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Bishop’s Note – Blessing of the Water for Baptism

Following the litany and concluding prayers, the candidates, sponsors, and clergy proceed to the baptismal pool or the baptismal font. I personally prefer a pool which allows for full immersion but the majority of our congregations use fonts for the obvious practical reasons. 

Once all are around the pool or font the celebrant bids the congregation to join in the blessing of the water with the invitatory. Note that this is essentially the same invitatory used at Holy Eucharist. This is a wonderful reminder that Baptism, like Holy Eucharist, is not the act of the priest alone but of the Body of Christ, the Church, gathered together. 

Following the invitatory, the celebrant continues with the prayer. The first paragraph is a reminder of God’s use of water in creation, the exodus, and the baptism of Jesus. 
This reminds us of the direct connection between creation and this particular baptism. 

The next paragraph speaks specifically to the waters of baptism. We are reminded of the threefold process in baptism of death, resurrection, and regeneration. Those being baptized will experience these three blessings simultaneously as they are either lowered into the waters of baptism or the water is poured over the crown of their heads. This paragraph also reminds us that one is baptized into and in the name of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A baptism not done in the name of the Trinity is not a Christian baptism. 

Lastly, the celebrant asks God the Holy Spirit to bless the water and in doing so bless those who are being baptized with this particular water. 

I bid you to take a moment and read through the following, asking God to remind you of your baptism and what occurred at that time. If you are not baptized, I would encourage you to speak with a trusted Christian friend and ask about being baptized. 

I pray you all a blessed week! 
Bp. Menees

 The Deacon, or the Bishop, pours the water for Baptism.

Bishop The Lord be with you.
People And with your spirit.
Bishop Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them up to the Lord.
Bishop Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give him thanks and praise.

The Bishop continues
We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John in the River Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended upon him as a dove.

We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are made regenerate by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Here the Bishop touches the water and says
Now, Father, sanctify this water by the power of your Holy Spirit. May all who are baptized here be cleansed from sin, be born again, and continue for ever faithful in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

San Joaquin Anglican
February 13-15
DiscipleLife Conference

February 18
Bishop @ Central Deanery Clericus

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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