of its four main sections: the consecration of the font was only performed rarely, as on Easter or Whitsun Even, but Holy Baptism was now administered at other times than in conjunction with the Great Paschal or Pentecostal ceremonies: consequently it was an exceptional event for the baptismal service to include a consecration of the font: as a rule the water was already consecrated, and stood ready for use in the font.

and modifications to meet new conditions;

by compression;

by the sep-aration of the consecration of the font;



Again, the ceremony of confirmation became separated from the service, because it was only rarely that the Bishop was present at a baptism to administer confirmation; and this rite thus was deferred till the children had reached years of discretion. As a natural consequence of this the newly baptized ceased to go on straight to their first communion; and the confirmation and communion of infants became rare in the Western Church.25

The following table will show the relation of the earlier and later forms of the Latin Rite, and also the relation of the English forms to these.

and of confirmation.


1. Exhortation. (At the Door)
2. Prayer.

  Exhortation. (At the Font.)

1. [Priest breathed on candidate.]


Breathing on. (At the Door.)


2. Priest names and crosses.
3· Prayer with imposition of hands.
4· Salt placed in mouth and Prayer.

After the Collect at Mass.


Name and Crossing.

Prayer, &c.

Salt and Prayer.

  3. Name and signing.
5. Introductory private prayer and crossing by the godparents. Crossing, prayer with imposition of hands, and Exorcism by Acolytes (thrice).
  Acolytes’ crossing, Prayers and
  4. Prayer (and Adjuration).
  Prayer (dº).
6. The same, but without Exorcism, by the priest.
  Exorcising (thrice).
  5. Exorcism (once).

7. Private prayer and crossing by the god-parents as before, to close with.
8. Instruction, i.e. at the 3rd Scrutiny:-
Gospel Apertio aurium.
Creed Traditio Symboli.
Lord’s Prayer Traditio Pater.

(c) LAST SCRUTINY at 9 a.m. on Easter Even.
9. Priest signs with Cross

  Priest’s Crossing and prayer.
10. And with laying on of hands says the final Exorcism.

  The Gospel (Matt. xix. 13).
  6. Gospel (Mark x. 13).
  Reading of Gospel (Mark x. 13).
11. Effeta, anointing ears and lips with spittle.
12. Unction with oil on breast and back.
13. Triple renunciation of Satan.
  Effeta (=Ephphatha).
        7. Exhortation and
14. Recitation of Creed (Redditio Symboli) by the Priest, laying his hand on their heads successively.
  Recitation of Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary and Creed by priest and god-parents.
  8. Recitation of Lord’s Prayer and Creed by priest and god-parents.
    Signing of the infant on the right hand, and blessing.
  9. Prayer by the priest.
  Same prayer by all.
    Introduction to Church.
  10. Introduction to Church.

used from time to time.


15. Litany.
16. Benediction of Font.
17. Infusion of chrism.


Benediction of Font.
Triple infusion of oil and chrism


        11. Address to god-parents.
  Address to god-parents.

Renunciation of Satan thrice (13).
Unction on breast & back (12).

  12. (a) Renunciation of Satan (thrice).
  Renunciation of Satan (once).
18. Profession of Faith (thrice).

Profession of Faith (thrice).

Desire of Baptism.


(b) Profession of Faith (thrice).

(c) Desire of Baptism.


Profession of Faith (once).

Desire of Baptism.
Obedience to Commandments.


to be used at least monthly.
i. Blessing of the Water.
ii. Eight short petitions.

  Four short petitions.
        iii. Collect.   Collect (modified in 1661 so as to include a blessing of the water).
19. Baptism by triple immersion.
  Baptism by triple immersion.

13 Baptism by triple immersion / affusion.

  Baptism by immersion / affusion.
20. Unction by the Priest with oil and chrism.
  Signing with Cross with chrism.
      Signing with Cross on forehead.
21. Clothed in a new dress.
  Giving of chrysom (white robe.
Giving of a taper.

14. Giving of the chrysom.
15. Unction.

      Introduction & Lord’s Prayer.
    The priest exhorts the godparents.
  16. Exhortation to god-parents.



[1661. Preface.
Bishop’s Question and Answer
    Versicles.   1. Versicles.
22. Invocation of the Holy Spirit by the Bishop.
  Invocation of the Holy Spirit.

2. Invocation of Holy Spirit.
3. Prayer of the minister.

  Invocation of the Holy Spirit.
23. Signing Cross on the forehead with thumb dipped in chrism.
  Signing, &c.

4. Signing by the Bishop with

5. Laying on of hands.


Laying on of hands with prayer.

  6. Prayer.
  [Lord’s Prayer, 1661.]
  7. Blessing.
  [Collect, 1661.]
In forming the new baptismal office the revisers had to face many problems, because, while the circumstances of baptism had altered so much, the service had never yet been similarly altered. Their models were chiefly two, viz., the current Latin service and the modification of it in Hermann’s Consultation,26 Considerable changes were made in 1549, more radical in some respects than those of the Consultation, and further alterations followed in 1552.
The service still retained in 1549 its triple character. 1. The making of a catechumen, which, according to the Consultation was to be done on the day before the actual baptism, became in the First Prayer Book, on the contrary, a mere opening section of the baptismal service: it was greatly cut down from the Latin model exhortations and prayers on the plan of the German Order took the place of Latin ceremonies such as the Gift of Salt or the Effeta, which were discarded; but it retained some substantial recognition of its identity with the old admission to the catechumenate in the fact that it was said at the church door, and was consequently still distinct from the rest of the service.

In 1549, the triple form of the service retained,

with omissions.

2. The consecration of the font was still a separate rite; it was ordered that the water should be changed and hallowed at least every month; and a form for this was provided, and placed as an appendix at the end of the baptismal services. It was not the old form of the Manual, but was evidently taken from some Gallican source; the exact original, however, has not yet been traced: various parts of it occur in several Gallican formularies of baptism, but, while the connexion is too obvious to be denied, it seems impossible to say of any of the extant rites, that it is the one, which was before the revisers in doing their work.

The form provided in 1549 ran thus :—

O most merciful God our Saviour Jesu Christ, who hast ordained the element of water for the regeneration of thy faithful people, upon whom, being baptized in the river of Jordan, the Holy Ghost came down in likeness of a dove; send down, we beseech thee, the same thy Holy Spirit to assist us, and to be present at this our invocation of thy holy name: Sanctify + this fountain of baptism, Thou that art the sanctifier of all things, that by the power of thy word all those that shall be baptized therein may be spiritually regenerated, and made the children of everlasting adoption. Amen.

    1. O merciful God, grant that the old Adam, in them that shall be baptized in this fountain, may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up again. Amen.
    2. Grant that all carnal affections, &c.
    3. Grant to all them which at this fountain forsake the devil and all his works, that they may have power and strength to have victory, and to triumph against him, the world, and the flesh. Amen.
    4. Whosoever shall confess Thee, O Lord, recognise him also in thy kingdom. Amen.
    5. Grant that all sin and vice here may be so extinct, that they never have power to reign in thy servants. Amen.
    6. Grant that whosoever here shall begin to be of thy flock, may evermore continue in the same. Amen.
    7. Grant mat all they which for thy sake in this life do deny and forsake themselves, may win and purchase Thee, O Lord, which art everlasting treasure. Amen.
   8. Grant that whosoever is here dedicated to Thee, &c.27
    The Lord be with you.
    Answer. And with thy spirit.

Almighty everliving God, whose most dearly beloved Son, &c. Regard, we beseech Thee, the supplications of thy congregation and grant that all thy servants which shall be baptized in this water, prepared for the ministration of thy holy sacrament,28 may receive the fulness of thy grace, and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children, through Jesu Christ our Lord.

A new form for hallowing the font,
3. The rite of the baptism itself followed the old ‘Ritus baptizandi,’ but the Renunciation and the Confession of Faith were prescribed in fuller form, so that the first became a triple renunciation, not only of the devil, but also of the world and of the flesh; while second involved the recitation in full of the baptismal Creed. Smaller changes were the omission of the delivery of the taper, and the postponing of the unction till after the chrysom had been given. An address to the god-parents was provided according to old custom at the end of the service, but a novel address was also introduced, as an introduction to the Renunciation Confession of Faith.
and amplifi-cation of the ‘Catechism’
Further changes were made in 1552, partly to secure a still greater unity in the baptismal service, and partly to meet criticisms and objections, which the retention of so many of the old ceremonies had called forth. To secure greater unity, the saying of the early part of the service at the church door was given up, and the whole was assigned to be said at the font. The recital in the first part of the service of the Creed and Lord’s Prayer, the last relic of the Redditio symboli, was also given up: the Creed was already said in full according to the book of 1549 at the Confession of Faith, and a place was found for the Lord’s Prayer at the opening of a section of thanksgiving, which was now for the first time added after the baptism.29

In 1552

further compression.

The criticisms of Bucer on the office of 1549 have already been, described30: some of the more important were taken to heart, and changes were made in consequence. The exorcism, the unction and the chrysom were put out of the service: the crossing, however, to which he equally objected, was retained in a simpler form, and placed in a more central position in close connexion with the act of baptism, instead of in the traditional position at the beginning: it had been naturally connected with the admission to the catechumenate at that point, but it no longer retained any special significance there when once that connexion was abandoned, and in its new position it to some extent took the place left vacant by the omission of the giving of the chrysom and of the unction. But further, Bucer was possessed with an unreasoning horror of the benediction of material objects, and wished to have no trace of such a thing in the baptismal service. Accordingly in 1552 the prayer for the hallowing of the font was omitted, and with regard to the rest of the form of blessing prescribed in 1549, four out of the eight short prayers, together with the closing collect in a modified form, were retained, and were set for use at each baptism immediately after the Renunciation and Confession of Faith and before the act of baptism.31 Thus, although Bucer did not get all the changes made that he desired, the chief of those that were made were due to his suggestion.


and omission

of ceremonies,

and consecratory prayer.





After this general survey of the history of changes in the Rites of Baptism, it remains now to review the present office in detail, noting by the way such changes as have been made since 1552. The title was slight altered in 1661 by the restoration of the word ‘Public which had formed ‘part of the title in the First Book, and by the insertion of the words ‘of Infants,’ which were rendered necessary by the setting forth then for the first time of a special service for adult baptism. At the same time a change was also made in the first rubric, which had hitherto been longer, and formed an introduction to the office :—

Public Baptism of Infants

The present service.

It appeareth by ancient writers that the Sacrament of Bapitism in the old time was not commonly ministered but at two times in the year, at Easter and Whitsuntide,32 at which times it was only ministered in presence of all the congregation: which custom now being grown out of use, although it cannot for many considerations be well restored again, yet it is thought good to follow the same, as near as conveniently may be: wherefore the people are to be admonished, that it is most convenient that Baptism should not be ministered but upon Sundays and other Holy Days,33 &c.

