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Bishop’s Note – The Baptism

Dear friends today we continue our examination of the 2019 BCP baptismal liturgy as we arrive at the heart of the service. The candidates and sponsors have spent time in preparation, arrived at the church, and come forward for the presentation and examination. The Church gathered has proclaimed her common faith and lifted its voice in prayer pledging its support for the candidates as a reminder that they will not walk alone but with the Church, the bride of Christ, walking by their side. The candidates and sponsors along with the clergy have gathered around the baptismal pool or font. The bishop or priest has called upon the Holy Spirit to stir up the waters transforming them into the cleansing waters of grace.

Immediately prior to the baptism, the celebrant asks the sponsors to name the candidate or child. Of course, they were presented by name earlier on. However, this is an opportunity for the candidate to take on a new name as they take on a new identity as a Christian, a child of God.

Now the candidate enters the pool or approaches the font. The candidate for baptism is lowered three times into the water or water is poured over the head with the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In that instant they die with Christ and rise with Him in His resurrection. They are washed in the blood of the lamb and regenerated. As St. Paul proclaims they become a new person in Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) 

As soon as the new Christian comes out of the pool or steps away from the baptismal font the celebrant anoints them with the oil of chrism making the sign of the cross with one of two statements.

With the first option the newly baptized is anointed to be a valiant and courageous believer fighting for Christ against the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

With the second option the baptizand is anointed, sealed, and marked as Christ’s own. This is a reminder that we belong to Christ and are counted as one of the 144,000 found in the seventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. 

Lastly, the new Christian is either vested in white or presented a candle. The vesting represents that we are washed clean in the waters of baptism and the candle represents the light of Christ. 

I pray you all a blessed and holy last Sunday of Epiphany! 


The Bishop may say to the Sponsors,

Name this Candidate/Child.

Then the Celebrant immerses the Candidate or pours water upon the Candidate three times, saying
N., I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Bishop makes the sign of the Cross upon the forehead of the newly baptized (and may use the Oil of Chrism to do so), saying
N., receive the sign of the Cross as a token of your new life in Christ, in which you shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, to fight bravely under his banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to continue as his faithful soldier

or this

N., you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen.

San Joaquin Anglican
February 23
Bishop @ St. Mark Installation

February 26
Ash Wednesday

March 1
Bishop @ St. John Petaluma

March 8
Bishop @ St. John Porterville

March 13-14
Pastoral Intervention Training

March 15
Bishop @ St. Paul Installation

March 20-22
Diocesan Vestry Retreat

March 29
Bishop @ St. Alban

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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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