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The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is the basis of membership in the Christian faith, and is a common bond across the various Christian denominations. At St. Paul’s we don’t do "Lutheran" baptisms but rather we baptize people into Christianity. Our particular form of baptism is accepted as valid across a wide spectrum of denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodists, the Presbyterians and other Calvinist heritage denominations, plus the Eastern Orthodox and many other groups.


Age & Mode: In Lutheranism, a person can be baptized at any age–from infancy through old age. Normally, we administer baptism by pouring water on the person’s head, though, if a person or family so desires, we can also baptize by immersion in water through special arrangements.


Scheduling: Baptisms are scheduled with the pastor through the church office (740-345-6115). Normally, we encourage baptisms to happen during one of our regular weekend services (Saturday at 4:00 p.m. or Sunday at 8:00, 9:30, or 10:45). We encourage this because Baptism represents a person’s official entrance into the life and ministry of the church and of our congregation. If need be, however, baptisms can be arranged at another time with just family and friends present.


Godparents/Sponsors: Baptismal sponsors, traditionally called "godparents," are not a requirement for infant/child baptisms done at St. Paul’s Church. However, if godparents are desired, we certainly welcome their participation in the baptismal ceremony. By custom such sponsors join with the parents in making a commitment that the child being baptized will be raised in the faith. Typically, such sponsors are family members and/or close friends, and are members of some Christian denomination.


The Rite of Baptism: During a worship service, a Baptism happens after the sermon and makes use of the following rite.


1~ A Baptismal Hymn


2 ~ The Testimony of Scripture (This or another appropriate scripture)

Hear the testimony of Scripture: People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. [Mark 10:13-16]


3 ~ Prayer over the Water

O God of grace, we give you thanks, for in the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters and you created heaven and earth. By the gift of water you nourish and sustain us and all living things. By the waters of the Great Flood you cleansed the earth of wickedness and saved those whom you had chosen, Noah and his family. Later you led Israel through the waters of the Red Sea into the freedom of the Promised Land. In the waters of the River Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit, and following his command, we make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Send your blessing that all who are washed in the waters of Baptism may be made one with Christ in his death and in his resurrection. Send your Holy Spirit upon us to bring us all to new birth in the family of your Church, and raise us with Christ to the fullness of life. For all might, majesty, authority, and power are yours, now and forever. Amen.


4 ~ Baptismal Affirmation of Faith (by the entire congregation)

In Baptism we are joined to Christ and all that he stands for. So as a community of faith, let us together affirm our basic beliefs.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, who made the world?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in God's Son, Jesus Christ, who has redeemed humankind?

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

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

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

May God bring to all of you and to the one being baptized continued growth in grace and in the strength of the faith. Amen.


5 ~ Parents’/Godparents’ Vow

Trusting in the grace and love of God, do you desire to have this child baptized into Christ, and do you promise to nurture him/her in the Christian faith as you are empowered by God’s Spirit, and to help him/her live in the covenant of baptism and in communion with the church? (I do.)

May God bring to all of you and to the one being baptized continued growth in grace and in the strength of the faith. Amen.


6 ~ BAPTISM with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


7 ~ The Anointing (the sign of the cross traced on the forehead with olive oil)

The child of God, has been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever. Amen.


8 ~ Baptismal Garment (an embroidered white stole-like garment, provided as a memento to the baptized person)

We clothe you with this garment, as we remember the words of St. Paul: "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." [Galatians 3:27]


9 ~ Sharing of the Light (a decorated candle also provided as a memento)

Jesus says: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." [John 8:12] May Christ’s light ever burn brightly in your life, giving you comfort and guidance along the way. Amen.


10 ~ Prayer

Almighty God, we thank you for our membership in the body of Christ through this holy sacrament. Bless this child that he/she may grow strong in the faith, rejoicing in the grace of God which touches each of our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


11 ~ Dismissal (The pastor will hand over a certificate of baptism and the baptismal group will return to their seats.)

Go in peace!


12 ~ Another Baptismal Hymn or a Special Choir Anthem


Additional Comments:


For adults the above order is structurally similar but adapted in some aspects of the text


At the end of the service we ask that the parents stand with the newly baptized child beside the pastor at the door of the church, so that the congregation can greet them.


Photographs can then be taken afterwards at the baptismal font and in front of the altar with various combinations of family and friends. The pastor can reenact the pouring of the water for those wishing to get a good photograph of that part of the ceremony.

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