Since the custom of observing solemn times of Baptism had long been disused, the mention of the custom omitted in 1661. It was enough to specify the things which were necessary, which are, that, except in cases of necessity, the rite be administered at the font on a Sunday or a Holy Day, ‘when the most number of people come together;’ that the time in the service be after the second lesson at Morning or Evening Prayer; and that three sponsors be required for each child:34 notice must also be given by the parents at least before the beginning of Morning Prayer.35 At the last revision (1661) it was directed that the font should be filled with pure water at every time of Baptism.36

Opening Rubric.




The preliminary inquiry is according to the old rubric,37 and the address has one slight point of contact with the long opening exhortation in Hermann’s Consultation.38 The first prayer was taken in 1549 almost verbatim, either from the same book, where it follows the examination and exorcism, or more probably direct from Luther’s original German version, which appeared first in the Taufbüchlein of 1523,39 whence it passed to other German services, and eventually to the Consultation.40 In 1552 this prayer was remodelled; the exordium was made much more concise by a masterly hand: the central section which diverged farthest from the original was also curtailed and altered.41 and an effective close was substituted for the halting end which disfigured the prayer as it stood in 1549.

The Inquiry and Address.


The first opening Prayer.

The second prayer is taken from the Sarum office, where it was one of the prayers said at the exorcism in the baptism of a male.42 This was also its use in the service of 1549, as it was then still preceded by the crossing and succeeded by the exorcism:43 when these disappeared in 1552 the collect alone survived.

The Second Prayer before the Gospel.
The Gospel in the old English office was from S. Matthew: the corresponding passage from S. Mark, now read in our service, was customary in Germany,44 and appears in the Consultation, where also it was followed by a short address, which furnished the idea and the matter of the closing part of our brief Exhortation upon the words of the Gospel.45 The Gospel was formerly followed by the Effeta and the recital of the Lord’s Prayer and Creed, and when the Effeta was given up in 1549, the exhortation was made to lead up to the recital: when the recital was given up in 1552, it was made to lead instead into the thanksgiving. This comes directly from the Consultation, where it formed the conclusion of the admission to the catechumenate on the day preceding the Baptism.46 In the First Prayer Book the introductory service at the church door ended here with the ceremony of introducing the children into the church, and the words,

’The Lord vouchsafe to receive you into His holy household, and to keep and govern you alway in the same, that you may have everlasting life. Amen.’47

The Gospel and Exhortation.





The Thanksgiving.

The Address to the Sponsors before Baptism was composed in 1549; it slightly resembles the Address in the Consultation, with which the service opened on the day of the Baptism; but its whole purpose is different, since this leads up to the baptismal promises, which in the German order had been already made.48 It is possible also that it was meant to counteract certain misconceptions of the spiritual character of the operation of Baptism.49

The Address to the Sponsors.

The renunciation and profession have gone through a considerable amount of minor modification. In 1549 this part kept closer than at present to the old service, though considerably amplified.

Then shall the priest demand of the child which shall be first baptized these questions following: first naming the child and saying, N. dost thou forsake the devil and all his works? Answer. I forsake them.

Then a separate renunciation of the world and then of the flesh. The anointing was omitted. The profession of faith was not confined to three short propositions as in the Latin, but the second division of the Creed was said in full like the rest, and to all three the answer was made, ‘I believe.’ Then followed:

Minister. What dost thou desire? Answer. Baptism. Minister. Wilt thou be baptized? Answer. I will.50

In 1552 the renunciation and the profession of faith were each compressed into one question, and these were now addressed to the godparents.51 and their answers at the same time were made fuller: their position as sponsors answering for the children was further defined in 1661: at Wren’s suggestion52 the words ‘until he come of age to take it upon himself’ were inserted into the preliminary address; and further, the opening question was amplified so as to run thus: I Dost thou, in the name of this child, renounce, &c.’: and the last word was now substituted for ‘forsake’ throughout.53

In the closing questions where the First Book followed the Latin exactly, a change was made in 1552, substituting one pointed question for the two vague ones; and in 1661 a still greater change was made by the introduction of a definite profession of life-long obedience to God: this had hitherto been understood from the whole context of the service to be one of the baptismal vows, and it had had explicit expression in the address preceding the vows, but not in the actual form of a question and answer, as was the case with the other vows.

The ‘catechism.’
The changes have already been described by which the four short prayers and the longer collect, which now follow, came into their position as the relics of the service provided in the First Book for the consecration of the font. The want of some consecration of the water was felt in 1637 at the preparation of the Scottish Book, and two insertions were made, one into the first collect of the service,54 and the other here,55 to remedy the defect. A similar change was made here for the same purpose in 1661 by the insertion of the clause ‘Sanctify this water to the mystical washing away of sin.’

The hallowing of the Font.

After the action of Baptism there followed in 1549 the two ancient ceremonies of the chrysom, and the unction.56 In 1552 they disappeared and the ceremony of making the sign of the cross upon the child, which had occurred at an earlier part of the service, was transferred to this position. The words used, which express that the Sacrament has been completed, and the newly-baptized thereby received into the congregation, belong entirely to our English Prayer Book. The ceremony formed one of the bitterest complaints of the Puritans, but it was retained in spite of all opposition, and in 1603 a special Canon (30) was framed to explain its use.

Ceremonies after Baptism.

The sign of the cross.

The Bidding, together with the Lord’s Prayer57 and Thanksgiving that follow,58 was placed here in 1552. It is an important addition, expressing so unequivocally the regeneration of each baptized infant.59
The Thanks-giving after Baptism for Regeneration.
The ancient manner, to which the people were accustomed, of dipping the child first on one side then on the other and then face downwards,60 was retained in the First Prayer Book (1549) with the permission that, ‘if the child be weak, it shall suffice to pour water upon it.’ The action was brought to its present simplicity in 1552:—
Method of Baptism.
Simplified in 1552.
Then the Priest shall take the child in his hands, and ask the name, and naming the child, shall dip it in the water, so it be discreetly and warily done, saying, &c. And if the child be weak, it shall suffice to pour water upon it, saying, &c.

From this period also the giving of the Christian name at the time of Baptism was more clearly marked. Previously the child had been called by its future name many times during the earlier part of the service; but this was now omitted, and the name was pronounced for the first time together with the act of Baptism. The alteration of the rubric in 1661 marks this still more clearly; and also shows that Baptism by immersion was no longer the rule :— ‘If they shall certify him that the child may ‘well endure it, he shall dip it in the water discreetly, &c.’
The Christian name given at Baptism.

The Exhortation to the Godparents was composed in 1549. Besides making mention of the Lord’s Prayer and Creed, which had been enjoined in the old charge to the sponsors,61 the Ten Commandments are added, and sermons are pointed out as the means of obtaining sound instruction. It also shortly reminds them that the duties of a Christian life ought to be found in daily exercise among all who are baptized.

In the Prayer Book of 1549 a rubric followed this Exhortation :—

The Minister shall command that the chrysoms be brought to the church, and delivered to the Priests after the accustomed manner, at the purification of the mother of every child: and that the children be brought to the Bishop to be confirmed of him, so soon as they can say, in their vulgar tongue, the Articles of the Faith, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and further be instructed in the Catechism set forth for that purpose accordingly as it is there expressed. And so let the congregation depart in the name of the Lord.

The Address to the Sponsors.

The mention of the chrysoms was omitted in 1552, and the rubric itself was changed in 1661 for a specific form of words, in which the Minister is to give the direction about Confirmation. It was then necessary to bring this ordinance to the memories of the people; and it was more than probable that many Ministers ended the service without noticing the rubric, or making any mention of Confirmation. At the same time the declaration of the undoubted salvation of baptized infants62 was transposed from the Preface of the Confirmation Service to the end of the Baptismal Office; and the reference was made to the Canon, to explain the object with which the sign of the cross63 had been retained.




Explanation of the effect of Baptism,

and of the sign of the Cross.

SECT. H. — The Private Baptism of Children in Houses.

This section, has a double purpose, first to provide for private baptism in case of emergency, and secondly if the child, survives to deal with the case subsequently, both by making sure that the child either has had or shall have valid baptism, and also by supplying the non-essential parts of the rite, which were omitted in the private baptism.

In the old Latin books these matters were regulated by rubrics appended to the ordinary service, and these form the basis of the provisions of the Prayer Book.64

The object of the two first rubrics is to minimize Private Baptism; the old rule had been immediate baptism65 except in case of children born in the week preceding the solemn baptismal ceremonies of Eastertide and Whitsuntide, who were therefore to be reserved for those occasions: private baptism was forbidden, except in the case of royal or princely families, or else in case emergency.66 Similar rules were enacted in 1549 an remain substantially the same still.

Private Baptism of Infants

    The Pastors and Curates shall oft admonish the people that they defer not the baptism of infants any longer than the Sunday or other Holy Day next after the child be born, unless upon a great and reasonable cause declared to the Curate, and by him approved.
    And also they shall warn them that, without great cause and necessity, they baptize not children at home in their houses.


Rubrics 1549.

The directions given for private baptism at the same time were as follows:

    And when great need shall compel them so to do, that then they minister it on this fashion.
    First, let them that be present call upon God for His grace, and say the Lord’s Prayer, if the time will suffer. And then one of them shall name the child, and dip him in the water, or pour water upon him, saying these words:
N, I baptize thee, &c.

It was understood that these carried on the old system whereby lay persons were allowed, and even encouraged, to administer baptism in cases of necessity, and the rubric provided the irreducible minimum for a private baptism by a layman or lay woman.67 The mention of the Lord’s Prayer seems to be due to the influence of the Consultation:68 there is no mention of consecration of the water, nor any rite but the simple act of Baptism with water in the name of the Trinity. The only addition is the saying the Lord’s Prayer, and calling upon God for His grace.

Baptism by Laymen.
An attempt was made to set aside the permission thus continued to, laymen to baptize infants in case of necessity,69 by introducing a Canon of Convocation (1575), as an exposition, which the Bishops considered themselves empowered to give, of a rubric of doubtful meaning.70 Elizabeth, however, would not sanction the alteration: and the rubrics remained until the revision after the Hampton Court Conference (1604). The question came then into the forefront, and King James expressed a strong opinion; ‘that any but a lawful minister might baptize anywhere, he utterly disliked; and in this point his highnesse grew somewhat earnest against the baptizing by women and laikes.’71 It appears also that the above-mentioned resolution of the Bishops had been very generally acted upon, and that they had inquired into the practice of Private Baptism in their visitations, and censured its administration by women and lay persons.72 The rubrics were therefore now altered, so as to make no mention of Baptism by any other than a lawful Minister.

Lay-Baptism censured by the Bishops.



and by King James.

Baptism to be administered by a lawful Minister.

An addition was made to the title of the service ‘Of them that be baptized in private houses in time of necessity, by the Minister of the Parish, or any other lawful Minister that can be procured.’ The direction no to defer Baptism was continued. The warning not to use Private Baptism without great cause was expressed ‘that they procure not their children to be baptized at home in their houses. And when great need shall compel them so to do, then Baptism shall be administered on this fashion. First, let the lawful Minister, and them that be present, call upon God, &c. . . . And then, the child being named by some one that is present, the said lawful Minister shall dip it in water, or pour, &c.’


From this time, therefore, Lay-Baptism was distinctly discountenanced by the Church of England; but still no precise service was marked out which the lawful Minister was to use in such Private Baptisms: any prayer for God’s grace, with the Lord’s Prayer, preceding the action of Baptism, would suffice. At the period of the last revision (1661) every such exercise of the gift of extempore prayer was regarded with disfavour; this liberty therefore was abolished, and the directions to the Minister in these rubrics were brought into a more exact and explicit shape.

The parents are exhorted not to defer the Baptism of their infants beyond the first or second Sunday after their birth. And if great necessity arises that the infant must receive Baptism at home, the Minister of the parish (or in his absence any other lawful Minister that can be procured) is thus to administer the rite. He is to say the Lord’s Prayer, and so many of the collects from the office of Public Baptism as the time and present exigence will suffer. Immersion is not mentioned, because, under the supposed circumstances, the child is weak and in danger of death. After the Baptism, the Minister is to give thanks for the infant’s regeneration and adoption, in the usual form after a Public Baptism. The particular collects which ought to be used before the act of Baptism are not specified. In a very great emergency, it is enough to say the Lord’s Prayer;73 but, if possible, the prayers in the public office which precede the Gospel, and the four short petitions for the child, with the prayer for the sanctification of the water, should also be used. The remainder of the office will be used, when the child, if it do afterward live, shall be brought to church to be received into the congregation.

The service to be used in Private Baptism.
The directions for this second part are also similar to the old Latin rubrics74 but are more explicit. The rubric directs that a lawfully baptized child is not to be baptized again, but his baptism is to be certified: up till 1604 the necessary inquiries were made on the assumption that it had been a case of lay baptism: from that date onward it was assumed that the baptism had been performed by some Minister. If it was not the parish priest but some other lawful Minister, the Minister of the parish must examine by whom, and how it was done, lest anything essential to the Sacrament should have been omitted: and then either certify to the congregation that all was well done, and in due order, and so proceed with the introduction. to the Gospel;75 or if, through the uncertainty of the answers76, ‘it cannot appear that the child was baptized with water, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (which are essential parts of Baptism),’ he must then use the office of Public Baptism,77 and administer the rite with the conditional form of words,78 ‘If thou art not already baptized, N, I baptize thee, &c.’

Completion of the service in the Church,


The Examina-tion whether Baptism has been rightly administered; if by another lawful Minister:

If the Minister of the parish himself baptized the child, he at once commences the service by certifying the fact to the congregation, and then proceeds with the introduction to the Gospel at the words, ‘who being born in original sin, &c.’79
if by the Minister of the parish;
Since 1604, a lawful Minister is the only prescribed substitute for the Minister of the parish in the administration of Private Baptism; but this does not invalidate a lay baptism; hence if the Minister finds by the answer to the first question that the child has been baptized by a woman, or a layman, and yet finds that the Sacrament has been otherwise administered correctly, no directions are given as to his action in the Prayer Book: the baptism is irregular but valid80; therefore it seems right that he should certify that so far as validity goes ‘all is well done and according unto due order’ and then proceed accordingly.
if by an unauthorised person.
The service for the admission of a child who has been baptized privately is the same that is appointed for Public Baptism from the Gospel onward, with the necessary change of language to express that it follows, instead of preceding, the act of Baptism. And the comparison of these expressions in the several offices will show the meaning which is intended to be conveyed concerning the benefits of this Sacrament. Thus, in certifying that Baptism has been rightly administered,it is said of the child :— ‘who being born in original sin, and in the wrath of God, is now, by the laver of regeneration in Baptism, received into the number of the children of God and heirs of everlasting life.’ In the Address after the Gospel:— ‘Doubt ye not, therefore, but earnestly believe, that He hath likewise favourably received this present infant; that He hath embraced him with the arms of His mercy; and (as He hath promised in His Holy Word) will give81 unto him the blessing of eternal life, and make him partaker of His everlasting kingdom.’ In the Thanksgiving after the Lord’s Prayer:— ‘Give thy Holy Spirit to this infant, that he, being born again, and being made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, may continue thy servant, an attain thy promise, &c.’ And in the Address after the reception into the congregation it is said,— ‘that this child is by Baptism regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ’s Church.’

The service used in the church, compared with the Office of Public Baptism.

The changes made in the public service in 1552 were not carried out fully into the private office at the same time. Thus in 1549 the Thanksgiving, used after the Gospel in the public office, had been put, for want of any other, as the closing of the private office: and when in 1552 another closing thanksgiving was provided to follow the Baptism in the public office, this was not taken over into the private office, but the old arrangement remained till 1661, when the thanksgivings of the private office were placed as in the public office. Again, the Lord’s Prayer was transferred in 1552 in the public office from its old position after the Gospel to head the new section of thanksgiving now newly provided to follow immediately upon the Baptism. In the private office, however, it was not transferred. Neither was it transferred in 1661: but the revisers then corrected the end of the exhortation so as to make it lead up to the Lord’s Prayer,82 and kept it in this place. With this exception the two services are now agreed.83





till 1661.

Godparents are required, and the catechism of the sponsors and the closing exhortations are to be used as in the public service. After the first exhortation ending with the words,- ‘daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living,’ followed in the Prayer Books previously to the last revision,— ‘ &c. As in Public Baptism,’ or, ‘And so forth, as in Public Baptism.’ This was omitted in 1661, apparently with the intention of placing here the Address about Confirmation, which was added to the Office of Public Baptism. It was overlooked, however, and the rubric does not supply any direction: but, according to its manifest intention, the Address should be added in this place.84


The close.

SECT. III. — The Public Baptism of such as are of Riper Years, and able to answer for themselves.

This office was added at the last revision of the Prayer Book in 1661; it was drawn up by a Committee of Convocation and accepted by the Upper House on May 31.85 The want of such an Office was felt at that time, ‘by the growth of Anabaptism’ and the general neglect of the ordinances of the Church during the Rebellion, and also ‘for the baptising of natives in our plantations and others converted to the faith.’86 These two causes still make it a necessary service.87

Baptism of Adults

The rubric directs not only examination of the candidate, but that timely notice shall be given to the Bishop,88 or whom he shall appoint for that purpose, a week: before at the least, to secure a due preparation, and instruction in the principles of the Christian religion. The Catechumen is also exhorted to prepare himself with prayers and fasting for the receiving of this Holy Sacrament, according to the rule of the primitive Church.89 The service is formed upon that for the Baptism of Infants, with many changes, however, which adapt it to the different circumstances of the persons who are to baptized. The Gospel is taken from our Saviour’s discourse with Nicodemus concerning the necessity of a new birth of water and of the Spirit; and the Exhortation that follows it treats of repentance in connexion with Baptism. Moreover, since the Catechumens are able to make in their own persons the Christian profession of faith and obedience, the demands are addressed to them. Godfathers and godmothers are required to be present, but only in their original capacity as chosen .witnesses of their profession,90 with the further duty of putting them in remembrance of their vow, and call~g upon them ‘to use all diligence to be rightly instructed in God’s holy Word.’91 The concluding Exhortation warns the newly-baptized, that as they are ‘made the children of God and of the light92 by faith in Jesus Christ,’ it is their part and duty’ to walk answerably to their Christian calling, and as becometh the children of light.’93


The preparation of a Catechumen for Baptism.


Variations of the service from that of Infant Baptism.

SECT. IV. — The Catechism.

PREVIOUSLY to 1661 the Catechism was inserted in the Order of Confirmation with the intention that the Bishop should put questions to the children at the Confirmation Service.94 The title in the Prayer Books of Edward VI. and Elizabeth was, Confirmation, wherein is contained a Catechism for Children; and in 1604, The Order of Confirmation, or laying on of hands upon children baptized, and able to render an account of their faith, according to the Catechism following; with a further title to the Catechism itself, that is to say, An Instruction to be learned of every Child, before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.

The Catechism.
The insertion in the Prayer Book of such an authorized exposition of the elements of the Christian faith and practice belongs to the Reformation. English versions and expositions of the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed had, however, not only existed in early times, but had formed the staple subject of instruction which parish priests gave to their people in accordance with Canons and Injunctions constantly repeated ever since Anglo-Saxon times.95 Manuals for use in this duty existed in large numbers, but these were guides for the clergy,96 not instructions written the people in dialogue form such as is now implied by the word ‘Catechism.’ The word was used in the middle ages for the service of making a catechumen and for that part of it in which the profession and renunciation is made. Thence the early German reformers had taken it and applied it either to a more developed form of profession required at confirmation, or even as an independent manual of instruction. In England some steps were made in the same direction in the early days of reform. New injunctions, following the lines of the old episcopal and conciliar injunctions on the instruction of the faithful, were issued ‘by royal authority in the years 1536 and 1538,97 which ordered the Curates to teach the people the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, sentence by sentence, on Sundays and Holy Days, and to make all persons recite them when they came to Confession.98 These orders were repeated in the Injunctions of Edward VI.99 Meanwhile some attempts had been made at a form of instruction for the laity in the shape of a dialogue. Marshall’s Primer in 1534100 contained ‘A dialogue between the father and the son’ expounding the baptismal covenant with the Creed and Commandments, and other attempts also on similar lines were becoming popular. It was natural therefore that when the new Book of Service was prepared, a Catechism should be placed in it, as an authoritative exposition of the profession and renunciation in Holy Baptism and in connexion with the service of Confirmation, with directions for its use as the basis of a system of catechizing to be maintained on Sunday afternoons in each parish. This manual still remains in our Prayer Book, with only a few verbal alterations,101 and the addition of an explanation of the Sacraments in 1604. This appendix does not naturally belong to the Catechism viewed in the light of the original purpose which it was meant to serve, as an exposition of the baptismal covenant: but when it was felt desirable to make it a more complete manual of instruction, this section was added by royal authority, ‘by way of explanation,’102 and in compliance with the wish which Puritans had expressed at the Conference at Hampton Court.103 Subsequently with two emendations104 it was confirmed by Convocation and Parliament in 1661.

Catechising ordered before the Reformation.








In Henry’s reign.

The Catechism placed in the First Prayer Book.



the addition of 1604.






An intention was formed, in the time of Edward and Elizabeth, to have also another authorized Catechism, not merely explanatory of baptism, but intended for the instruction of more advanced students, and especially those in public schools, touching the grounds of the Christian religion. The original of this work is ascribed to Ponet,105 who was Bishop of Winchester in Edward’s reign. It was published in Latin and in English106 in 1553 under royal authority, after receiving episcopal approval.107 It seems, however, that this was not considered quite satisfactory; nor was it able to supplant the many similar compilations of the foreign Reformers,108 which were adopted by many teachers, and occasioned much complaint as to the want of a uniform system of religious instruction. Hence it was agreed by the Bishops in 1561 that, besides the Catechism for children which were to be confirmed, another somewhat longer should be devised for communicants, and a third, in Latin, for schools.109 It is probable that at this time Dean Nowell was already employed upon such a Catechism, taking Ponet’s as his ground-work; it was completed before the meeting of Convocation,110 submitted there early in 1563, approved, and amended, but not not formally sanctioned, apparently because it was treated as part of a larger design, which was not realized.111 The Catechism, therefore, remained unpublished until 1570, when it was printed at the request of the Archbishops’ and appeared in several forms, in Latin and in English.112


A larger Catechism.


Ponet’s Catechism.

Nowell’s Catechism.






SECT. V. — The Order of Confirmation.

The early history of the Confirmation Service has already been treated of in connexion with the baptismal service. When it became a detached service, some slight additions gathered round the single collect and the simple rite of anointing the forehead with chrism, which formed the whole of the old service. These additions and the words said at the anointing were not everywhere the same, but the differences were unimportant. The service everywhere began with versicles and the old Roman prayer for the sevenfold Gift of the Spirit said with hands outstretched over the candidates: then followed the anointing of each in turn, next a shortened psalm and a versicle introduced one further prayer which is found in Gregorian but not Gelasian sacramentaries. and the service ended with the Blessing.

The following is the Office for Confirmation in the Pontifical of one of the Bishops of Salisbury in the XVth century.113



Imposition of hands.

Confirmatio puerorum et aliorum baptizatorum.

    In primis dicat episcopus :
    V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine domini.
    R. Qui fecit celum et terram.114
    V. Dominus vobiscum.
    R. Et cum spiritu tuo.     Oremus.
    Oratio. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui regenerare dignatus es hos famulos tuos, ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedisti eis remissionem omnium peccatorum: immitte in eos septiformem Spiritum, Sanctum Paraclitum, de cœlis. Amen. Spiritum sapientiæ et intellectus. Amen. Spiritum scientiæ et pietatis.115 Amen. Spiritum consilii et fortitudinis. + Amen. Et adimple eos Spiritu timoris Domini. + Amen.
    Et consigna eos signa sanctæ crucis +, confirma eos chrismate salutis in vitam propitiatus æternam. Amen.
    Tunc inquisito nomine cujuslibet, et pollice chrismate uncto, pontifex faciat crucem in singulorum fronte, dicens: Signo te N, signo crucis + et confirmo te chrismate salutis. In nomine Patris, et Fi + lii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.116
    Sequatur Psalmus. Ecce sic benedicetur homo: qui timet Dominum. Benedicat tibi Dominus ex Syon: ut videas bona Jerusalem omnibus diebus vitæ tuæ. Gloria Patri. Sicut erat.
    V. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur.
    R. Et renovabis faciem terræ.
    V. Pax tibi. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.     Oremus.
    Oratio. Deus, qui apostolis tuis Sanctum dedisti Spiritum, quique per eos eorum successoribus cæterisque fidelibus tradendum esse voluisti: respice propitius ad nostræ humanitatis famulatum: et præsta ut horum corda quorum frontes sacrosancto chrismate delinivimus, et signo sanctæ crucis cansignavimus, idem Spiritus Sanctus adveniens templum gloriæ suæ dignanter inhabitando perficiat. Per Dominum: in unitate ejusdem.
    Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pa+ter, et Fi+lius, et Spiritus + Sanctus. Amen.


The Mediæval Office.

In the First English Prayer Book the order of the old service was continued; the definite tactual imposition of hands was restored,117 but the use of chrism was omitted. After the versicles and the first prayer, it proceeded thus, following the line of the Latin prayer, but substituting a reference to the cross of Christ for a reference to the outward sign of the cross, and substituting inward unction for the outward.

Minister. Sign them, O Lord, and mark them to be thine for ever, by the virtue of thy holy cross and passion. Confirm and strengthen them with the inward unction of thy Holy Ghost, mercifully unto everlasting life. Amen. Then the Bishop shall cross them in the forehead, and lay his hand upon their head, saying, N, I sign thee with-the sign of the cross, and lay my hand upon thee: In the name of the Father, &c. And thus shall he do to every child one after another. And when he hath laid his hand upon every child, then shall he say, The peace of the Lord abide with you. Answer. And with thy spirit.

Then followed the collect, ‘Almighty everlasting God, which makest us, &c.,’ which was composed, in 1549, from the long collect which preceded the laying on of hands in Archbishop Hermann’s Order of Confirmation.118

Ceremonies of Confirmation (1549).
The section of the service of 1549, printed above was omitted at the revision in 1552,. and the present benedictional prayer was inserted in its place, ‘Defend, 0 Lord, this child with thy heavenly grace, &c.,’ with the direction for the crossing omitted and only the imposition of hands (or hand) retained.119
The service was brought into its present form at the last revision in 1661. Being separated from the Catechism, its title was: ‘The Order of Confirmation, or laying on of hands upon them that are baptized, and come to years of discretion,120 instead of the words (1604), ‘and able to render an account of their faith according to the Catechism following.’ A preface drawn from the opening part of the explanatory rubric which had preceded the Catechism, was appointed to be read at the opening of the service of Confirmation: and instead of putting questions from the Catechism,121 the Bishop was directed to address a solemn demand of personal acknowledgment of the baptismal vow to the candidates, to be answered by each one for himself Kneeling was prescribed for the candidates at the: imposition of hands: the Lord’s Prayer was at the same time inserted so as to follow immediately upon it as an act of thanksgiving, and the collect, ‘O Almighty Lord, &c.,’ was added before the concluding blessing.

Beyond its own intrinsic importance, as the gift of the Spirit and the corollary of Baptism, confirmation occupies further an important position in the economy of the Church, which is pointed out in the last rubric,122 in that it is the admission to full communion: for it is only natural that the reception of the fulness of the gift of the Spirit offered to every member of Christ should be first123 required of those who come to the Lord’s Supper.


The present office

1 S. Matt. xxviii. 19.

2 Acts viii. 37, quoted by S. Irenseus, Heres. iii. 12. 8.

3 Acts viii. 14-17.

Return to text.

4 Acts xix. 1-7.

5 See Stone, Holy Baptism, ch. XII.

6 Some traces of this seem to be visible in the New Testament: when S. Paul says (1 Cor. i. 14-17) that it was not his work to baptize, he is probably meaning something more extended than the mere administration of the brief rite of baptism, and has in view a system of teaching and training.

7 The Teaching of the XII. Apostles:
Greek text

8 Apol. i. 61. See below, p. 596.

Return to text.

9 S. Mark vii. 31-37.

10 The consecration of the water is not so marked a feature as the rest, but it seems to have begun as early as this. Tert. De Bapt. 4. For other evidence, see Stone, 132, 268.

11 See the passages collected by Duchesne, pp. 321, 322, from the treatise, De Baptismo, and elsewhere.

12 §§ 60-149. Ibid. pp, 512-514.

Return to text.

13 Evidence is abundant as to Jerusalem from the Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril and the Peregrinatio of S. Silvia, For the West the evidence comes chiefly from S. Augustine and S. Ambrose. See Wiegand, Symbol und Katechummat (Leipzig, 1899), and Stone, l. c.

14 Gelas. Sacr. 537.

15 The Gelasian Sacramentary and the 7th Roman Ordo.

16 Gelas. Sacr. 521 and ff.

Return to text.
17 The Apertio Aurium, or formal instruction in the four Gospels, was peculiar to Rome. The ceremonies of unction differed in different places. In Spain a single immersion was customary, as a protest against Arianism (Stone, 135, 271). At Milan and in the sphere of its influence, the baptism was followed by a washing of feet: this was also a Celtic custom. See the Stowe Missal in Warren, Liturgy of the Celtic Church, 217.
Return to text.
18 This is the Roman custom: elsewhere in the West the custom of allowing the priest to perform confirmation, by means of the episcopally consecrated chrism, obtained for a time, as it has continuously in the East. But the Roman custom drove it out. See, for example, Innocent’s letter to Decentius (Epist. xxv. 3; Migne, P. L. xx. 554) quoted in Gratian III. iv. 119. See Hall, Confirmation, ch. iv.

19 Warren, Liturgy of Celtic Church, 64.

20 Martene, I. i. XVIII. Ordo XIII. Cp. Miss. Goth. (Muratori, ii. 589), and the Celtic Stowe Missal in Warren, l. c. 217.

21 Sacr. Gallic. (Bobbio) in Muratori, ii, 850; Miss. Goth., ibid. 591.

22 Mentioned by S. Ambrose, De lapsu Virg. 5. Originally on Easter, Even the candles were unlighted till the general lighting up of the church from the New fire. Martene I. i. xv. 10.

23 The Roman Rite made no special ceremony of this as did the Gallican. See Missale Gothicum (Muratori, ii, 590) and Sacr. Gall., ibid. 852.

Return to text.

24 Ordo ad faciendum catechumenum.

25 Queen Elizabeth was baptized and confirmed in the old way at the age of three days by Archbishop Cranmer. Stow, Annals.

Return to text.
26 These and other sources are very conveniently collected and well handled in Fallow, The Baptismal Offices Illustrated, Oxford, 1838. The Latin Service is in Maskell, Mon. i. 3 and ff. Cp. York and Sarum Manuals in .Surtees Soc., vol. 63.
Return to text.
27 This series of eight short prayers is one of the most easily identified portions of the form; they all are found in a similar series of sixteen short prayers in the Mozarabic ‘Benedictio Fontis,’ Migne, P. L., LXXXV. 188, col. 466 (Nos. 4,5,8,9, 10, 15, 14, 16); the two first prayers of that series also are found here in the two clauses in the prayer italicised above. The same series is found in the Missale Gallicanum (Muratori, ii. 740) with three slight differences: in two of these the English version follows the Gallican, and not the Mozarabic, i. e. in the wording of the fourth and in the order of the three last clauses; but in the third-the wording of the last clause-it is nearer to the Mozarabic. It is clear that the Mozarabic Missal was accessible at the time of the revision, for it was printed by Ximenes in 1500, and it may very easily have been known to Cranmer; on the other hand the MS. of the Missale Gallicanum was not discovered and printed till the end of the seventeenth century, So it is probable that Cranmer had some other Gallican Order of before him which has not so far been identified.
    The two Gallican prayers are printed side by side in Forbes, Gallican Liturgies, p. 190. Compare other Gallican forms of ‘Benedictio Fontis’ at pp. 95 and 268 there.

28 The clause ‘prepared for the ministration of thy holy sacrament’ was omitted in 1552.

Return to text.

29 This follows S. Cyprian, Dom. Or. 9. Compare the transposition of the Lord’s Prayer in 1552 to a similar position as the opening of the section of thanksgiving in the Communion Service. Above, p. 473.

30 Above, pp. 74, 75. They are given in full in Fallow.

Return to text.

31 Bucer objected even to the statement that by the Baptism of Christ water had been sanctified to the mystical washing away of sin: but his desire for the removal of the phrase was not gratified.

32 The Epiphany was in early days a solemn time of baptism from its connexion with our Lord’s Baptism (above, p. 323), but this custom was resisted at Rome, and under Roman influence it came to an end in the West. Duchesne, 282, 283.

33 ‘We will that Baptism be ministered only upon the Sundays Holy Days, when the whole congregation is wont to come together, if the weakness of the infants let not the same, so that it is to be feared that they will not live till the next Holy Day.’ Hermann’s Consultation, fol. cliii.

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34 The institution .of sponsors is very ancient. At the end of the second century some one was required to be security for the candidate on admission as catechumen (Can. Hipp. 103), and again some one to receive him from the font and be security for his future life. The latter persons, called ‘sponsores’ (Tert. De Bapt. 16) or ‘susceptores’ (cp. Tert. De cor. mil. 3), were further required to answer in the name of infants and others unable to answer for themselves (Can. Hipp. 113, &c.). In the days of adult baptism by immersion one person, of the same sex as the candidate, received him or her from the font; in some places the rule required a deacon for a man and a deaconess for a woman (Ap. Const. iii. 16); but as the manner of baptism changed, this was no longer necessary, and it became natural for one to stand sponsor to the opposite sex. In this way a single baptismal Godparent was all that was required, and some rules forbad more (Decree of Leo IV. in 853 in Gratian IV. iii. 101); but another was required for the catechumenate and another for confirmation (Ibid.), making three in all. A false decretal ascribed to Pope Hyginus in the second century, but actually included in the Saxon Penitential of Abp. Theodore (Penitential, II. IV. 8 (cp. 10) in Haddan and Stubbs, iii. 193, or Schmitz, Bussbücher, ii. 569), and inserted in the Decretum (IV. iii. 100) allowed that the same person might stand in case of necessity on all three occasions, though the Roman custom was to have a different sponsor at each. In theory the old rule of a single sponsor held good, but it was recognised that in places it was overruled by custom, and three sponsors were allowed at baptism — a survival, possibly, of the older triple sponsorial system.
    This custom prevailed in England (Lyndwood, Prov. iii. 24). The Sarum rubric slightly altered the old rule, and placed it alongside of the existing’ customary regulations:— Non plures quam unus vir et una mulier (Leo had ‘unus, sive vir sive mulier’) debent accedere ad suseipiendum parvulum de sacro fonte . . . nisi alia fuerit consuetudo approbata: . . . tamen ultra tres amplius ad hoc nullatenus recipiantur. The custom was fully approved in England, which still holds, and was inserted in the Rubric in 1661. The Council of York in 1195 in its fourth canon declared in favour of three sponsors as maximum (Harduin, VI. 1931), and Abp. Edmund’s Constitution of 1236 (Lyndwood, l. c.) is to the same effect: but in 1240 the Synod of Worcester spoke of it as a minimum: ‘Masculum ad minus’ (perhaps for ‘ad maius’) duo masculi et una mulier suscipiant: feminam duo mulieres et masculus unus. (Harduin VII. 332; Mansi, XXIIl. 527; Wilkins, i. 667.) The Roman rule prescribes one sponsor or at most one of each sex.
    From at least as early a time as the sixth century (Code of Justinian V. IV. 26), sponsorship has been held to involve a relationship which was a bar to marriage, precisely like a natural relationship: consequently the older custom of parents standing for their children, apparently in a sponsorial and not merely a parental position at baptism, which was common in S. Augustine’s day, was prohibited (Council of Mainz in 813, Canon 55: in Harduin iv. 1016). This prohibition was repeated in the 29th of the Canons of 1603, and it was further required, again following older precedents, that sponsors must have received Communion. The first has been (informally) repealed by the Convocation of Canterbury in 1865, and has been abolished by the Irish and the American Churches; but the second still holds good and is justified both by reason and precedent.
    The requirement of a sponsor for confirmation, which has been customary in England at least since the time of Abp. Theodore and the Laws of Ine (c. 690), (See No. 76 in Haddan and Stubbs, iii. 218) is continued by the third rubric after the Catechism: the Sarum rubric laid down that this should not be one of the baptismal sponsors, except in case of necessity. Cp. Myrk, Instruction for Parish Priests (E. E. T. S ) ll. 164-6.
    See for the whole subject, Bingham, XI. VIII.; Stone, pp. 100 and ff.; Dict. Chr. Ant., s. v. Sponsor; Van Espen, Jus. Eccl. Univ. II. i. 2, v. and II. i. 13, VII.

35 Hermann’s Consultation, fol. cliii.: ‘But that all things may be ministered and received religiously and reverently, the parents of the infant shall signify the matter betimes to the pastors, and with the godfathers shall humbly require Baptism for their infants. That if the parents, or the godfathers, or both, be subject to manifest crimes, they may be corrected of the pastor if they will admit correction, or if they be incorrigible, that they may be kept from the communion of Baptism, lest they be present at so divine a ministration unto damnation and with danger of offending the Church .... ‘

36 The rubric in the Prayer Book for Scotland (1637) ordered the water in the font to be changed twice in the month at least; and the following words from the consecration prayer of 1549 (above, p. 571) were inserted into the first prayer, which were to be said before any child was baptized in the water so changed: ‘Sanctify this fountain of Baptism, thou which art the sanctifier of all things.’

37 Ordo ad faciena. Catech.: inquirat sacerdos, utrum sit infans masculus an femina: deinde, si infans fuerit baptizatus domi.’ Maskell, Mon. Rit. I. p. 3.

38 ‘Beloved in Christ Jesu, we daily hear out of the word of God, and learn by our own experience, that all we, from the fall of Adam, are conceived and born in sins, that we are guilty of the wrath of God, and damned through the sin of Adam, except we be delivered by the death and merits of the Son of God, Christ Jesu our only Saviour.’ Consult. fol. clvi. The exhortation is twenty times as long as that in the Prayer Book, and, except for the above similarity of phrase, is of a markedly different character.

39 Some phrases in it are nearer to Luther’s form than to the Consultation, and it has all the appearance of being an independent translation. See the Taufbüchlein in Richter, Kirchenordnungen, i. No. III.

40 ‘Almighty God, who in old time didst destroy the wicked world with the flood, according to thy terrible judgment, and didst preserve only the family of godly Noah, eight souls, of thy unspeakable mercy; and who also didst drown in the Red Sea obstinate Pharaoh, the King of the Egyptians, with all his army and warlike power, and causedst thy people of Israel to pass over with dry feet; and wouldst shadow in them Holy Baptism, the laver of regeneratron: furthermore, who didst consecrate Jordan with the Baptism of thy son Christ Jesu, and other waters to holy dipping and washing of sins: we pray Thee for thy exceeding mercy look favourably upon this Infant; give him true faith, and thy Holy Spirit, that whatsoever filth he hath taken of Adam, it may be drowned, and be put away by this holy flood, that being separated from the number of the ungodly, he may be kept safe in the holy ark of the Church, and may confess and sanctify thy name with a lusty and fervent spirit, and serve thy kingdom with constant trust and sure hope, that at length he may attain to the promises of eternal life with all the godly. Amen.’ Consult, fol. clxii. It has been supposed that this prayer is a translation from some Latin source (Blunt, p. 218), but no such origin has yet been traced.

41 A clause had been inserted in 1549, that the children ‘may be received into the ark of Christ’s Church, and so saved from perishing.’ This, as excluding unbaptized infants from salvation, was omitted in 1552, together with the mention of the destruction of the old world and of ‘wicked king Pharaoh’ by water. Cp. Cranmer, Reform. Legum, ‘De Baptismo:’ ‘Illorum etiam videri debet scrupulosa superstitio, qui Dei gratiam et Spiritum Sanctum tantopere cum sacramentorum elementis colligant, ut plane affirment, nullum Christianorum infantem salutem esse consecuturum, qui prius morte fuerit occupatus, quam ad Baptismum adduci potuerit: quod longe secus habere judicamus.’

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42 ‘Hæc sequens oratio dicitur super masculum tantum:
    Deus, immortale præsidium omnium postulantium, liberatio supplicum, pax rogantium, vita credentium, resurrectio mortuorum: te invoco super hunc famulum tuum N. qui, Baptismi tui donum petens, æternam consequi gratiam spirituali regeneratione desiderat, Accipe eum, Domine: et quia dignatus es dicere, Petite ac accipietis, quærite et invenietis, pulsate et aperietur vobis, petenti præmium porrige, et januam pande pulsanti: ut æternam cœlestis lavacri benedictionem consecutus, promissa tui muneris regna percipiat. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.’ This Collect is found in the Gregorian Sacramentaries, but not in the Gelasian, though some such prayer in that position seems to be demanded by symmetry. It is also in Luther’s office and in the Consulsation.

43 The ceremony of making a cross upon the child’s forehead and breast, was accompanied by the words, ‘N. receive the sign of the holy cross, both in thy forehead, and in thy breast, in token that thou shalt not be ashamed to confess thy faith in Christ crucified, and manfully to I fight, &c.’ Then after the prayer followed the form of exorcism: ‘Then let the priest, looking upon the children, say, I command thee, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that thou come out, and depart from these infants, whom Lord Jesus Christ hath vouchsafed to call to His holy Baptism, to be made members of His body, and of His holy congregation. Therefore thou cursed spirit, remember thy sentence, remember thy judgment remember the day to be at hand wherein thou shalt burn in fire everlasting, prepared for thee and thy angels. And presume not hereafter to exercise any tyranny towards these infants, whom Christ has bought with His precious blood, and by this His holy Baptism, called to be of His flock.’ These are both adaptations of the old service. See Maskell, pp. 7 and ff., and cp. Hermann, Consultation; fol. c1xiii.

44 Antididagma (Paris 1549), p. 57.

45 Believe these words, and this deed of our Lord Jesu Christ upon them, and doubt not but that He will so receive your children also, and embrace them with the arms of His mercy, and give them the blessing of eternal life, and the everlasting communion of the kingdom of God. The same Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ confirm and increase this your faith. Amen.’ Hermann, Consultation, fol. clxiv, Comp. also the Exhortation before Baptism, fol. clvi.: ‘. . . who would have the infants to be offered unto Him, that He might give them His blessing. . . . And be ye most certain hereof, that our Lord Jesus Christ will mercifully regard this work of your charity towards this infant.’

46 ‘Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give Thee eternal thanks, that Thou hast vouchsafed to call us to this knowledge of thy grace, and faith towards Thee. Increase and confirm this faith in us evermore. Give thy Holy Spirit to this infant, that he may be born again, and be made heir of everlasting salvation, which of thy grace and mercy Thou hast promised to thy holy Church, to old men, and to children, through our Lord Jesus Christ, which liveth and reigneth with Thee now and for ever. Amen.’ Consultation; fol. clxiv, The Irish Book orders that this should be said by the people as well as the minister: the English Book does not, and probably does not intend it.

