WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO BE BAPTIZED OR HAVE YOUR CHILD BAPTIZED?
THE BAPTISMAL SERVICE
Baptism is a symbol of our initiation into the family of God. The water used in baptism represents cleansing and life. To be a member of the Presbyterian Church, you should be baptized. This is a way that we recognize that Christ washes our sins away, and this asks God to seal and guard our souls. Children are baptized to show that they are a part of our church family, and to ask God’s blessing on them. We pray that one day they will confirm their baptism vows for themselves (normally through confirmation class). In the Old Testament children were included in a rite of circumcision and male converts were also circumcised. In New Testament times, circumcision for males is replaced with baptism for all.
There are seven instances in the New Testament where whole households were baptized together, indicating the importance of family in the church. Below is the service for infant baptism.
If you are an adult who wants to be baptized, we welcome that as well. Presbyterians may also use different modes of baptism: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. Normally we sprinkle inside the church for convenience sake. We believe that what is important is not how much water you have on you because the water symbolizes the anointing of God upon you.
For more information, please call a pastor at 345-5140.
Lake Murray Presbyterian Church Infant Baptism
BEFORE THE SERVICE
1) Pray about this important act and consider what baptism is and the vows that will be made.
2) Pick out a good date for the service. Invite friends and family members to the service.
3) Consider who you would like to be your elder representative. Would you like this person to have a prayer? Would you like to have someone sing during the baptismal part of the service?
4) Consider whether you would like a sponsor (or godparent) for the child. In the past Presbyterian have asked the whole congregation to be sponsors, but you may also choose someone to encourage your child in their faith while they are growing.
5) Talk to one of our ministers about the above. Give full name, birth date, birth place for the child.
6) You can meet with the session after worship in the front pew on a Sunday before the baptism, or you may call and plan on the day of baptism. Come 25-30 minutes early to the session room.
DURING THE SERVICE AFTER THE FIRST HYMN
1) Pastor Ben – Says a few scriptural words about baptism and its importance, then calls the family and elder representative to the front.
2) THE ELDER REPRESENTATIVE: removes the baptism top and says, “On behalf of the session I present (Name) for baptism”
3) Pastor Ben (or associate pastor)- asks QUESTIONS TO THE PARENTS
1. Is it your desire to baptize (Name) today?
2. Do you promise to live the Christian life before your child, setting them a good example, praying for your child, and encouraging them in the participation in the things of the faith? [We do].
4) Pastor Ben (or associate pastor) asks the congregation: On behalf of the universal
church, do you the members of Lake Murray Presbyterian Church promise to
support (Name) in his/her Christian faith, and take responsibility for (Name)’s nurture
in the Christian faith? Will you please stand [we invite our visitors and guests to
stand along with us].
5) Ben (or associate) prays for God’s Spirit to be present and to make the common water holy. (takes the child and placing water on the child’s head) SAYS, “(Name), child of the covenant, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
6) Ben brings the child down the center aisle and declares the child is a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and that we have hope that the child will claim the faith for him/herself. [A song can be sung at this time.]
7) A PRAYER IS SAID FOR (Name).
8) The family may sit down or take the baby to the nursery.
Some scriptures to think about:
1) Matthew 28:19,20- Jesus said…’Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world.
2) Jesus said, “suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.
3) Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ.