What will the Baptism service be like?

The service begins in prayer, and in listening to God’s word in readings from the Bible.


Baptism marks the beginning of a new life, the beginning of a life-long journey with God. Your child is turning away from the dark things of the world and beginning a discovery of his relationship with God – and he/she will need support, particularly in the early years. This support will come most naturally from you, with the help of the godparents. It will come also from within the family of the Church – from his/her sponsor, and from the opportunities for your family to grow and develop in the Christian faith within the Church.

So, after we hear God’s word from the Bible, the priest says:

Faith is the gift of God to his people. In Baptism the Lord is adding to our number those whom he is calling. People of God, will you welcome this child and uphold them in their new life in Christ?

And everybody replies:

With the help of God, we will

And as it is from the example of their parents that children learn most, you are asked now, with the godparents, whether you genuinely intend to do your best to turn away from the things that are wrong – both in your own lives and in the world outside – becoming more like the people of God wants you to be.

The priest says:

In Baptism, God calls us out of the darkness into his own marvellous light. To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him

And then will ask:

Do you reject the power of evil and all rebellion against God?

And parents and godparents reply

 I reject them

 Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?

 I renounce them

Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?

I renounce them

 Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?

 I turn to Christ

 Do you submit to Christ as Lord?

 I submit to Christ

 Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?

 I come to Christ


The priest now makes the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. This is like an invisible badge, which marks out those who belong to Christ – Christians – as his followers. Jesus died on the cross, and this “badge” signifies that, just as he was willing to put himself in second place, and give up even his life for others, so are we. This is the nature of God’s love for us, and we too are capable of such love.

The priest says:

Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of his cross.


You will now be asked, with the godparents, to make your way to the font, where the baptism will take place. The rest of your family and friends can gather round too. Everyone turns so that they can see and share in this important moment.

The priest first of all blesses the water, which will be used to baptise your child. Water is an important symbol: it washes; it can bring death; and it brings new life. In the waters of baptism, your child is united with Jesus in his death and resurrection, and so washed clean of sin, of all the mars us, “dying” to the old life and beginning a new one.


You are now asked three questions, which summarise what Christians believe about God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The answer you make to these questions says that you believe and trust. This is more than believing in God in the sense of agreeing that he exists. It means that there is a trust, a relationship, a commitment to him.

So the priest will ask:

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?

And you reply:

 I believe and trust in him.

 Do you believe and trust in God the Son, Jesus Christ  who took our human nature,  died for us and rose again?

 I believe and trust in him.

 Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,  who gives life to the people of God  and makes Christ known in the world?

 I believe and trust in him.

And because this is an opportunity for everyone to affirm again what they believe, the priest now turns to all the people and says:

 This is the faith of the Church.

And everyone replies:

 This is our faith  We believe and trust in one God,  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Now you hand your baby over to the priest, who will baptise your child, pouring the water over the child’s head three times, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You and the godparents say “Amen”, to show that you agree with what is happening. And your child’s new life, as part of the Christian family, begins….


After some words of commissioning, a welcome: we all greet the newest member of the family of the Church!


Having received God’s blessing, you will be given a lighted candle. Light is a very powerful symbol of what happens when someone becomes a Christian. We turn away from the evil around us in the world, and begin a new life – from death to life, darkness to light. The priest will hand a lighted candle to you or to one of the godparents, for your child to keep, to help them remember this as they grow older. The priest will say:

 God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness  and has given us a place with the saints in light.  You have received the light of Christ;  walk in this light all the days of your life.

Our job as Christians is to play our own part, however tiny, in overcoming the darkness, the evil, in the world around us. So then we all say together:

 Shine as a light in the world  To the glory of God the Father

The service now ends with an appropriate hymn, which you might like to choose.