47 This was the conclusion of the Ordo ad faciend. Catechumenum. Maskell, p. 13. ‘N. ingredere in templum dei, ut habeas vitam eternam et vivas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.’

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48 ‘Beloved in Christ, yesterday, by the grace of God, we heard how exceeding and unspeakable mercy is exhibited in Baptism. Ye have renounced Satan and the world; ye have confessed the faith of Christ, and ye have promised obedience to Christ and the congregation; and ye have required of God the Father, that for His Son’s sake, our Lord Jesus Christ, He will deliver these infants from the kingdom of darkness, and settle them in the kingdom of His beloved Son. You must remember these things, and doubt nothing, but that we shall receive all these things that we require, if we believe,’ &c. Consult. fol. clxv.

49 Cp. Cranmer, Reform. Legum, ‘De Baptismo:’ ‘Plures item ab aliis cumulantur errores in Baptismo, quem aliqui sic attoniti spectant, ut ab ipso illo externo credant elemento Spiritum Sanctum emergere, vimque ejus nomen et virtutem, ex qua recreamur, et gratiam et reliqua ex eo proficiscentia dona in ipsis Baptismi fonticulis enatare, In summa totam regenerationem nostram illi sacro puteo deberi volunt, qui in sensus nostros incurrunt. Verum salus animarum, instauratio Spiritus, et beneficium adoptionis, quo nos Deus pro filiis agnoscit, a misericordia divina per Christum ad nos dimanante, tum etiam ex promissione sacris in scripturis apparente, proveniunt.’

50 The following is the text of the Sarum Manual:
    ‘Tunc portetur infans ad fontes ab his qui eum suscepturi sunt ad baptismum: ipsisque eundem puerum super fontes inter manus tenentibus, ponat sacerdos manum dextram super eum: et interrogato ejus nomine responeant qui cum tenent N. Item sacerdos dicat: N, abrenuntias Sathanæ? Respondeant compatrini et commatrinaæ: Abrenuntio. Item sacerdos: Et omnibus operibus ejus? R. Abrenuntio. Item sacerdos: Et omnibus pompis ejus? R. Abrenuntio.
    Postea tangat sacerdos pectu infantis et inter scapulas de oleo sancta, crucem faciens cum pollice, dicens: N. et ego linio te (super pectus) oleo salutis (inter scapulas), in Christo Jesu Domino nostro: ut habeas vitam æternam, et vivas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
    Deinde interrogato nomine respondeant N. Item sacerdos, N, credis in deum patrem omnipotentem creatorem cœli et terræ? R. Credo. Item sacerdos. Credis et in Jesum Christum Filium eius unicum dominum nostrum natum et passum ? R. Credo. Item sacerdos, Credis et in spiritum sanctum, sanctam ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrection em, et vitam eternam post mortem? R. Credo. Tunc interroget sacerdos, Quid petis? R. Baptismum, Item sacerdos, Vis baptizari? R. Volo.’

51 One of Bucer’s criticisms concerned this point. ‘Optarim igitur omnes illas huius Catechismi (nescio cur ita vocati) interrogationes fieri ad ipsos compatres et commatres.’ Censura, xiv.

52 Fragm. Illust. 86.

53 The American Prayer Book has an explanatory rubric before the demands: that ‘the questions are to be considered as addressed to the sponsors severally, and the answers to be made accordingly.’

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54 See above, p. 576.

55 The Scottish office added here” after the words ‘this water,’ the words, — ‘which we here bless and dedicate in thy name to this spiritual washing.’

56 ‘Then the Godfathers and Godmothers shall take and lay their hands upon the child, and the Minister shall put upon him his white vesture, commonly called the chrysom; and say, Take this white vesture for a token of the innocency which by God’s grace in this holy sacrament of Baptism is given unto thee; and for a sign whereby thou art admonished, so long as thou livest, to give thyself to innocency of living, that, after this transitory life, thou mayest be partaker of the life everlasting Amen. Then the Priest shall anoint the infant upon the head, saying, Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath regenerated thee by water and Holy Ghost, and hath given unto thee remission of all thy sins: He vouchsafe to anoint thee with unction of His Holy Spirit, and bring thee to the inheritance of everlasting life. Amen.’

57 The absence of the Doxology was noted for correction by Wren (Fragm. Ill. 88), but it was left unaltered: the words all kneeling were added to the rubric, which here as elsewhere do not apply to the Priest.

58 This was altered in two places in 1661 by the substitution at Wren’s suggestion of ‘Church’ for ‘Congregation’ (Frag. Ill. 88): but the latter word was retained above at the crossing, in spite of Cosin’s protest (Works, v, 520).

59 For the doctrinal significance of Baptism, see Stone, Holy Baptism; Gibson, Articles.

60 Deinde accipiat sacerdos infantem per latera in manibus suis, et interrogato nomine ejus, baptizet cum sub trina immersione, tautum sanctam Trinitatem invocando, ita dicens: N, et ego baptizo te in nomine Patris: Et mergat eum semel versa facie ad aquilonem, et capite versus orientem: et Filii: Et iterum mergat semel versa facie ad meridiem : et Spiritus Sancti, Amen. Et mergat tertio recta facie versus aquam,’ See Sarum Manual, Maskell, p. 23.

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61 ‘Godfathers and Godmothers of this child, we charge you that ye charge the father and the mother to keep it from fire and water and other perils to the age of vii year: and that ye learn or see it be learned the Paternoster, Ave Maria, and Credo, after the law of all holy church; and in all goodly haste to be confirmed of my lord of the diocese or of his deputy; and that the mother bring again the chrysom at her purification: and wash your hand or ye depart the church. Manual Sar, Maskell, p. 14. The rubric was more specific: ‘et quod confirmetur quam cito episcopus advenerit circa partes per septem milliaria.’ Ibid. p. 25 [28].

62 This assertion carefully avoids all mention of children unbaptized. It is borrowed from The Institution of a Christian Man (1537), in Burton, Formularies of Faith, p. 93: ‘Item, that the promise of grace and everlasting life (which promise is adjoined unto this sacrament of Baptism) pertaineth not only unto such as have the use of reason, but also to infants, innocents, and young children; and that they ought therefore, and must needs be baptized; and that by the sacrament of Baptism they do also obtain remission of their sins, the grace and favour of God, and be made thereby the very sons of God. Insomuch as infants and children, dying in their infancy, shall undoubtedly be saved thereby, and else not.’ These last words were omitted in The Necessary Doctrine, &c. (1543), p. 254, ed. Burton; in 1549 they were not imported into the rubric, and further, the assertion was added, that it is certain by God’s Word; showing that our Reformers are intending only to speak of that which is revealed — the covenanted mercy of Almighty God.

63 The following is Dr. Burgess’s explanation of the use of this sign, accepted by King James I. and affirmed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be the intention of the Church. ‘I know it is not made any part of the sacrament of Baptism, which is acknowledged by the canon to be complete without it, and not perfected or bettered by it. I understand it not as any sacramental, or operative, or efficacious sign bringing any virtue to Baptism, or the baptized. Where the Book. says, “And do sign him with the sign of the cross, in token, &c.” I understand the Book not to mean, that the sign of the cross has any virtue in it to effect or further this duty; but only to intimate and express by that ceremony, by which the ancients did avow their profession of Christ crucified, what the congregation hopeth and expecteth hereafter from the infant, viz. that he shall not be ashamed to profess the faith of Christ crucified, into which he was even now baptized. And therefore also, when the 30th canon saith the infant is “by that sign dedicated unto the service of Christ,” I understand that dedication to import, not a real consecration of the child, which was done in Baptism itself, but only a ceremonial declaration of that dedication.’ Bennet, Paraphrase, pp. 206, 207, quoting Burgess, Defence of Bp. Morton, pp. 24, 25.
    The American Prayer Book .allows the sign of the cross to be omitted, if those who present the infant shall desire it, although the Church knows no worthy cause of scruple concerning the same.

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64 The custom of private Baptism in case of necessity can be traced back as far as the middle of the third century. (S. Cyprian. Ep. lxix. 13.)

65 ‘Incontinenter cum nati fuerint . . . baptizentur.’ Maskell, 30.

66 ‘Non licet aliquem baptizare in aula, camera, vel in aliquo loco privato ... nisi fuerit filius regis vel principis, aut talis necessitas emerserit propter quam ad ecclesiam accessus absque periculo haberi potest.’ Ibid., 29.

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67 By the old rubric the parish priest was constantly to instruct his people on Sundays in the essentials of Baptism, and teach them the formula in English and Latin. ‘I christen thee, N., in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen: vel in lingua Latina sic. Ego baptizo te N. in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Aquam super parvulum. spargendo, vel in aquam mergendo ter vel saltem semel.’ But they were told that ‘Non licet laico vel mulieri aliquem baptizare nisi in articulo necessitatis’ : and a man was always to act in preference to a woman, if competent to do so.

68 ‘The people shall be taught and warned in sermons that they presume not lightly to minister privately this most Divine sacrament. ... But if extreme necessity presses, that they that be present with the child, being in danger, may join themselves together in the Lord, and lifting up their minds religiously unto God, let them call for His mercy, promised and exhibited in Christ Jesus our, Lord, upon the infant; and when they have said the Lord’s Prayer, let them baptize him in the name of the Father, &c.... If any godly man be present when the infant is in extremity, let his ministry be used to Baptism.’ Hermann’s Consultation, fol. clxviii ; Fallow, p. 50. ‘

69 The licensing of midwives with a recognition of their duty to baptize ‘in the time of necessity’ was continued by Abp. Parker. See a form of license, dated 1567, in Strype Annals I. ii, 537.

70 ‘Where some ambiguity and doubt hath arisen among divers, by what persons private Baptism is to be ministered, . . . it is now by the said Archbishop and Bishops expounded and resolved, that the said private Baptism in case of necessity is only to be ministered by a lawful Minister or Deacon, called to be present for that purpose, and by none other: . . . and all other persons shall be inhibited to intermeddle with the ministering of Baptism privately, being no part of their vocation.’ Canons of 1575, Cardwell, Synodalia, i. p. 135 n. :

71 Barlow, Sum of the Conference, in Cardwell, Conf. p. 172.

72 Ibid. p. 174.

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73 According to the Latin rules nothing was said but the formula of Baptism in private, but if the child was brought to church dangerously ill, provision was made for saying some of the ordinary public service.
    ‘Notandum est etiam quod si infans sit in periculo mortis, tunc primo introducatur ad fontem et postea baptizetur, incipiendo ad hanc locum Quid petis. Et si post baptismum vixerit, habeat totum residuum servitium supradictum.’

74 ‘Et si puer fuerit baptizatus secundum illam formam, caveat sibi unusquisque ne iterum eundem baptizet: sed si hujusmodi parvuli convalescant, deferantur ad ecclesiam et dicantur super eos exorcismi et cathechismi cum unctionibus et omnibus aliis supradictis præter immersionem et formam baptismi, quæ omnino sunt omittenda, videlicet, Quid petis’ et abhinc usque ad ilium locum quo sacerdos debeat parvulum chrismate linire.
    Et ideo si laicus baptizaverit puerum, antequam deferatur ad ecclesiam, interroget sacerdos diligenter quid dixerit, et quid fecerit: et si invenerit laicum discrete et debito modo baptizasse, et formam verborum baptismi ut supra in suo idiomate integre protulisse, approbet factum, et non rebaptizet eum. Si vero dubitet rationabiliter sacerdos utrum infans ad baptizandum sibi oblatus prius in forma debita fuerit baptizatus vel non, debet omnia perficere cum eo, sicut cum alio quem constat sibi non baptizatum, præterquam quod verba sacramentalia essentiaiia proferre debeat sub conditione, hoc moao dicendo:
N, si baptizatus es ego non rebaptizo te: sed si nondum baptizatus es ego baptizo, &c., sub aspersione vel immersione ut supra.’ Compare the Constitution of Abp Langton, 1222 (Lyndwood Appendix, p. 6), from which a good part the second paragraph of the preceding rubric is taken. Compare Bp. Poore’s Constitutions of 1223, §§ 22-24 in Sarum Charters.
    The directions in the first paragraph for the saying of the whole service except the central section are of later date. The older English custom was for the priest to say only the part following the baptism and unction. ‘Si in necessitate baptizetur a laico, sequentia in unctionem et non precedentia per sacerdotem expleantur.’ Langton’s Constitution, u. s. Cp. Canon 3 of the Council of Westminster in 1200. (Harduin VI. 1958.) But in 1281 the fourth Constitution of Abp. Peckham ordered ‘Super baptizatis dicatur Exorcismus et Catechismus propter reverentiam ecclesiæ taliter statuentis.’ (Ibid. p. 27.)

75 This follows the order appointed in Hermann, Consultation (fol. clxix.), when the baptism is supposed to have been duly administered. ‘The preachers shall allow the same in the congregation, using a lesson of the Holy Gospel, and prayer after this sort. The Pastor, when they be come, which bring such an infant unto the Lord, shall first demand of them: Beloved in Christ, forasmuch as we be all born in sin and the wrath of God, guilty of eternal death and damnation, and can by none other means get remission of sins, righteousness, and everlasting life, than through faith in Christ; and forasmuch as this infant is born subject to these evils, — I mean of death, and the wrath of God, — I ask of you whether he were offered to Christ, and planted in Him through Baptism. If they answer that they so believe, he shall ask them further, by whom it was done, and who were present. And when they have named them, he shall ask him which by their relation baptized the child, if he be present, or other which then were present, whether the name of the Lord were called upon him, and prayer made for him. If they answer that they did so, he shall ask how the child was baptized. If they then answer, In water, and with these words, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; he shall ask them last of all, whether they certainly know that they have rightly used the Word of God ; and if they answer that they know and remember that they did so, let the Pastor say this moreover. Forasmuch as, beloved in Christ, I hear that all things concerning the Baptism of this infant have been done in the name of God and according to His institution, I pronounce in the name of Christ that ye have done well. For infants want the grace of God, which our Saviour denieth not unto them, whensoever it is asked for children, according to His Word. . . . And to confirm this faith, and that we may stir up ourselves to thank the Lord for this His so great benefit ministered to this infant by Baptism, let us hear out of the Gospel, how the Lord will have children brought unto Him, and how he will bounteously bless them which be offered unto Him. Mark x.: And they brought children, &c.’

76 There were six questions adopted from the Consultation’ in 1549, the third was omitted in 1604, and the sixth in 1661. Also in 1604 the enquiry as to the matter and form used was made more solemn by being prefaced by a preamble which is closely connected with similar changes made at the same time in the closing rubric of the office, concerning conditional baptism.

77 Compare Hermann, Consultation, fol. clxxi.: ‘But if they which offer the infant cannot answer sufficiently to the said demands, so that, they grant that they do not well know what they thought or did in baptizing, being sore troubled with the present danger, as it often chanceth, then, omitting curious disputations, let the Pastor judge such an infant not to be yet baptized, and let him do all those things which pertain to this ministration: . . . which done, let him baptize the infant without condition.’

78 The earliest known mention of conditional Baptism is in the Statutes of S. Boniface, No. 28 (Harduin iii. 1944). At an earlier date it was presumably not in use.’ A canon of the 6th (or 5th, see Hefele, Hist. of Counc. ad loc. ii. 424) Council of Carthage or the earlier Council of Hippo (93) (Bruns, i. 139) ordered the Baptism in any case where there was not convincing evidence forthcoming, and this was incorporated, by Gratian in the Decretum (III. iv. 111). But it is not quite clear whether this meant a conditional form or not. ‘Absque ullo scrupulo hos esse baptizandos ‘ is the phrase, and it reappears in S. Boniface’s Statute, ordering conditional Baptism.

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79 The form in which the Minister of the parish certifies his own act was added in 1661 ; at one period in the revision it was proposed that it should run thus:— ‘I certify you, that according to the due and prescribed order, &c., I administered private baptism to this child: Who being born in original sin, &c. ut infra,’ referring to the remainder of the old form as a proper transition to the Gospel. (Parker, Introd. p. cclii.) But this direction was not finally adopted in the Prayer Book, apparently because it was thought needless, since two forms of certification were provided as far as certain opening words were concerned, but only one ending, which is of course common to them both, serving as an introduction to what to follow. The ending is given in both cases in the American Book.

80 The old law on the subject was expressly reaffirmed in 1841 in, the Arches Court in the case of Mastin v. Escott. ‘The law of the Church is beyond all doubt that a child baptized by a layman is validly baptized.’ When the validity was questioned early in the eighteenth century, the Bishops declared lay baptism to be irregular but valid: they wished to pass formal decision of Convocation that effect, but the Lower House regarded it as inopportune, and refused to take it into consideration, because ‘the Catholic Church, and the Anglican Church in particular, had hitherto avoided any synodical determination on the subject; and that the inconveniences attending such a determination would outweigh the conveniences proposed by it, especially at a time when the authority of the Christian priesthood and the succession in the ministry were openly denied, or undervalued.’ See Lathbury, Hist. of Convoc. pp. 419 and ff. Bulley, Tabular View, pp. 264-268. Stone, 120 and ff.

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81 Before the last revision (1661) this was expressed, ‘that He hath given unto him the blessing of eternal life, and made him partaker of His everlasting kingdom.’ Nothing more seems to have been originally meant than ‘hath given to him a title to the blessing of eternal life, and made him partaker in a right to the enjoyment of His everlasting kingdom.’ However, the words were understood in their plain meaning, as if referring to actual possession; which is more than the heirship which is declared in the Catechism to belong to baptized children: ‘wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.’ Laurence, Bampt. Lec. p. 181.
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82 The exhortation up till 1661 still continued to lead up to the Creed, as its wording was not altered in 1552, when the Creed was omitted at this point.

83 In the American office the Lord’s Prayer is placed as in the English. but the first Thanksgiving is omitted: in the Irish Prayer Book it is placed as in Public Baptism.

84 It is so added in the American Book. In the Irish Prayer Book, a rubric directs the service which is to be used, ‘if a child that has been already baptized be brought to the Church at the same time with a child that is to be baptized; the Minister having inquired respecting the sufficiency of the baptism, and having certified the same, shall read all that is appointed for the Public Baptism of infants until he have baptized and signed the child that has not been baptized; and he shall then call upon the Godfathers and Godmothers of the child that has been already baptized to make answer in his behalf, as here directed, save that he shall not again recite the Apostles’ Creed, but say — Dost thou believe all the articles, &c.? The American more simply notes that the Minister may make the Questions to the Sponsors and the succeeding Prayers serve for both and after the Baptism and the receiving into the Church, the Minister may use the remainder of the service for both. But it is hardly possible to avoid the appearance at least of praying for the future regeneration of a regenerate child, or to disentangle the clauses in the part of the service preceding the Baptism, which cannot be applied to the child who has already been baptized.

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85 Cardwell, Synodalia ii. 641, 642. Wood (Athenæ Oxon. iii. 755) ascribes the leading part in the work to Bp. Griffith of S. Asaph.

86 See Preface to B. C. P.

87 Cases will occur in which it may seem doubtful whether this office or that for the Baptism of Infants should be used. The rubric at the end of this office directs the use of the latter for the Baptism of persons before they come to years of discretion to answer for themselves. And Confirmation and Communion should immediately follow the Baptism of an adult. Hence the Office for the Baptism of Infants should be used for all persons who are not fitted either by age or intelligence for Confirmation, changing the word infant for child or person, as occasion requireth.

88 The American rubric has:— ‘timely notice shall be given to Minister, that so due care may be taken, &c.’

89 See the Didache above, p. 558. Justin Martyr, Apol. i, 61:—
Greek text
Tertullian De Baptismo 20 and above, p. 559.

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90 1 Tim. iv. 12.

91 In the best days of the systematic catechumenate while the most necessary instruction was given to the candidates before Baptism, a more detailed teaching, especially on the Eucharist (such as has come down to us in St. Cyril’s κατηχησεις μυσταγωγικαι) was reserved until after their Baptism and first Communion.

92 φωτισθεντες Justin Mart. Apol. u. s.

93 The American Prayer Book adds the following rubrics: ‘Whereas necessity may require the baptizing of Adults in private houses in constderation of extreme sickness; the same is hereby allowed in that case. And a convenient number of persons shall be assembled in the house where the Sacrament is to be performed, And in the Exhortation, Well-beloved, &c., instead of these words, come hither desiring, shall be inserted this Word, desirous. In case of great necessity, the Minister may begin with the questions addressed to the candidate, and end with the Thanksgiving following the Baptism.’
    ‘If there be occasion for the Office of Infant Baptism and that of Adults at the same time, the Minister shall use the Exhortation and one of the Prayers next following in the Office for Adults; only in the Exhortation and Prayer, after the words, these Persons, and these thy servants, adding, and these Infants. Then the Minister shall proceed to the questions to be demanded in the cases respectively. After the Immersion, or the pouring of water, the prayer shall be as in this service ; only after the words, these Persons, shall be added, and these Infants. After which the remaining part of each service shall be used; first that for Adults, and lastly that for Infants.’
    Directions for Conditional or Private Baptism of adults are given in the Irish Book.

94 The rubric required that candidates should be able to answer to such questions of this short Catechism as the Bishop, or such as he shall appoint, shall by his discretion appose them in.
    It is in this form that the Catechism is included in the Consultation, where, after Baptism, follows (fol. clxxi), ‘Of the Confirmation of children baptized: and solemn profession of their faith in Christ, and of their obedience to be showed to Christ, and to His congregation;’ and a Catechism is inserted in this order of Confirmation, to be recited in the service as the public confession of those who come to be confirmed. No part, however, of our Catechism was borrowed from this source.

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95 See e. g. Canon x. of Cloveshoo (747) (Haddan and Stubbs, III, 366). Cp, Wilkins, Conc. III. II, 59, &c.

96 Gasquet, Religious Instrution in England, reprinted in The Old English Bible, pp. 179 and ff.

97 Strype, Eccl. Mem. Hen. VIII. I. xlii, 321.

98 Burnet, Hist. Ref. I. Book III. Records, VII. and XI. (Ed. Pocock, IV. 308,341). The later injunction runs thus: ‘Item: That ye shall every Sunday and Holy Day throughout the year openly and plainly recite to your parishioners, twice or thrice together, or oftener, if need require, one particle or sentence of the Pater Nosier, or Creed in English, to the intent that they may learn the same by heart: and so from day to day to give them one little lesson or sentence of the same, till they have learned the whole Pater Nosier and Creed in English, by rote, And as they be taught every sentence of the same by rote, ye shall expound and declare the understanding of the same unto them, exhorting all parents and householders to teach their children and servants the same, as they are bound in conscience to do. And that done, ye shall declare unto them the Ten Commandments, one by one, every Sunday and Holy Day, till they be likewise perfect in the same. Cp. Can. LIX. (1604).

99 Cardwell , Doc. Ann. pp. 7, 25. The Injunction is an abbreviated form of the preceding. The corresponding visitation article runs thus: ‘Whether they have not diligently taught upon the Sundays and Holy Days their parishioners, and specially the youth their Pater Noster, the Articles of our Faith, and the Ten Commandments in English, and whether they have expounded and declared the understanding of the same.’

100 Burton, Three Primers, pp. 216 and ff.

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101 The third answer was thus expressed :— ‘that I should forsake the devil, and all his works and pomps, the vanities of the wicked world.’ The preface to the Commandments was added in 1552, and the Commandments were then given at length, which had before been given in a very curtailed form, nearly as they had been in Henry’s Primer (1545, ed. Burton, l. c. p.·460). In 1661 the words, ‘the King and all that are put in authority under him,’ were substituted for ‘the King and his Ministers’ (in the American Prayer Book it is, — ‘ the civil authority’): and in 1552 the word ‘child’ was substituted for ‘son’ in the address before the Lord’s Prayer.
    Notice also that in 1661 greater publicity and importance was given to the public catechizing, as it was then directed that it should take place during Evensong, instead of half an hour beforehand as had previously been the case.

102 The composition of this latter part is generally attributed to Bishop Overall, who was the Prolocutor of the Convocation, and at that time Dean of St. Paul’s. Cosin, Works v. 491. But it was to a large extent derived from Nowell.

103 ‘Dr. Reinolds complained that the Catechism in the Common Prayer Book was too brief; for which one by Master Nowell late dean of Paul’s was added, and that too long for young novices to learn by heart: requested therefore that one uniform Catechism might be made, which, and none other might be generally received: it was demanded of him whether if to the short Catechism in the Communion Book something were added for the doctrine of the sacrament, it would not serve? His Majesty thought the doctor’s request very reasonable: but yet so, that he would have a Catechism in the fewest and plainest affirmative terms that may be: taxing withal the number of ignorant Catechisms set out in Scotland, by everyone that was the son of a good man . . .’ Barlow’s Sum of the Ccnference in Cardwell, Conf. p. 187.

104 ‘What is the outward visible sign or form in Baptism? Answer (1604): Water; wherein the person baptized is dipped, or sprinkled with it, In the name, &c.’ ‘Why then are infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them? Answer (1604): Yes; they do perform them by their Sureties, who promise and vow them both in their names; which when they come to age themselves are bound to perform.’ See the Presbyterian exceptions to the Catechism, at the Savoy Conference; above, pp. 182, 183.

105 Orig. Lett. (Parker Soc.) LXXI. Cheke to Bullinger, June 7, 1553; ‘Nuper J. Wintoniensis episcopi Catechismum auctoritate sua scholis commendavit . . . ‘

106 Both the English and Latin editions are reprinted in Liturgies, &c. of Edw. VI. (Parker Soc.).

107 “When there was presented unto us, to be perused, a short and plain order of Catechism written by a certain godly and learned man: we committed the debating and diligent examination thereof to certain Bishops, and other learned men, whose judgment we have in great estimation.’ K. Edward’s injunction authorizing the use of this catechism (ibid).
    A licence for printing the work was granted in September 1552, but it was not published until 1553, when the Articles of the preceeding year were appended to each edition; and also a few prayers at the end of the English edition. Dixon iii. 516, 528.

108 The Catechism of Erasmus (1547), ordered to he used in Winchester College and elsewhere; the smaller and larger Catechisms of Calvin (1538 and 1545); that of Œcolampadius (1545), Leo Judas (1553), and more especially Bullinger (1559). Even in 1578, when the exclusive use of Nowell’s Catechism had been enjoined in the canons of 1571, those of Calvin, Bullinger, and others were still ordered by statute to be used in the University of Oxford. See Cardwell, Doc. Ann. I. p. 300, note.

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109 Cardwell, Doc. Ann. p. 299.

110 General notes of matters to be moved by the Clergy in the next Parliament and Synod: . . . A Catechism is to be set forth in Latin; which is already done by Mr. Dean of Paul’s, and wanteth only viewing.’ Strype, Annals, I. ch. xxvii. p. 317.

111 This was to publish Nowell’s Catechism, the Articles, and Jewell’s Apology, in one book, ‘by common consent to be authorized, as containing true doctrine, and enjoined to he taught to the youth in the universities and grammar schools throughout the realm.’ Ibid. See Acts of Convocation in Synodalia, II. 513, 522.

112 The Larger Catechism, in Latin, intended to be used in places of liberal education, was the same year translated into English by Norton. Both were reprinted for the Parker Society. An abridgment of this, called the Shorter, or the Middle Catechism, was prepared by Nowell for the use of schools. He also published a third, called the Smaller Catechism, differing but slightly from that in the Book of Common Prayer. Bp. Overall modified and abridged the questions and answers on the sacraments from this Catechism. See Corrie’s Introduction, in the edition of the Parker Society, and Jacobson’s edition and Introduction (Oxford, 1844).

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113 Maskell, Mon Rit. I. pp. 34, 35. Cp. York Pontifical (Surtees, vol. 61), p. 291; Lacy’s Pontifical, p. 9.

114 Palmer (Orig. Lit.) cites our second couplet from a Sarum Manual (Rouen. 1543), Sit nomen Domini benedictum. Et hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.

115 This word is added to the gifts of the Spirit enumerated in Isa. xi. 2, to make the number seven. The Gelasian Sacramentary has this as the third couplet, and ends thus:— timoris dei in nomine DNJC, cum quo vivis, &c. Cp. Egbert Pontifical (Surtees, vol. 27), p. 7.

116 An older form was Accipe signum sancte crucis Christi chrismate salutis in Christo Jesu in vitam eternam. Amen. See the first of the two services in Brit. Mus. MS. Tib. C. 1. f. 43 : cp. Egbert Pontifical, p. 7. The earlier forms were Simpler still: e. g. Gelas. Sacr. 571 and the 7th Ordo Romanus.

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117 For a discussion of this subject see Hall, Confirmation pp. 32 and ff.

118 ‘Almighty and merciful God, heavenly Father, which only workest in us to will and to perform the things that please Thee, and be good indeed; we beseech Thee for these children . . . Increase in them the gift of thy Spirit, that ever going forward in the knowledge and obedience of thy Gospel, in thy congregation they may continue to the end . . . So give these children the thing that we pray Thee for, through thy Son Christ, that when we shall now lay our hands upon them in thy name, and shall certify them by this sign that thy fatherly hand shall be ever stretched forth upon then), and that they shall never want thy Holy Spirit to keep, lead, and govern them in the way of health . . .’ Hermann’s Consultation, fol. clxxix.

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119 The crossing, however, was retained in practice, or at least considered to be within the Bishop’s discretion to use. See Blunt, ad loc., and Pullan, p. 209. It is sanctioned in the Scottish Church. See note on p. 607. Hall, 36.

120 The meaning of years of discretion was brought out in the old rubric preceding the Catechism: it is most meet to be ministered when children come to that age that partly by the frailty of their own flesh, partly by the assaults of the world and of the devil they begin to be in danger of fall into sundry kinds of sin. See Hall, Confirmation, ch. vii.

121 Before this revision, a rubric had directed the Curate of every parish, in sending the names of the children to the Bishop, to specify which of them could say the Articles of the Faith; the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and also how many of them could answer to the other questions contained in this Catechism. In Hermann’s Consultation (fol. clxxiv.) the Parish Priests are directed, certain days before the coming of the visitors, ‘to prepare the children whom they purpose to offer to Confirmation, to make their confession of faith and profession of Christian communion and obedience decently and seemly, which must be done of them after this sort. ‘Then follows a long Catechism; and then (fol. c\xxviii.), — ‘After that one of the children hath rehearsed a full confession of his faith, and hath professed the obedience of Christ before the whole congregation, it shall be sufficient to propound questions to the other children after this sort: “Dost thou also, my son, believe and confess, &c.” Here it shall suffice, that every one answer thus for himself: I believe and confess the same, and yield up myself to Christ and His congregation, trusting in the grace and help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”’

122 This is taken from the rubric in the Sarum Manual, Ritus Baptis. Maskell, p. 31: ‘Item nullus debet admitti ad sacramentum corporis et sanguinis Christi Jesu extra mortis articulum, nisi fuerit confirmatus, vei a receptione sacramenti confirmationis fuerit rationabiliter impeditus.’ which in turn is drawn from the 16th of Abp. Peckham’s Constitutions (1281), Lynd. Prov. I. tit. 6.

123 In the American Prayer two additions have been made, viz. a form for presenting the Candidates similar to that at Ordination and a Lesson, Acts viii. 14-17: the Preface is made optional and the congregation is directed to be standing until the Lord’s Prayer.
    The use of the Scottish Episcopal Church is defined by sections 5 and 6 of Canon XL. as follows:
    ‘(5) The Bishop when administering Confirmation may at his discretion, with concurrence of the clergyman, use the following form in addition to that prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer:— “N. I sign thee with the sign of the Cross (here the Bishop shall sign the person with the sign of the Cross on the forehead), and I lay my hands upon thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Defend, O Lord,” &c., as in the Book of Common Prayer.
    (6) The circumstances of this Church requiring on many occasions such modifications of the Order of Confirmation contained in the Book of Common Prayer as may render it appropriate to candidates who have not had godfathers and godmothers, it is permissible for the Bishop to substitute for the Preface in the Order of Confirmation in the Book of Common Prayer a suitable address, and to modify the question, “Do ye here,” &c., as the circumstances may seem to him to require.’

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